The University of Southampton

Southampton BrightSparks listed among UK's most talented young electronics engineers

Published: 29 June 2020
Olivia Ojuroye completed her Southampton PhD in flexible electronics in 2019

Four electronics students and graduates from the University of Southampton have been named among the industry's best young engineers in the BrightSparks 2020 awards.

Yanislav Donchev, James Imber, Olivia Ojuroye and Tyler Ward have all been selected by the Electronics Weekly programme, which highlights the brightest and most talented electronics engineers between the ages of 18 and 30.

Former Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) students James, Olivia and Tyler are making an impact in semiconductor and software design, wearable technology and 3D audio sectors, while Yanislav continues his Southampton education with an MSc Artificial Intelligence degree.

Professor Geoff Merrett, Director of Outreach and Recruitment at ECS, says: "It's great to see so many ECS students and alumni being recognised yet again in these awards, from those still studying to those who graduated nearly a decade ago. Many congratulations to all of them, and we look forward to seeing how their careers continue to develop in the future."

James Imber graduated from Southampton in 2012 and has been recognised for his contribution to 20 patent applications and collaborative STEM outreach during his time as a Senior Research Engineer at Imagination Technologies.

Olivia Ojuroye is a Product Specialist at The Wearable Tech Hub. She developed commercially viable yarn-based e-textiles during her PhD at Southampton and enhanced an AI algorithm's data insights on an EU-funded audiovisual database project.

Tyler Ward has been honoured for his work developing the interactive Erica the Rhino artwork during his PhD studies, which has been used to promote rhino conservation. Today, he is supporting University spin-out company AudioScenic as a Senior Engineer.

Yanislav Donchev claimed first prize in an inaugural Embedded Systems Competition with an innovative design for sensor-fitted drumsticks and foot pedals that he created during his Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree's individual project. He is also commended in the BrightSparks 2020 cohort for outreach activities inspiring the next generation of engineering students.

Yanislav and James are current and former UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) Scholars. The Scholarship programme, which boosts students' career prospects through an annual bursary, paid work placements and mentoring from a leading employer, selected a record number of Southampton students this summer.

Stewart Edmondson, UKESF CEO, says: "Once again, it is fantastic to see the number of BrightSparks winners who have studied at Southampton and been part of our Scholarship Scheme. It is great that they have gone on achieve national recognition through this prestigious award. We should use their success to inspire more youngsters to study electronics and to pursue careers in the sector."

Electronics Weekly's BrightSparks 2020 awards is run in partnership with RS Components and aims to inspire other newcomers to the sector or those interested in a career in electronics. Four past and present ECS students were also honoured in the 2019 BrightSparks cohort, with all having benefited from the UKSEF Scholarship programme.

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