University: University of Southampton
Degree Course: MEng Electronic Engineering
Why I chose to study Electronics
Electronics always seemed a bit like magic to me. As a teenager, I always took it for granted that phones and computers and TVs just worked. What actually got me interested in how it really worked was, surprisingly, a video game; Minecraft. In it there is a game mechanic that is similar to how an electronic circuit works, and allows you to create almost anything using it. I had seen videos of the things other people could do and suddenly electronics didn’t seem so far away anymore, as there were these people doing unimaginable things with all the same tools that I had. As I learnt more and more, my interest in real world electronics also grew, and lead me down the path I’m on today.
Why I wanted a scholarship with STFC
STFC was a perfect fit for my interests, particularly digital electronics and IC design. Since the Microelectronics Support Centre runs training courses, it seemed like a perfect environment to grow my skills. Aside from this, upon visiting the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory site they are based at, it seemed like a great environment to work in.
The type of work I’ve been involved with during my placement
During my placement I worked on updating one of the training courses the MSC run from an older process technology (65nm) to a later one (14nm). This used a new design kit and the Cadence EDA tools, which I had not used before, and learning them as I worked was a valuable experience.
My personal interests
In my first year of University I took up fencing and really enjoyed it. Since then I grew an interest in studying historical weapons and the techniques they used in a HEMA club (Historical European Martial Arts).
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Ben is a Physical Design Engineer at Graphcore and in 2021 won the RAEng Young Engineer of the Year. Here he shares his journey so far, and tells us why he chose to pursue Electronic Engineering: