You're hired! Engineering students shine in the boardroom

More than 900 talented engineering students from the University of Sheffield have been showcasing innovative problem-solving ideas which they hope will transform the industrial world.

Engineering - You're Hired

The second year students presented their pitch perfect skills to a panel of leading industry experts during Engineering – You're Hired! This unique week-long event is designed to help students obtain skills to make them highly employable engineers.

The budding inventors were set the challenge to come up with a solution to a range of real life engineering obstacles – including how to harness energy from the jet stream located 10 km above the earth's surface.

Innovative ideas which could transform the futureThe teams worked tirelessly with representatives from nine departments in the University's Faculty of Engineering creating a professional project proposal before pitching it to a board of experts.

Aerospace Engineering student, Daniel Everington, 20, said: "Our challenge was to establish a new method to use the jet stream, which controls a lot of our weather, as an energy source.

"The problem is that the jet stream is between 7 and 16 kms up which means the project is very ambitious.

"Working with expert engineers from industry such as Siemens gave us a brilliant opportunity to find out about future careers and get a really helpful insight into what challenges we may face.

"Taking part in an event like this is something which will be really good for our CVs as it was a brilliant learning experience."

Drawing inspiration from the popular television series The Apprentice the multi-disciplinary teams elected a different student project manager each day to detail their daily progress to their board members.

Civil Engineering student, Andrew Maclean, 27, said: "This challenge gave us the opportunity to work with people we don't know from different departments within engineering which is a great way to develop our communication and team working skills.

"Facing the board room was slightly daunting at first but I think we handled it well and we have worked well together as a team."

Brilliant ideas in the boardroomMick Steeper, Technology Manager at Siemens Metals Technologies UK, sat on the judging panel.
"The You're Hired programme really is an Engineering project in a condensed form, right through from technology concept to a development plan using a team with diverse skills," he said.

"Industry benefits from participating in many ways. Our young staff members get training benefits as mentors and we deepen our ties with the University as a valued working partner.

"Most of all though we are attracting the students to take an exciting and never ending career path and one that is vital to our economy."

Stephen Beck, Director of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: "In industry engineers have to work in groups, and this project puts all 900 of our second year students together in discipline spanning teams, using their specific skills to solve real industrial projects over a week.

"They are treated as professional engineers and it provides them with an insight of work. These employability skills will be vital as they apply for jobs and placements."

Additional Information

The Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield - the 2011 Times Higher Education’s University of the Year - is one of the largest in the UK. Its seven departments include over 4,000 students and 900 staff and have research-related income worth more than £50M per annum from government, industry and charity sources. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed that two thirds of the research carried out was either Internationally Excellent or Internationally Leading.

The Faculty of Engineering has a long tradition of working with industry including Rolls-Royce, Network Rail and Siemens. Its industrial successes are exemplified by the award-winning Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the new £25 million Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC).

The Faculty of Engineering is set to ensure students continue to benefit from world-class labs and teaching space through the provision of the University's new Engineering Graduate School. This brand new building, which will become the centre of the faculty´s postgraduate research and postgraduate teaching activities, will be sited on the corner of Broad Lane and Newcastle Street. It will form the first stage in a 15 year plan to improve and extend the existing estate in a bid to provide students with the best possible facilities while improving their student experience.

To find out more about the Faculty visit Engineering


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859