Staff and students from the Faculty of Science and Engineering gathered together recently for their annual celebration of year in industry (YINI) placement students.
The YINI awards, hosted online for the first time by the Careers and Employability team, celebrated the successes of students who have completed an industrial placement during the previous academic year.
Six students were shortlisted for an award and invited to deliver a five-minute presentation on their experiences during their year in industry placement. Following each presentation, students from the virtual audience had the chance to ask questions and pick up tips to help with their placement choices for next year.
In addition to the Student Placement Award, this year’s event introduced a new Unlock your Potential Student Placement Award, to recognise students who have overcome additional barriers to succeed during their placement.
The panel of judges included Professor Wiebe Van der Hoek (Executive PVC for Science and Engineering), Professor Liz Sheffield (APVC for Education, Science and Engineering), Professor Uta Klein (Academic Lead for Employability, Physics), Iwan Williams (Careers & Employability), and Dr Ewan Russell (Academic Lead for Employability, Maths).
All six finalists were exceptional, making the decision extremely difficult, but after careful deliberation the UP Student Placement Award was presented to Ian Simpson (MENG Mechanical Engineering) who completed his placement at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
Ian said: “The evening was a great event. It was an excellent opportunity to hear what other students, from all over the science and engineering departments, had been up too. It also allowed me to explain the experiences, I had gone through on my placement year and to top the evening off, I won an award! Big thanks to Dominique Mansley from the Careers & Employability team for organising such an enjoyable event.”
The Student Placement Award was presented to Thomas Kelly (MEng Mechanical Engineering) who completed his placement at Jaguar Land Rover.
Tom said: “The Year in Industry Awards is a great way to showcase what you have learnt on your placement and allow you to reflect on the skills you developed over your time away from the University. It is also a great opportunity to offer advice and inspiration to students applying for placements in the future.”
Other finalists included Lan Bell (MEng Aerospace Engineering), Harriet Townsend-Rose (BSc Chemistry), David Parrish (BSc Computer Science) and Suzy Hatton (BSc Chemistry) all of whom were very highly commended.
Professor Sheffield said about the awards: “Although a delightful choice to have, determining one winner for each award was a very difficult job, as all the finalists were so professional, poised and confident, whilst delivering their fascinating presentations. Seeing how they have grown as a result of their placement journey is truly inspiring. Hopefully our first and second-year students agree – and they can achieve similar heights I’m sure!”
Professor Van Der Hoek said “I was blown away by the presentations and advice of our students. The relationship between Careers and Employability and the Faculty of Science and Engineering has gone from strength to strength due to the collaboration amongst PS staff at academics. Our Year in Industry programme is something our faculty should be particularly proud of.”
Dr Matt Murphy, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Design said: “A university education shouldn’t only be about what our students learn, it should also be about the people they become and the things they become able to do. The work of our students presented tonight embodied this idea.”
A life-changing experience highly valued by employers
Completing an industrial placement (YINI) is a fantastic way of developing your skills and gaining invaluable real-world experience of a specific industry or sector. You’ll spend one academic year working for a company as a full-time, paid employee before returning to your studies. They are available across a broad range of job areas and employment sectors, including science, IT, engineering, and business.
Visit the Careers & Employability website for more information about finding a placement and the support available via the Career Studio for every stage of the recruitment process.