Name: Max

Sponsor: Hanwha Phasor

What appeals to me about Electronics?

When I was at school, I won a British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) Gold and gained a place at the BPhO Oxford University Masterclass. One of the sessions was dedicated to thinking like an engineer. That flicked a switch in terms of wanting to apply my capability more broadly. That’s why I have really enjoyed the opportunity to apply Computing and Maths to the completely new and unexpected field of electronically steered phased array antenna for mobile satcom.

Why I chose Hanwha Phasor

Hanwha Phasor’s Head of HR is a neighbour and knows me as a ‘Mathsy’ guy. She suggested I might benefit from an internship for the summer in an organisation that really runs on maths and physics. She was right. Even though much of Hanwha Phasor’s work involves specialist RF electronics knowledge, I did discover a really good outlet for my maths (and computing).

My placement

I worked for the system design team, working to a stretch target. It was challenging, requiring a really good understanding of maths but with concepts that are quite specific to antennas and communications theory.

I was asked to undertake an essential exploration into the antenna’s key function – satellite beam scanning and how it should work. The algorithms I have simulated use a variety of searching techniques, referencing possible modulation schemes and various noise figures. I also simulated moving targets, when an array is pitching and rolling for a range of different beam scanning rates. This has given the team valuable insight into an important metric ─ the necessity for fast beam re-pointing rates.

My systems supervisor encouraged me to play around, try things, be creative. I was surprised at the amount of freedom I was given to devise solutions. At the same time, I wasn’t turned loose on a project without support. I felt the balance between independence and guidance when you needed it was just right. Additionally, the work I have been doing is of long-term, critical value and will live on in the product the company is launching in around 18 months.

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