The University of Southampton

Outstanding electronic engineering student acclaimed as UK Scholar of the Year

Published: 11 February 2021
Emily Wayland is the UKESF Scholar of the Year.

University of Southampton student Emily Wayland has been named the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) Scholar of the Year.

The MEng Electronic Engineering student, whose scholarship is sponsored by Arm, is the seventh Southampton student to win the honour in the past 10 years.

Her Southampton peer Oana Lazar also received a special commendation for her outstanding entry, representing a first in the competition's history.

The Scholar of the Year Award, sponsored by IC Resources, recognises students that have made a significant contribution through a work placement and actively promoted the study of STEM subjects to young people.

Emily says: "I feel so honoured to be selected as 2020’s UKESF Scholar of the Year, particularly out of so many other inspiring students that I have met during my time at university and as a scholar.

"I chose to study electronics because I was fascinated with technology and I wanted to learn more about how things work. I am so grateful that I have been able to share my passion for electronics with school students and to inspire the next generation of engineers, particularly girls who are interested in STEM."

UKESF Scholarships boost students' career prospects through an annual bursary, paid work placements and mentoring from a leading employer in the electronics sector. Scholarships were awarded to 21 Southampton students in 2020, representing over a third of all those granted to the 22 universities in the scheme.

Emily adds: "As one of the many opportunities provided by the UKESF, I attended the WES Student Conference this year, to learn from inspiring women in the technology industry what I could achieve with hard work. I would really like to thank my sponsoring company, Arm, who went above and beyond to give me the best summer internship experience possible, in a rather difficult year.

"I feel so proud to be recognised not only for my academic achievements, but also for my contributions to my university community and to the promotion of electronics, both of which have been such an important part of my four years at university. I never expected to win this award, but it has been such a boost to my confidence and will really help to kickstart my professional career."

Oana Lazar is studying Electronic Engineering with Industrial Studies at Southampton and was named the runner-up of the UKESF 2020 Automotive Electronics Competition late last year with a thought-provoking take on the future of driverless vehicles.

She says: "In the past two years as a Scholar, the UKESF has taught me that becoming an engineer is about much more than knowledge and good grades, setting me on a path to joining a far greater community of people who are, in the most literal of terms, changing the world. My summer internship with UltraSoC provided me with a taste of being a ‘real’ engineer, and my 12-month placement is helping me continue on this incredible journey.

"I am extremely grateful to the UKESF for providing me with the opportunities, connections, and confidence to develop myself as a student, engineer, and a member of the community, and I am truly honoured to receive the judges’ first ever High Commendation for the UKESF’s Scholar of the Year award, in 2020."

Professor Geoff Merrett, ECS Director of Outreach and Recruitment, says: "Many congratulations to Emily and Oana on their successes, which are very well deserved. I’m delighted that this continues a long list of successes for Southampton in the Award's history."

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