It works for us!

a student working on a project

"Fresh pairs of eyes can work wonders in helping you look at problems in new and different ways. It´s well worth the effort of getting involved. It´s very low cost in terms of time – just the time spent on setting up the project to begin with and then turning up for the presentation at the end. I can honestly say that it is almost impossible to come away from the students´ presentations without having learned something new every time!" Simon Kingsley, Chief Scientist, Antenova Ltd.

Dan Lister of construction consultancy ARUP has seen both sides of the story – he worked on an industrial project when he himself was an engineering student at the University of Sheffield and now plays a leading role in putting together real life projects from his own company.

"We work with the University every year and find it absolutely worthwhile," he said. "For us, it gives us an excellent opportunity to promote the company – and particularly the electrical engineering wing – to a group of potential recruits.
"We´re a big international multi-disciplinary consultancy which takes on around 120 new graduates every year, so the opportunity to build our profile with them and give them the chance to find out more about us, the construction industry and what we do is a real boost.

"We tend to set the sort of projects that are useful for us but often an off-shoot of our core business, to give us an initial insight into the industry´s possible direction. Issues like future trends in the sector and how we can tackle the challenge of renewable energy, for example, are the kind of things we need to know about and ideal to develop projects around.

"Quite often we find that the students approach the projects with a perspective untainted by the construction industry, which can result in ideas that would otherwise not have been considered.

"For the students, the benefits of working on these real-life projects are significant. They get to see how a professional company works and how to tackle problems with real time and resource constraints. They also learn a lot about team working

"One of the reasons I´m so enthusiastic about this initiative is that it offered me the chance to consider different career directions. Originally, I started out learning how to design computer chips and then I got the chance to design buildings – the project opened myeyes to the potential careers out there and I´d like to think that by our involvement, we´re doing our bit to broaden the perspective of today´s students."

"A key benefit of working on these projects is that it keeps us in touch with the new generation of engineers and gives us a channel to keep in touch with interesting ideas and people. It´s also a chance to promote our company name around the University. The projects we´ve put forward have yielded some very good results." Dr Isaac Sewell, Inductelec