On 3rd July 2017 the UKESF held a Celebration Event at The IET, Savoy Place, to mark five years since the graduation of the first cohort of scholars. The Scholarship Scheme has grown considerably in this time and there are now more than 300 students, 18 universities and 40 companies involved.
Warren East CBE, Rolls-Royce CEOThe event brought together a number of UKESF scholars and stakeholders, along with industry influencers and the finalists of the RF Engineering & Communications Competition.
The afternoon began with an introduction from Stewart Edmondson, UKESF CEO, and included presentations from Indro Mukerjee, UKESF Founding Chairman, and Merv Haynes from Leonardo. Joining them were UKESF university partners Joyce Lewis from Southampton, Kevin Morris from Bristol, Steve Watts from Cardiff and Geoff Merrett from Southampton, in addition to two of the first scholars, Fergus MacGarry and Tom Dell. The UKESF were also delighted to welcome leading industrialist Warren East CBE, CEO of Rolls-Royce, as the keynote guest speaker.
The announcement of the inaugural RF Engineering & Communications Competition winner was made by Trevor Gill and Don Beattie from the Radio Communications Foundation (RCF). The overall winner was Mihnea Trifan, who studies at the University of Sheffield and completed a FSS Antenna project, and the runners up were Samantha Heyes (Loughborough University), who produced her entry on Recognising People Using Smart Phone Antennas, and Robert Astill (University of Bath), with his Miniature Wireless Channel Sounder for UAVs project. They were all applauded for their work and received certificates and prizes of £1000 and £500 respectively.
James E. Green, lecturer at the University of Sheffield, said, “The University of Sheffield is proud of the hard work and achievement of our students both when they are with us and after they graduate. We believe the quality of a Sheffield education can be measured by the success of our graduates and of the companies who employ them.
“We fully support and contribute to the UKESF, an excellent scheme which helps prepare students for careers in the engineering profession in ways that would be much less accessible if a purely academic approach to engineering was taken. The UKESF acts to foster collaboration between academia and the engineering industry. We believe students taking UKESF placements and then graduating are much more likely to remain in the engineering profession long term, which is highly desirable and a credit to the scheme.”
He also congratulated the runners up in the competition, “Many congratulations on your success today, well done!”
At the networking drinks reception following the event, Mihnea, the RF competition overall winner, commented, “I really enjoyed the day. For me it wasn’t only the outcome of the day (which was fantastic!) but also the whole networking experience that put me in contact with amazing engineers from the industry. The keynote speaker and other guests offered highly professional presentations which gave me insight into their day job and an overview of the companies which they are currently working for. The overall experience was memorable and is something which I hope to repeat in the future.”
Stew Edmondson, UKESF CEO, said, “I am delighted with how the celebration event ran and have received some encouraging messages of thanks and congratulations, with the overall view that there was just the right balance of content and information. We are now looking forward to taking the UKESF on its next journey – see you at the tenth anniversary celebration!”
The UKESF also produced a booklet that was launched at the event, looking back on the Scholarship Scheme to see how it has evolved and celebrate the achievements of the scholars who have graduated so far. The booklet is available for download here.