Surrey students win UKESF scholarships
Six Electronic Engineering students have won a prestigious UK Electronics Skills Foundation (ESF) scholarship this year, each gaining placement opportunities at a leading electronics company, a cash bursary and an opportunity to attend an industry-led summer school.
The UKESF gives high-achieving electronic engineering students at partner universities the opportunity to connect with a leading employer in the electronics sector. This year, Surrey undergraduates Lauren Page, Marek Hubbell and Alex Young have each won scholarships with Renesas Electronics Europe, Matt Creighton with Cambridge Consultants, Samuel Penhallow with Imagination Technologies and Mary Bennett with Embecosm.
“The ESF scholarship is a great confidence boost – a bit of outside confirmation that you’re on the right track, and a bit of outside investment in your career and your future.” - Lauren Page
As well as winning an annual bursary of £1,000, the students will have the opportunity for a paid placement with their partner company, and attend a special workshop for UKESF scholars in September. They will also have access to networking, mentoring and outreach opportunities.
For many students, the opportunity to connect with a company in their area of interest is the most valuable part of the scholarship.
Matt Creighton comments: “Cambridge Consultants is an exciting company developing innovative products based on engineering. I’ll be working on digital signal processing, getting hands-on experience in an area of coding I find particularly interesting.”
Samuel Penhallow adds: “At Imagination Technologies I’ll be learning about VHDL and other hardware languages, which will be really beneficial during my third year.”
Another key benefit of the UKESF scholarship is the support the organisation gives to students interested in outreach opportunities, which includes enabling a number of scholars to attend the annual Women in Engineering Society conference.
Lauren Page explains: “I already do some outreach work at Surrey and am working to set up a Women in Engineering Society, so this is an important factor for me. Being part of a larger organisation gives you opportunities which are difficult to access on your own.”
She adds: “The ESF scholarship is a great confidence boost – a bit of outside confirmation that you’re on the right track, and a bit of outside investment in your career and your future.”
Dr David Carey, Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Surrey, comments: “Surrey has been a member of UKESF from its inception and we have always encouraged our students to engage with industry right from the very start of their studies. Gaining industry experience via a UKESF scholarship or through our year-long Professional Training Year scheme enhances both their degree and career prospects.”
The ESF scholarship scheme is open to first year students who have gained three A grades in their A levels, or second year students who are working at a 2.1 or above. The UKESF aims to encourage young people to study electronics and pursue careers in the sector, and also to connect the most capable electronics students at top UK universities with leading employers.