UKESF-Headstart Summer School 2017
The UKESF-sponsored Summer School for 2017 took place 10–14 July at the University of Leeds, and was organised in partnership with Headstart EDT and the Department of Electronics at Leeds.
The course was designed to inspire the 80 final-year A-level students to pursue Electronics at university. The week-long residential course gave the attendees their first taste of university life and the opportunity to learn more about studying Electronics at degree level, with a variety of lectures, labs, visits and networking opportunities.
Since 2011, the UKESF has sponsored the annual summer school as part of the Engineering Development Trust’s (EDT) range of Headstart courses. Dr Des McLernon, who led the summer school, said, “These 80 young and aspiring engineering students got a chance to hear first-hand the ground-breaking work being undertaken by leading engineering academics and how it directly impacts society. What a refreshing contrast to the typical ill-thought media headline portrayal of ‘Engineers remove dead leaves from railway tracks’.”
Ten teams of eight competed in the Imagination Technologies design challenge to use electronic engineering to mitigate or solve social and health problems facing the world.
Stewart Edmondson, UKESF CEO, commented, “I must congratulate Leeds on being a great host for this year’s Summer School, they really went out of their way to provide an excellent experience for the all the sixth formers attending. As ever, it was fantastic to speak with these youngsters.” He continued, “These Year 12 students are our future and it was encouraging to see how motived, interested and eager to learn about Electronics they were. It was great that three of our UKESF scholars – Callum, Dan and Tim – were able to join me and to share their experiences and insights with the students. I would like to thank their sponsoring companies: Cambridge Consultants, Dialog and Plextek and also AWE and Frazer-Nash for their support.”
While at Leeds, the 80 participants enjoyed a range of activities, such as laboratory activities, design challenges and lectures from international researchers in the field, including the global technology leader Imagination Technologies. Titles included:
- Is the Mobile Phoned Finished?
- Life Saving Capsule Robots
- Smart Energy Systems Shaping Tomorrow’s World
- Big Data
- Social Networks and 5G
- The Science, Technology and Engineering of Terahertz Systems
- MEMS Biosensors and the Potential for Improving Healthcare
The success of the event was reflected in the enthusiasm of the students. One participant said, “I very much enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone thinking about studying Electronic Engineering.”
Another attendee added, “The lab session and lectures were not only extremely interesting but also fun and useful for sampling university life.”