Dr Margaret Harris, Editor of Physics World, shared a great slide recently.
Two contrasting examples of work experience to share:
Phoebe O’Carroll-Moran is a 2nd year Mathematical Physics student. This summer she is using & developing her research skills within the Careers Service on two internal pieces of research:
- researching all the sectors that make up the Edinburgh City Deal and its data-driven innovation focus
- researching sport and physical activity opportunities in a collaboration with the link careers consultant for Moray House (& its sports and exercise degree programmes)
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.
Alison Parkinson, Employer Engagement Adviser, and Susan Bird, Careers Consultant, share some useful insights from the recent National Student Space Conference.
The conference was organised by UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS), the UK’s national student space society and was hosted by the Physics and Astronomy society at the University of Edinburgh. The two-day conference brought together students, employers and speakers from a range of space-related fields.
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…
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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!
We know the transition from being a student to life beyond university has its challenges and we’re here to support you with that.
Did you know the Careers Service will support you for up to two years after graduation? If you haven’t used the service before, after your exams are done – come and see us.
We are running our graduate campaign ” Get on Board 2019″ over the summer. More details here.
There are also some interesting graduate internships (up to 12 months) on MyCareerHub including:
- Probe Physicist with Novosound
- Widening Participation Intern and Undergraduate Recruitment Intern, both within the Student Recruitment and Admissions team (SRA) at the University of Edinburgh
- Web Developers with SuperBath in Germany
- Good Food Nation Campaign Intern with the Scottish Food Coalition
- Software engineer (digital healthtech) with Hearing Diagnostics
- and graduate internships through Skills Development Scotland
Come to our Graduate Jobs Fair on 27th May from 2.30pm at McEwan Hall. More information here.
The recent black hole image, captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) – a network of eight linked telescopes – was rendered by Dr Bouman’s algorithm. Good article by Katy Steinmetz in Time Magazine online:
Though her work developing algorithms was a crucial to the project, Bouman sees her real contribution as bringing a way of thinking to the table. “What I did was brought the culture of testing ourselves,” she says. The project combined experts from all sorts of scientific backgrounds, ranging from physicists to mathematicians, and she saw the work through the lens of computer science, stressing the importance of running tests on synthetic data and making sure that the methods they used to make the image kept human bias out of the equation.
Bouman says that most of the time she’s not focused on the fact that she’s in a field where women are the minority. “But I do sometimes think about it. How do we get more women involved?” she says. “One key is showing that when you go into fields like computer science and engineering, it’s not just sitting in a lab putting together a circuit or typing on your computer.”
She plans to continue work with the Event Horizon Telescope team, which is adding satellite dishes in space to the network of telescopes here on Earth that were used to produce the image released on Wednesday. With the increased perspective and power, she says, they just might be able to make movies of black holes in addition to still images.
“It’s exciting,” she says. And that’s also her message for the next generation who might consider careers like hers. “As long as you’re excited and you’re motivated to work on it, then you should never feel like you can’t do it.”
Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
Lockheed Martin UK has its HQ in London and 16 key sites across the UK from Cornwall to Glasgow. Working across Aeronautics, Missiles & Fire Control, Rotary and Mission Systems and Space (including partnerships in global communications, weather forecasting, space exploration and national security).
I met some of their staff recently at the recent UKSEDS Student Space Conference, including a recent astrophysics graduate. Their space division builds the satellites and spacecraft that do amazing things in space for government and commercial customers e.g. Lockheed Martin-built satellites give earlier warning of severe weather, connect troops on the battlefield, and deliver GPS directions to a billion people worldwide.
They recruit physics and astronomy students and graduates for summer internships and graduate positions. LM UK has a graduate programme and their are opportunities globally too
To find out more visit Lockheed Martin
Thanks to my colleague Deborah Fowlis for this great introduction to KTPs
If you’d like to work for a local company and manage your own projects while earning a competitive graduate salary, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) may be for you.
What are Knowledge Transfer Partnerships?
The KTP scheme is one of the UKs largest graduate employment programmes and one of the longest running. It helps business to innovate and grow by providing three-way collaboration between universities, organisations and graduates.
Businesses link up with an academic or research institution, which then help to recruit a suitably qualified graduate, known as a KTP Associate. Employed by the university, the associate then works for the company on strategic projects, helping to improve business performance and increase productivity. As a KTP associate, the type of work you carry out depends on your qualifications and the company that you work for, but as an example, KTP projects could include:
- reorganising production facilities
- introducing new technologies to an organisation
- designing new or improved products, processes or services
- developing new business strategies and breaking into new markets.
With over 300 job opportunities available every year, the scheme can take from 12 months to three years to complete. Upon completion, around 70% of employers offer associates a full-time job, usually in a management role.
What sectors can I work in?
KTPs are primarily aimed at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) but companies of all sizes, including not-for-profit organisations in a variety of industries can take part in the programme. You could work a wide range of industries, those particularly of interest to physicists and astronomers are:
- engineering and manufacturing
- science and pharmaceuticals
- environment and agriculture
- energy and utilities
- business, consulting and management
What are the benefits of a KTP?
- experience of managing a challenging, real-life project of vital importance to a business
- opportunities to gain professional qualifications – often business related
- a competitive graduate salary, usually in region of £25,000 to £35,000.
- the possibility of full-time employment at the end of the project
- access to a budget of £2,000 per year for training, £2,250 for travel and a further £1,500 for necessary equipment.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the KTP scheme graduates need a 2:1 Bachelors degree in a relevant subject or a Masters or PhD. You’ll also need the right to work in the UK.
To find vacancies online head to Innovate UK. Here you’ll be able to register your interest in the programme, create a profile so recruiters can find you and search current vacancies.
M3 Consulting will be hosting open days next week in Edinburgh and Glasgow. These are targeted at STEM students, including physics & astronomy students and are quite tech specific. They will also be advertising their internship and graduate opportunities.
They have quite a range of graduate opportunities, including software development in the aviation sector if you have:
- Knowledge of a programming language like Java, C++, C# or Python
- Excellent analytical and numeracy skills
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
Here is a chance to challenge your thinking on what a career in tech looks like. It is an easy way to get to a range of organisations offering work experience and graduate roles related to tech. There will be Over 50 employers with internships and graduate opportunities and some interesting talks including:
How is tech changing roles across industries? – Speakers will share fantastic examples of how tech is changing industries you might not traditionally think of as tech – agriculture, energy and medicine.
Open to students from all year groups – around half of the 50 + organisations attending will be recruiting students from any discipline, so don’t rule yourself out. They want physics & astronomy students!
It doesn’t matter what stage you are at in your course or in planning your career, you can come along to this fair and find out about options for your future. Find out more here