Saturday, 15 June 2019

SELA Skills Lead to Sports Success

Zak Nicholls, Cohort 2018

Alongisde SELA, Zak Nicholls this year led the delivery of the Institute of Chemical Engineering's Frank Morton Sports Day in Sheffield, and was delighted that this event was recently recognised as Event of the Year in the Sheffield Students' Union Activities Awards. Here, he reflects on how learning from SELA helped him succeed in planning and hosting the event.

The journey of planning, the IChemE Frank Morton Sports Day, a national event for undergraduate chemical engineers, was a mammoth task, bringing together the two biggest student-led events Sheffield has ever seen. We took on the challenge with support from Sheffield Students Union (SU). As Sports Coordinator, the organisation of the daytime fell to me and my friend Sophia along with guidance from the SU Events Manager. It was a great opportunity to practise and use skills I learnt through SELA.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Top Three Reasons to Attend Research Conferences

Tahira Resalat, Cohort 2018

In April, I had the opportunity to present my Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) research project from last summer at the British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR) held at the University of South Wales. BCUR is an amazing platform for students looking not only to disseminate their undergraduate research but also learn a great deal about research work being done from all over the world.

As engineering leaders, many of us are often faced with the difficult decision of having to pick career paths between research and industry. Last summer, when I decided to do a 10-week SURE research placement, I never thought my work would get me this far. There are many misconceptions about research, and attending the BCUR conference definitely put them to rest for me in my mind once and for all. So, here are the top 3 things I learned about research and the importance of attending events such as conferences which cater to the dissemination of research work.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Taking Climate Change and Internet of Things into the National Curriculum

Members of SELA Cohort 2017 have created and delivered a programme of lessons for school students, exploring the Internet of Things, linked to current affairs in climate change.

The programme of work was designed to be part of a wider scheme of work being taught on the David and Jane Richard’s Family Foundation’s Big Data course. It draws on a project SELA members have been undertaking with Urban Flows Observatory, a research centre at the University of Sheffield.

Monday, 20 May 2019

SELA’s mission took GUTS

Catherine Doarks & Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

For a second year running, SELA was invited to Get Up To Speed (GUTS) – an annual event promoting STEM opportunities to young people aged 8 to 25.

Celebrating almost 50 years since the Moon landing on 20 July 1969, Cohort 2018’s project Apollo 50 simulated a lunar base and showcased some of the potential engineering challenges that would be encountered by inhabitants of the Moon.

Monday, 13 May 2019

SELA Board Member shortlisted for Leading the Way in Student Futures

SELA is delighted to announce that Ceri Batchelder, SELA Board Member and Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at the University, has been shortlisted for the Student Futures Award, in the Sheffield Academic Awards 2019.

The Student Futures Award recognises an individual who has gone beyond their role to create opportunities for students to develop their skills and consider the next steps in their lives.

Through Ceri’s role as Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, she is working cloely with SELA, to help us develop future leaders. This year, Ceri has used her extensive network of business contacts to facilitate learning for our members, establishing and facilitating projects for our second year students that have seen them genuinely taking a lead.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Manufacturing success in Sheffield Digital Awards

SELA is delighted to have been shortlisted in the Sheffield Digital Awards 2019, in the Best Use of Tech in Industry category.

Over the last nine months, a team of SELA’s undergraduate engineering leaders has been developing and promoting approaches to using Internet of Things technologies to increase efficiency in manufacturing businesses across the Sheffield City Region, in a bid to boost productivity. The team has also responded to the fears of companies about capital expenditure, recognising this as a barrier to adoption.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Seeing the Future of Manufacturing at AMRC

Rob Bowland, Cohort 2018

Recently SELA members had the opportunity to visit the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), a centre for world leading research into methods and technologies practical for industry. Due to the size and scope of the AMRC (and the time limitations) we were not able to see all there was to offer and were instead taken on a whirlwind tour of some of the facilities and ongoing research.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

How SELA is doing more to tackle climate change

Megan Naylor, Cohort 2017

In 2019, we have grown accustomed to seeing activists and passionate campaigners on local, national and even international news. Just a few weeks ago, the streets of Sheffield were filled with students and school children, holding banners adorned in anti-climate change slogans. These students were inspired by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student who protests outside Sweden’s parliament buildings every Friday, and recognition of her in the media sparked people all over the world to call on governments to increase their actions to tackle climate change.

Today, the streets of Sheffield are filled once again, as it is the turn of Extinction Rebellion. Members of Extinction Rebellion Sheffield are obstructing traffic on Sheaf Street, in protests against Sheffield Council. As covered in an article in The Star, the motivation of the group is to encourage the Council to ‘do more to tackle climate change’, and through targeting one of the most polluted parts of Sheffield, they hope to add further gravity to their protest.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Made in Sheffield @ Gripple Ltd

Abdulla Omaruddin & Aiden Findlay, Cohort 2018

Last Wednesday, the SELA members had the opportunity to visit a local engineering firm, Gripple, specializing in the design and manufacture of wire connection and tensioning devices. Gripple, founded in 1989, initially developed wire tensioning devices for the fencing market. Today, its product range also supports vertical suspension applications, such as lighting suspension kits. Upon entering the facility, we were welcomed by Gordon Mcrae, special projects manager at Gripple, along with two apprentices who were our tour guides.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Taking the difficulty out of honest conversations

Germayne Williams-Sylvester, Cohort 2017

SELA Cohort 2017 recently had the pleasure of participating in a workshop on “Difficult Situations & Honest Conversations”, led by Lucy Owens from Lucy Owens Coaching, with actors Marie Ekins and Jamie Cymbal. The workshop started with Marie and Jamie acting out a scenario in which a student had a difficult conversation with a project supervisor. We were asked to identify flaws in their approach and dialogue, and offer improvements. The scene was then repeated, incorporating our advice. We made some good initial progress on trying to remedy the problematic dynamics within their interaction, but it was clear we needed to dig a little deeper.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Three lessons in Networking

Nadir Al-Hashim, Cohort 2018

Recently, SELA Cohort 2018 sat down to what we had been told was a workshop on networking. I think most of us at SELA knew in the back of our minds that networking was important, but I can speak for myself when I say I had no clue how to take the topic seriously. To me, networking was something that dressed up people do whilst putting on fake smiles and feigning interest in others; hence I was a little sceptical at the whole thing. However, I can say that thanks to our brilliant workshop facilitator, Will Kintish, I left the room surprised with how much better I felt about the prospect of networking in the future.

Here are three things I learned in the session that I thought I could share...

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Student-led Learning

Yun-Hang Cho, Graduate, SELA Cohort 2014 

When I was studying for my degree in Mechanical Engineering, I discovered that I quite enjoyed helping other students so when the chance came to use our training from the Sheffield Enigneering Leadership Academy to help facilitate some training sessions for the Transforming Society summer school, I leaped at the chance.

Monday, 14 January 2019

88 Pianists, 1 Piano: An engineering challenge to inspire the next generation

Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

If I was to tell you to gather up eighty-eight of your dearest friends and have them all play the piano at the same time, you would probably think I had finally cracked, that the stress of trying to achieve my own high standards had now caused me to demand the impossible. I wouldn’t blame you. When I was told about ambitious plans of the 88 Pianists project, created in honour of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo DaVinci’s death, I nearly spat out my cappuccino in disbelief. The idea of trying to smash the world record for the largest number of people playing the piano at the same time, seems an unnerving task on its own. However, combine this with expecting eighty-eight primary school children to use comically long mechanical fingers to delight an audience with joyous tunes, and you have an amusing spectacle that appears doomed to fail. But this daunting prospect did not faze The University of Cambridge’s Professor Julian Allwood, who still appears inspiringly optimistic that the record will be broken. This positivity was emphasised within The University of Sheffield by Dr Candice Majewski, a lecturer within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who is coordinating Sheffield’s collaboration with the project.