Published: 16 October 2015

Innovation in the University Makerspace

Phil Handley talks about the impact generous donations have had on the Electronics and Amateur Radio Society at Surrey.

"One of the best things about studying at Surrey is the opportunity we have to get hands-on technical experience and feedback.

"I’ve had a life-long interest in technology and my dream is to work in the space industry, a fast growing field in the UK that Surrey has fantastic connections with.

"Generous donations have allowed the Electronics and Amateur Radio Society (EARS) to kit out the first University makerspace in the UK, a community-operated work area that allows students to collaborate on personal projects.

"Makerspaces are volunteer-led organisations that offer workshop and studio space to people who are passionate about building new things.

"The great thing about makerspaces is that they not only let students explore and innovate, but can be the seed for business ideas and technology start-ups.

"At the moment there are plans for building up the community so students share their skills by teaching each other.

"My degree gives me exposure to so many new technologies and techniques, but there is no replacement for having the space to experiment and test drive new ideas.

"Having this technical experience has already helped me secure internships and a placement at Surrey Satellite Technology.

"All the graduates in this field have a first or a 2:1 degree, so you really need to get involved in the extra-currilcular activities to set yourself apart.

"Sometimes you see people who excel in the theoretical aspects of their degree but flounder in the lab – which is why having a space like this is really important, so they can practice the skills they need for serious employment in a technical role after graduation."

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