The University of Southampton

ECS students maintain outstanding record in UKESF Scholar of the Year final

Published: 18 November 2015

For the fifth year in succession – and since the competition began – ECS students will feature as finalists for the title ‘United Kingdom Electronic Skills Foundation Scholar of the Year’.

The two ECS students competing for the title this year are Josh Oldfield, final-year student on the MEng Electronic Engineering programme, and Dominic Maskell, who is in his third year of the same programme. The annual competition involves students from all the UK’s leading engineering departments, and the winner will be announced at the National Microelectronics Institute annual dinner in London on Thursday 19 November.

Josh has held a UKESF Scholarship since 2013 with ARM, and this summer completed a placement with the company as part of the programme, working with the Processor Implementation Department in Cambridge.

He is positive about the opportunities created by the UKESF programme. ‘The opportunity has really helped my development as an engineer,’ he said. ‘It gave me a chance to develop and test my skills in the engineering workplace, as well as developing my interpersonal skills, and helping the next generation of students start their engineering careers.’

Dominic spent his summer placement at Selex.

Five previous ECS students have been named as finalists for this prestigious title since it was instituted in 2011. In that year two ECS students were named as finalists, with the title won by Adam Malpass, with Tom Dell runner-up; in 2012 Samuel Hipkin was runner-up, and in 2013 the title was won by Ashley Robinson, who graduated from ECS in 2014. Josh appeared in last year’s final, the only student so far to have reached the finals twice.

‘We are very proud of our students’ achievements in UKESF,’ said Professor Nick Jennings, Head of ECS. ‘They have an excellent record in achieving Scholarships, with 66 applications made this year alone, and to have seven students reach the finals of Scholar of the Year is outstanding recognition of their ability to transfer their skills from the classroom to the industrial context.

‘As a department with close links to the UK electronics industry, we thoroughly support the aspirations of UKESF in highlighting the outstanding career opportunities that are open to electronic engineering graduates. We work closely with the leading companies in the UK and worldwide, and are extremely proud of the contribution that our graduates continue to make to the development of electronics.’

Over the summer of 2015 ECS spent over £5M in upgrading its teaching labs for Electronics and Electrical Engineering and for Computer Science. The new facilities now rank with the best in Europe.

UKESF is a collaboration between industry, universities and the public sector, which promotes the electronics industry and its value to society and the economy, and aims to secure a sustainable supply of quality and industry-prepared graduates. It offers a sector-specific programme for employers in the electronics sector to engage with young people at school and university through to graduate employment.

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