The University of Southampton

Alumni support aids ECS students as they embark on global adventures

Published: 11 July 2013

Undergraduate students in Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) are embarking on ambitious activities across the globe this summer with generous support from ECS alumni.

The donations from alumni to the ECS Head of School Fund are enabling students to follow their interests across a wide range of activities. Grants from the Fund were open to application from all undergraduate students, and were awarded on the criteria of activities that are charitable or educational, that advance personal development, or will be of value to ECS, the University and the broader community.

As a result of the funding support Electronic Engineering student Marc De Vos was able to attend the Smart Textiles Salon in Belgium to present the results of his third-year project: a novel prototype digital watch printed on fabric. Other students received funding to attend the IEEE Central Europe Student Branch Congress in Opole, Poland; the Internet Engineering Task Force in Berlin; and the Debian Conference at Vaumarcus, Switzerland.

Electrical Engineering students Charles Phillips and Jarrod Zancanella are currently in Cameroon working with the University’s Cameroon Catalyst project to provide sustainable solar power energy generation to relieve the remote village of Bambouti from the constant use of generators. Computer Science student Ruxandra Geana will be taking part in the Study China Programme and spending four weeks at the East China Normal University in Shanghai to absorb the culture and development of China.

A newly-formed group which brings together students from all the University’s Engineering departments received start-up funding. The Southampton Projects Group is a new society which aims to take forward to completion projects that have been developed in the academic programme but which require funding and collaborative approaches to ensure their realization.

StartUp Weekends are a major element in this year’s funding requests. The events have been very popular in ECS since they first took place two years ago. Alejandro Saucedo, second-year Computer Science student received funding for a very successful event held in ECS in May, and over the summer ECS students are taking StartUp Weekends to their home countries. Izidor Flajsman organized a lively sell-out event in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Vlad Velici will be running a StartUp Weekend in Timisoara, Romania, at the end of August. Robin Johnson received support to help him take part in the SUSU Theatre Group production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, ‘Hanging Bruce-Howard’, and Luke O’Brien, who was one of the founders of the very popular online student newspaper, The Soton Tab, received funding for further development of the Tab by the DevECS team.

Funding for summer internships was also provided for students to take part in the GlacsWeb project which is investigating the effects of climate change on glaciers using pervasive sensing, and to provide development work for next year’s round of Student Robotics, the ECS-led group which organizes a six-month robotics challenge for sixth-form schools and colleges.

Professor Neil White, Head of ECS, commented: “These are fantastic opportunities for our students, and I wish them the best of luck with their different endeavours. We are grateful to ECS alumni for enabling our students to pursue these challenges. In their grant applications our students stressed that financial support of this kind was fundamental to their ability to undertake these ambitious and often life-changing activities."

For further information on this story contact: Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.

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