University: University of Southampton
Degree Course: MEng Electronic Engineering with Computer Systems
What appeals to me about Electronics
Before university, I was able to take GCSE and A-level Electronics. I thoroughly enjoyed the subject and I especially enjoyed the practical projects. The ability to take a problem and design creative solutions appealed to me greatly. One of my favourite examples of this was using the principle of heterodyning, which I learned from studying radio receivers, to make ultrasound produced by bats audible to humans. The fast-paced progress of electronics as well as its increasing use worldwide was also something that I wanted to be a part of.
Why I chose ITDev
ITDev has a wide range of experience in both software and hardware. This appealed to me because, while I was primarily interested in a software role, I was also interested in doing some work involving FPGAs and I was given the opportunity to do both of these during my placement. In addition, accepting a scholarship with ITDev also meant that I would have the opportunity to work on a large variety of projects in multiple different fields in the future. Some of the projects that they had previously worked on sounded fascinating to me, including their various intern projects.
My placement and its value
During my summer placement, I was initially working on a software application which could take a camera feed or a video recording of a person’s face and determine their vital signs, such as their heart rate. Although I had no familiarity with projects like this, I was able to make a number of contributions to the application. After a few weeks of working on the software, I was tasked with getting the program running on an all programmable SoC, a device which incorporates a processing system and an FPGA. The aim of this was to accelerate the application in hardware.
Over the course of this placement, I gained valuable experience in both software and hardware. My programming skills vastly improved and I was able to undertake some FPGA work for the first time. On top of this, I developed my soft skills by working in a team.
In my own time, I have been programming my own computer game. It is a 2D action-platformer coded in C++ which uses the Simple DirectMedia Layer library for rendering. Although I have been working on it for quite a long time, I hope to eventually release it online.
View other scholars profiles
“I was developing an existing verification system further for the machine learning developments added to Qualcomm’s proprietary processor"
“During my placement I joined the Silicon team, where I was working to improve the silicon design flow with respect to clock domain crossing.”
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: