The University of Southampton

Electronic engineering scholars celebrated as BrightSparks 2019 winners

Published: 25 June 2019
Image credit: Sue Foll, Electronics Weekly

Four past and present students from the University of Southampton have been named among the most talented young electronic engineers in the country in the BrightSparks 2019 awards.

Emma Curati-Alasonatti, Nathan Ruttley, Louisa Smith and Ricki Tura were honoured in Electronics Weekly’s (EW) 2019 cohort in a ceremony at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Maxwell Library in London.

The students are all present of former UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) scholars through a scheme available to Southampton undergraduates as a partnered university.

Stewart Edmondson, UKESF CEO, said: “We are delighted to congratulate the four scholars who made the list this year. This is a fantastic result; double the number selected in 2018. We are extremely proud of the quality and high calibre of the students that join our undergraduate Scholarship Scheme – one of the reasons the value of the scheme is increasingly recognised by companies right across the electronics sector – and it is heartening when they receive public recognition.”

Fourth year Electrical and Electronic Engineering student Ricki Tura was commended for creating a document generating tool that reduces the amount of errors in IP documentation plus his dedication to growing the popular Electronics and Computer Science Society (ECSS). The current UKESF scholar, sponsored by UltraSoc, was also recently named the UKESF Scholar of the Year at this winter’s TechWorks Awards.

Electronic Engineering graduate Emma Curati-Alasonatti, now at Arm, was recognised for a recent project focused on hardware vulnerabilities as well as her devotion to running after school code clubs for primary school children. The success comes just months after she also scooped a TechWorks Award, having been named Young Engineer of the Year.

Fellow Electronic Engineering graduates Nathan Ruttley and Louisa Smith were UKESF scholars from 2014 to 2016 and 2011 to 2014 respectively. Nathan, now of RPD International, was honoured for his leadership on a smart home radiator valve, while Robogals Southampton co-founder Louisa, now of Imagination Technologies, was celebrated for her work on a complex module that controls the scheduling and resourcing of a graphics processing unit.

Dr Geoff Merrett, Associate Professor at the University, said: “It’s great to see so many of our current and recent students recognised in this year’s awards, and this is a testament to their outstanding quality, drive and ambition. It’s heartening to see how their careers are developing, and their trajectories towards becoming the industry’s future leaders.”

The EW BrightSparks 2019 awards were presented by TV journalist Steph McGovern and included an inspirational address from Katie Cresswell-Maynard, Chief Executive of Engineers Without Borders, on how engineers can make a positive impact around the world.

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