The University of Southampton

ECS students win Power Academy prizes

Published: 14 March 2014

Three students from Electronics and Computer Science were invited to attend the annual dinner for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), held this year at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

In an excellent result for ECS, Tom Smith, Dominic Bull and Robbie Nimmo won three of the four national prizes awarded for the IET Power Academy Essay Competition this year. The subject of the essay was the future of the UK energy network, and in addition to attending the dinner, held in London last month, the students have been invited to take part in the Third Annual Renewable Power Generation Conference in Naples, Italy, taking place in September.

Tom Smith graduates this year from the MEng course in Electronic Engineering with Power Systems, and Dominic Bull graduates from the MEng in Electrical Engineering. Robbie Nimmo is in the third year of the MEng in Electrical Engineering. All three have held IET Power Academy Scholarships, which provide financial bursaries, mentoring support from industry partners, and opportunities for summer work placements.

Tom commented: “The Power Academy has built my confidence as an engineer. There is so much more to the profession than just the technical stuff learnt at university. I learnt some key skills in project management and working with people that I have used in my degree course to great success, especially in group tasks. Working in industry puts our studies into context - no longer am I just learning control theory or thermodynamic cycles to pass an exam, I can see how these ideas are practically applied to solve real-world issues.”

“The IET Power Academy is a fantastic scheme that helps fast-track Southampton students into a successful career,” said Dr Chris Freeman, of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering research group in ECS. “It provides both financial support and valuable experience within the UK energy sector, with students receiving paid summer work placements, a bursary, a company mentor and fantastic networking opportunities. The Power Academy is perhaps the most generous and high profile sponsorship scheme available and I would urge every eligible student to apply!”

The Power Academy is a unique partnership between industry and academia, established to address the looming skills shortage in power engineering through a combination of financial support and workplace mentoring for students. You can find out more about the opportunities for scholarships and industrial engagement on their website.

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