2021’s Scholar of the Year Oana Lazar exceeded expectations during her 12-month placement with Siemens and demonstrated exceptional academic performance, technical skills and advocacy for women in engineering throughout her time at the University of Southampton. Oana was Highly Commended for this Award in 2020 and named runner-up in our Automotive Electronics Competition the same year. She also received Southampton Hub’s first ever ‘Southampton Hub Values Award’, and has been put forward by Tessent’s VP of Engineering, and Siemens’ Senior Director of Portfolio Strategy, to represent Tessent for the Global Semiconductor Alliance‘s ‘Female Up and Comer Award’.

“The UKESF Scholarship Scheme has quite literally changed my entire life. It is therefore an absolute honour and a true pleasure to receive the 2021 UKESF Scholar of the Year Award.

“I would like to thank my fantastic sponsoring company, Tessent Embedded Analytics, part of Siemens (formerly UltraSoC), whose brilliant Engineers have given me the best possible introduction to the industry. Through my 12-month industrial placement as part of my Master’s at the University of Southampton, I have discovered the immense breadth of opportunities available to Electronics Engineers. By working as a member of Tessent Embedded Analytics’s Software Team, then Hardware Team and Applications Team, I have discovered my true calling as an Embedded Software Engineer. Tessent Embedded Analytics is a company I would love to work for after graduating.

“Although the industrial placement has provided the tools and experience to boost my confidence in my engineering abilities, I still have doubts like everyone else. If you are a student reading this, and especially a fellow female Engineer, you are far from alone in your struggles. You should be courageous, and have faith in yourself and in your abilities for having gotten you this far. I cannot think of a better way to secure your future than by applying to the UKESF Scholarship Scheme, and aiming for the UKESF Scholar of the Year Award.

“I would never have gotten this far without the immense guidance, support, and opportunities offered by the University of Southampton. Having never held a breadboard before I began University, Southampton has taught me everything I know about Electronics, and encouraged me to apply to the Scheme.

“Southampton continues to inspire me, and inspires me to inspire others: during the pandemic I led an engineering outreach programme called ‘Invent Plus’, part of Southampton’s branch of Student Hubs, a national charity. We designed and sent 600 practical activity packs to 9 schools across the UK, introducing over 200 Year 9 schoolgirls to the wonders of electronics, and held virtual events to encourage more girls into STEM.

“There could not be a better time to get involved with the Electronics industry than now, and there could not be a better way of doing so than through the UKESF. You never know which doors may open for you in the exciting, ever-changing, and revolutionary world of Electronics, taking the entire world in new directions.”