The University of Southampton

Soumac recognizes top student talent at ECS

Published: 28 February 2014

Portsmouth-based PCB assembly, test and repair company, Soumac, have teamed up with the world-renowned Electronics and Computer Science department at the University of Southampton to launch the Soumac Award.

Open to all students, this annual prize is awarded for an outstanding student project that displays a passion and enthusiasm for the industry, an innovative use of technology to solve a problem and is commercially viable. This year’s inaugural winner is a low-cost atmospheric imaging and data collection device, designed and built by final-year student Jonathan Griffiths.

The quality of entrants to the first year of this competition was particulary high and Jonathan’s project was joined in a final shortlist of three, alongside a smart phone-operated electronic lock and small scale quadcopter platform for robotic swarm development.

Despite tough competition, Jonathan’s project, the development and build of a device to take temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure and GPS readings, alongside images, all in the confines of a ping pong ball, stood out. The device had even been tested, going up into the earth’s atmosphere attached to a weather balloon, which ended up in the Nevada desert, USA.

Alongside a cash prize and trophy, Jonathan got to showcase his project on the Soumac stand at the recent Southern Manufacturing Show in Farnborough.

Jonathan said of winning the award: "I feel privileged to have been awarded the 2014 Soumac Award. It was an honour to be given the opportunity to present my project at the 2014 Southern Manufacturing Show. It has given me an insight into the inner workings of the industry."

Soumac Managing Director, Mike Souter, said: “After interviewing the candidates and getting them to demonstrate their projects it was quite a difficult decision to decide on the winner. However, Jonathan’s project won our award by showing great innovation, overcoming a lot of technical problems and demonstrating his project worked.”

Of Soumac’s decision to launch the competition, Professor Neil White, Head of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton commented: "We are delighted that Soumac has awarded this new prize, which recognizes the quality and diversity of our students’ project work. Projects are a major part of our curriculum, giving the students a chance to use their skills and imagination in tackling real problems of the kind they will confront in industry."

Jonathan received his prize at the Southern Manufacturing Show at Farnborough and is photographed here with Soumac Director Steve Woods.

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