Alumni return to Electronic and Electrical Engineering department to inspire future graduates

Department graduates now working at Siemens, Atkins and Sagentia Innovation joined us at the end of November for an inspiring presentation and networking event with current students

Alumni visit the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Photo taken at the end of the alumni visit day - left to right: Sean Garrahan, Thomas Searle, Rola Saad and Xiao Chen

On the 25th November the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department was honoured to receive presentations from three of our past alumni, two of whom graduated only six months ago!

Students from across all years were invited for a presentations and networking session in the Diamond, where alumni gave inspiring talks about their time at Sheffield and everything they’ve been up to since. Alumni who spoke on the day were:

  • Samuel Maxwell – MEng Electronic Engineering Degree (class of 2021) - now works at Siemens as a Digitalisation Engineer
  • Sean Garrahan – MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering with a Year in Industry (class of 2022) - studied Graduate Electrical Engineer at Atkins, where he designs electrical, instrumentation, control and automation systems in the water infrastructure sector
  • Thomas Searle – MEng Electronic Engineering with a Year in Industry (class of 2022) – now works as a Systems Engineer at Sagentia Innovation, where he provides product development services focused on science and technology initiatives

Alumni gave some great insight into their current careers, and what inspired them to pursue their current areas of interest. When Mr Garrahan, who joined us from Atkins, was asked about his reasons for going into the water infrastructure sector, he said:

Water is a key piece of infrastructure – everybody needs it – so it’s a career that will always be needed. Currently it’s all about the importance of looking at how to reduce the carbon footprint of the current systems we have – so it’s a really interesting space to work in at the moment.

Mr. Sean Garrahan

Graduate Electrical Engineer at Atkins, Alumni MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering with a Year in Industry (class of 2022)

Alumni Thomas Searle from Sagentia Innovation presents at the EEE alumni visit day
Thomas Searle presents to student attendees about his role at Sagentia Innovation, as well as offering words of wisdom from his time at Sheffield

Thomas Searle, pictured above, may be a familiar face to those with an eye on our online content, as he previously starred in a university day in the life. When asked about whether he’s been skating recently, Thomas mentioned that he’s not been able to recently due to an injury, but is definitely planning on getting back onto the board soon! Check out the video:

While at university, one of the key skills I learnt was how to digest information – in electronics design you’re doing a lot of reading data sheets and looking at different components and products. I think having to learn new techniques and apply formulas is something I still use every day at work.

Mr. Thomas Searle

Systems Engineer at Sagentia Innovation, Alumni MEng Electronic Engineering with a Year in Industry (class of 2022) 

Dr. Rola Saad, who organised the event, said "It was a pleasure to welcome our Alumni back to the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department, at the University of Sheffield. Most importantly it was impressive to see what they have already achieved within a short period of time post graduation. Sean, Samuel and Thomas were a source of inspiration and have provided an excellent example to our current students who were thoroughly engaged during the day, which was great. We are very proud of them, and looking forward to welcoming them back again to EEE."

Sean and Thomas, who joined us in person, also kindly took part in a filmed Q&A session – the videos from which will be available in the new year for all those students who were not able to join us on the day.

After the event concluded, academics from across the department provided a tour of the facilities currently used by staff and students within Electronic and Electrical Engineering. This was simultaneously a trip down memory lane for the alumni, having graduated so recently, but also an exciting opportunity to see those parts of the department used by those on PGT and PGR courses and by researchers, which they might not have interacted with when on their undergraduate degrees.

The department is excited to host similar events in the future, and welcomes any of our alumni, whenever you graduated, to get in touch if you might like to visit us, and help inspire the electronic and electrical engineers of the future.

Visiting alumni to EEE Department receive tour for facilities used by EMD group
Alumni Tom and Sean are shown around the labs they won't have seen during their degrees by Professor Xiao Chen

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