The University of Southampton

Electronic Engineering student's leadership potential recognised in Royal Academy of Engineering scholarship

Published: 31 May 2018
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Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) student Matt Price has been awarded an Engineering Leaders Scholarship from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

The programme helps ambitious and inspiring undergraduates accelerate their personal development and become role models for the next generation of engineers. Southampton Civil Engineering student Thomas Edwards was also a successful in the latest scholarship cohort.

Second year MEng Electronic Engineering student Matt has demonstrated much leadership potential in his youth, including having become the youngest ever team manager in the international World Solar Challenge in 2015, been Head Boy and recently elected Vice President of the University Football Club.

He plans to use the RAEng funding to undertake leadership training and gain global technological experience over the next three years and take a sample of his solar challenge technology back into schools.

“I hope this scholarship will help me develop the qualities of a good leader while inspiring others to get into engineering,” Matt says. “In particular, I want to develop the emotional intelligence and strong communication skills that are important for getting the best out of brilliant minds in a team. I’m thankful to the RAEng for selecting me from a very competitive process.”

Matt was awarded an Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) scholarship in his first year and serves in the committee for a Southampton IET on Campus group.

In 2015, he competed with Ardingly College in the World Solar Challenge, a 3,000km journey from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia using a self-constructed solar-powered vehicle. Matt led a team of 40 students in his final year and piloted the car to sixth place in the Cruiser Class race, finishing ahead of universities from Singapore and Iran.

“I have been interested in engineering for some time and was drawn to the University of Southampton because of the amount of practical work there is during the course here,” he adds. “I’m also really interested in the University’s reputation in the field of photonics and that’s something I want to take advantage of more moving forward.”

As part of his MEng Electronic Engineering course, Matt has taken part in a group design module developing problem-solving and team-working skills. “We were challenged to create a connected device for Internet-of-Things and smart homes,” he explains. “We came up with the idea for a smart plant pot and garden assistant called BioBloom that would measure the temperature, humidity and soil moisture of indoors plants.

“Users could remotely view the data and there was a connected water reservoir that would automatically water the plants as needed, alongside other environment control features. This was a fun and interesting project to design and build something which could potentially be a real product. I am always fascinated and inspired by innovation, within the ever-evolving field of electronic engineering.”

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