"It was fantastic to see at first hand so many students enthused by and engaged with studying Electronics."

Stewart Edmondson

UKESF-Headstart Summer Schools 2015

Double Success for 2015’s UKESF-Headstart Summer Schools

A lab at the Summer School held in Edinburgh
A lab at the Summer School held in Edinburgh

This year UKESF sponsored not one but two Summer Schools in partnership with Headstart EDT, which took place at the University of Surrey from 6th to 10th July and the University of Edinburgh from the 12th to 16th. Each Summer School was attended by 35 to 40 students in Year 12/S5, all studying STEM-related subjects and considering taking their interest in electronics and electronic engineering to degree level.

Academics from the universities of Sheffield, Imperial College London, Cardiff, York and Manchester joined those at the University of Surrey to lead lectures and labs on topics as diverse as ‘The magic of microwaves’ and ‘Building an electronic choir’. Students also enjoyed a lab led by the host university in their Centre for Vision, Speech & Signal Processing, which included using computer vision to track movement, experimenting with sketch retrieval and research into reproduced sound quality.

Imagination Technologies provided a challenge project that students worked on over two evenings, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Thales UK each hosted the students for site visits. A talk and Q&A session with some sponsor companies’ graduate engineers included two former UKESF scholars, now employed at ARM and Imagination respectively, in addition to a speaker from AWE.

Contributors to the Summer School at the University of Edinburgh included academics from the universities of Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle, Southampton and Nottingham, with lectures ranging from ‘Biometrics: computers for automated identification’ to ‘How to create an invisibility cloak’. The hands-on labs included ‘Seeing with ultrasound: building an electronic sonar device’.

Students undertook a design challenge over two course evenings and enjoyed a site visit to Texas Instruments. Graduate engineers from sponsor companies ARM, Dialog Semiconductor and Thales provided a talk and Q&A session about their experiences, and the final night of the course offered a formal dinner with industry speaker.

UKESF CEO Stewart Edmondson said, “These Summer Schools are a really important part of the UKESF’s programme; it was fantastic to see at first hand so many students enthused by and engaged with studying Electronics. We really appreciate the support from the host universities and the all good will from everyone involved in making this year’s schools so successful.”

The UKESF-sponsored Headstart Summer Schools are five-day residential courses for Year 12/S5 students studying STEM-related subjects at school or college. They provide an opportunity for students to learn about degrees and careers available to them in electronics and electronic engineering, as well as taking part in practical sessions, networking with industry representatives and having a first taste of life at university. To find out more, click here.

Many thanks to Headstart EDT, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, UKESF’s university partners and UKESF’s 2015 Summer School sponsors: ARM, AWE, Broadcom Foundation, Dialog Semiconductor, Imagination Technologies, Infineon, Publitek and Thales.