This was a great student-led event with opportunities for students and graduates. One of the UoE student hosts was Lewis Lappin who has just started an internship through the SPiN placements scheme. He is working this summer as a robotic systems engineer with GMV.
2019 National Student Space Conference: attendees, exhibitors, staff and some of the speakers. Image credit: UKSEDS
The UK Space sector
The UK space industry is seeing very ambitious growth. There are currently 130 organisations (companies, research organisations) in the UK space sector. This is an increase of 27% in the last two years and amounts to 9% of all UK employers.
The industry is essentially split into two segments: upstream and downstream. Upstream focuses on sending objects into…
Thanks to Jennifer Edwards from Lockheed Martin for her guest blogpost. It’s good to get an insight into where physics & astronomy can take you and how the knowledge and skills you develop can be applied.
I graduated from the University of Southampton in the summer of 2018 with a Masters Degree in Physics with Astronomy. When I began my degree, I was unsure as to what career path I hoped to end up on, but explored by doing two summer placements as an engineer during my studies.
The first was for Archangel Aerospace Ltd. as a Systems Integration Engineer working on UAV design, and the second working for Rolls-Royce as a Development Engineer. I found that I really enjoyed applying the Physics ‘textbook knowledge’ I had learnt, and that the critical thinking and analysis skills I had learnt on my degree benefited me hugely in my work.
Lockheed Martin UK’s graduate scheme provides the opportunity to partake in four placements over a two-year period. Initially, I was concerned that going into an engineering company without having an engineering degree would hinder me or that I would find myself behind the other graduates, but that was not the case. As well as building technical skills and knowledge from across the company, the scheme provides the opportunity to develop skills such as management skills, application of the engineering life-cycle, and teamwork and communication skills.
I started the graduate scheme in September 2018 as a Systems Engineer – an interdisciplinary field of engineering that primarily focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycle. My first placement involved modelling and simulation of re-entry vehicles, achieved by running bespoke prediction codes and statistical analyses. My Physics degree provided me with a good background level of knowledge of key physical phenomenon and some coding skills, however it was the ability to grasp new information quickly that was the most significant advantage.
I am currently working on operational analysis on a research and development project, for which I am relying heavily on my background physics knowledge, including optics and thermodynamics. As well as this, many of the key ‘soft’ skills I learnt during University are used daily, such as independent learning, time management and communication skills. I would recommend looking into engineering for any physicists who are interested in applying their scientific knowledge to real-life problems, enjoy working in a team and have a desire to learn and develop new skills.
Jennifer also told me:
I hope this gets people thinking about career options in engineering as there’s a big UK shortage!
The Space Placements in INdustry scheme (SPIN) provides an introductory link for those considering employment(and wanting to build experience) in the space sector with space sector organisations looking to find the most talented and enthusiastic people to ensure the future. It’s managed by the UK Space Agency and supported by the Satellite Applications Catapult. They offer paid summer internships with lots of benefits. Kathie Bowden from the UK Space Agency says:
“Please spread the word to your students there are some great opportunities now – and more to come – in the next few weeks.”
The School of Physics & Astronomy is running its Career Development Summer Scholarships programme again. Details here
There are a numbers of funded industry and academic projects available to students in years 3 and 4.
Closing date is March 4th. There is some great feedback from students who did projects last year including:
“After the 6 week placement, I was kept on as an employee. During my time at Bright Ascension, I learned a lot about programming, intellectual property, starting a business and different business models, methods of workplace motivation, workplace responsibilities, the space industry, professional report writing, giving presentations, communicating with investors, and much more.”
“I found the experience (at the Institute for Astronomy) really rewarding as it allowed me to work with new people and improve my programming skills. It was good to do something completely different from what we do at university and to work on unsolved problems.”
Planning to apply for an Employ.ed on Campus Internship for this summer? Open to 2nd year to penultimate year students, you will find these on MyCareerHub
There are 57 great, paid, on-campus opportunities available across a range of university departments and units including:
Start-up Accelerator and Data Intern (Edinburgh Innovations)
Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas Intern (IAD)
other include projects in virtual learning, equality & diversity, comms and marketing and several within the School of Physics & Astronomy:
Research Computing Internship (Codes, Data Techniques and Skills)
Open Source Web Development Community Champion
Event Coordinator and Marketing Intern
Keen? Applications close on 20 Feb so get our expert tips on putting together an effective application. Find out how to match your experience to the job, what recruiters will be looking for, and the little things that make a big difference.
Online session Tue 12 Feb 2019, 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM. Connect through MyCareerHub