“EDA Solutions was an early voice and supporter of the initiative which became UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF). The foundation has proven itself as a catalyst and incubator for young electronic engineering talent in the UK. As a small, successful part of the semiconductor design eco-system in Europe, EDA Solutions invests in young engineering talent and is proud of its association with UKESF.”
Paul Double, Founder and CEO, EDA Solutions
Over the years EDA Solutions has sponsored an impressive cohort of UKESF scholars. Discover the journey, experiences, and thoughts of four past scholars and follow how UKESF has shaped and guided their careers to where they are now.
James Mutumba – UKESF Scholar 2019
James studied at the University of Surrey and was excited to join EDA Solutions to start his dream of working in the semiconductor industry.
James’ favourite part about working at EDA was gaining the invaluable industry experience with great support from other employees and management.
After finding out about the scholarship scheme from talks by scholars at his university, James told us he was honoured to give several talks of his own as a scholar to increase awareness for UKESF.
UKESF was a very important part of James’ professional journey, helping financially with a bursary from the sponsor company, providing opportunities to attend technical workshops as well as the real-world work experience during the internship year.
James joined AMD in 2022 as a design verification engineer. He’s one of a team developing wireless IP and digital front end sub-systems for AMD’s 4G and 5G communication chipsets. As a verification engineer he helps ensure their latest ASICs will work correctly once they are manufactured and deployed all over the world!
Airam Perez Guillen – UKESF Scholar 2018
Airam studied at the University of Manchester. In 2020 Airam was pipped at the post as runner up for Scholar of the Year but this was a credit to his academic achievements and wider engagement in the field. This includes his personal commitment to inspiring the younger generation of engineers through his role as a STEM Ambassador.
After receiving this award Airam said his ambition is to keep learning, sharing and contributing his grain of salts to help protect the environment and the world through technology innovation.
Making the world a better place in this way is a strong motivator for Airam’s career in engineering after learning how much of a difference engineering can make for the environment.
It is evident that Airam is on track with this goal as he is now a PhD researcher at the University of Manchester, researching networks to understand, among other objectives, where more renewable energies can be deployed while at the same time limiting the impact in the stability of the electrical grid.
Herman Larsen – UKESF Scholar 2017
Herman studied at the University of York, graduating with a wealth of achievements and skills to show for it. Many of these skills developed through his 13 month internshipwith EDA Solutions.
One of these achievements was recognition as one of the 2018 Electronics Weekly BrightSparks engineers. Herman received this prestigious accolade for his excellent work supporting clients for EDA. He impressed the judges with how quickly he became independent, demonstrating various distinctive attributes from an early stage. He often balanced work across various international time zones and sought out domain experts that would have otherwise not been spoken to.
Herman now works as a CMOS Image Sensor design engineer designing advanced CMOS Image Sensors (CIS) in STFC’s Technology CMOS Sensor Design Group. The image sensors designed here go out to be used in highly specialised scientific and commercial applications.
Herman utilises his interests and academic training to complete tasks to the highest standard driven. He relishes the challenge of technical problems and get’s a real buzz from being part of technological advancement. He continues to share this passion to help young people into engineering through being part of UKESF.
Henry Frankland – UKESF Scholar 2016
First up is Henry who studied at Cardiff University. Finding out about the UKESF scholarship scheme from a university lecturer, UKESF gave him access to a host of internship opportunities.
Henry’s favourite part about his internship was the breadth of work, there was never a dull moment as an intern at EDA, and there’s no hiding in a company EDA’s size.
Henry enjoyed being able to develop process design kits and having the chance to travel with work around Europe to places like Budapest.
After graduating with a first class degree, 5 years on Henry continues to work for his sponsor company. Starting off as a support engineer Henry has developed into a fully-fledged applications engineer dedicating himself to the success of customers using tools from EDA.
“UKESF is a very valued organisation to EDA Solutions. For over seven years now, UKESF has helped find high quality, very capable young engineers for our internship program. With this article, I would like to applaud Stew Edmondson and his team at UKESF who are inspiring future generations of UK electronic engineers. Perhaps more importantly, I wish to recommend more UK based engineering businesses to add their support to UKESF.’”
Paul Double, Founder and CEO, EDA Solutions
We very much welcome the publication of the Government’s long-awaited National Semiconductor Strategy. Semiconductors are critical to the functioning of our modern world, and we wholeheartedly support their aspiration for the UK to have a thriving national industry. However, a chronic skills shortage threatens our industry’s ability to compete on a global stage.
At the UKESF we believe that the lack of a secure skills pipeline is a significant threat to achieving the Government’s semiconductor ambition. Demand for graduate engineers to help companies drive forward semiconductor innovation is high and vastly outstrips supply. The only viable and sustainable way for our industry, in particular chip design, to grow is to increase the number of UK students studying Electronics at degree level. We simply need more ‘home grown’ talent.
To make this happen we need to start with schools. We need to raise awareness and increase knowledge and interest in electronics and semiconductors at secondary schools. Our programme of ‘hands on’ projects and activities shows that this is possible; however, to have more impact we need to replicate this intervention at scale. We therefore, call on Government to recognise that there needs to a greater focus on Electronics and semiconductors in secondary education and to invest in growing a national talent pool through UKESF’s proven activities.
Stew Edmondson, Chief Executive at UKESF
Find out more about our campaign here
Stew Edmondson, Chief Executive Officer at UKESF, introduces a new report, Future Engineering Skills in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, compiled following extensive industry consultation.
Our report concludes that the UK’s role in this vital multi-billion-pound global industry is being held back by a significant skills shortage.
AI systems will underpin important advances such as autonomous transportation, intelligent large-scale infrastructures and smart personalised healthcare. We are skills advocates on behalf of the UK’s semiconductor sector and our motivation for undertaking this research was to ensure the engineering and ‘systems’ aspects weren’t neglected in the ongoing discussion about AI skills.
We know that the UK Government has an aspiration to make Britain a global AI superpower. However, for the UK to grow and flourish as a centre of “AI systems” expertise, it is essential to ensure that the appropriate educational and training capabilities are in place.
“AI Systems” combine software with sophisticated electronics, pervasive connectivity, machines and physical infrastructure in order to sense, understand, act and, crucially, learn to do things better. Unfortunately, the engineering skillset for “AI Systems” is not really addressed by the Government in the current AI Strategy. As a result, employers in ‘deep tech’ have told us that they are concerned with the shortage of skills, particularly at the post-graduate level.
Therefore, there is a clear need for the UK Government to level focus on the broader AI engineering skillset required in the future, to ensure there are the AI systems graduates needed by the ‘deep tech’ sector.
“There is no doubt AI will influence engineering design and application and it is imperative that we train Engineers with deep knowledge of AI and we must take action now to ensure that future university engineering programmes and facilities provide the graduates and the expertise to lead the engineering design, management and training of the AI systems of the future.”
Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi CBE FREng, Vice Principal (Research & Innovation) at Kings’ College, London and UKESF Trustee
For the full report click here