Name: Holly

Sponsor: XMOS

University: University of Bristol

Degree Course: MEng Computer Science and Electronics with Study Abroad

What appeals to me about Electronics

Most people say they knew this is what they wanted to do since they were 2, but being completely honest falling in love with electronics was a complete accident for me. At 16 I knew I wanted to stay on at school, having always loved learning, and picked the three subjects I loved the most, Maths, Physics and Chemistry to study. I decided I wanted to use them to do something practical. That’s when I found electronics, a subject where I can explain the effects of electronic components with Physics and Maths, and design and build pretty much whatever I can imagine. It’s a perfect fit.

Why I chose XMOS

Reading the UKESF profile for XMOS I was immediately impressed with how many different areas they listed it was possible to work in. They also said that they get their interns involved in real projects; I wanted to get working on something practical outside of the lecture theatre. I was interested in how semiconductors work and enjoying my Computer Architecture module at the time. It’s been the best decision, XMOS is a start-up so everyone here is pushing to be as innovative as possible, and they’re all passionate about what they do.

My placement and its value

I’ve been involved in rtl design during my placement, this means I have been designing hardware circuits that could be used as part of a semiconductor design. I was given c functions that modelled behaviour you would want to replicate on chip, such as manipulating floating point numbers, and then designed equivalent circuits in System-Verilog, using boolean logic and multiplexers. They’ve helped me explore the design process, testing, synthing, and looking at timing. It’s been incredibly interesting and enjoyable, I’ve learnt a hardware description language, how to work with a wide range of different software tools, and my personal confidence in my abilities has increased immeasurably.

My interests

I love travelling, I’ve managed to fit in visiting Germany, Spain and Belgium this summer whilst completing my placement. I’m passionate about dance and music, I compete on a competitive Cheerleading squad at University, we placed 3rd at the Future Cheer University National’s this year. I’ve recently been elected as President of Bristol’s Women in Engineering Society, and hope to use the role to support female engineers studying at Bristol, and to encourage others to study engineering.

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