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Lydia Kinman-Carrol, 19, from Liverpool, who has just completed her first year at the University, has been putting the technical knowledge gained from her studies into practice.

Lydia was selected for the role in a ‘speed dating’ style recruitment event. A number of organisations took part, including the I2C project. The I2C team decided to recruit a placement student after feedback from some of the I2C beneficiaries that they felt they would greatly benefit from this additional expertise. The beneficiaries are a broad range of innovative and growing businesses from a variety of sectors, including energy, environmental, automotive and advanced manufacturing.

Each student had a two minute interview with a number of the attending companies, where the student could find out everything they wanted to know from the company, while the company assessed the student to find the best fit for their organisation. Lydia was one of 15 students interviewed by I2C at the event.

Here Lydia talks about her involvement with the I2C project and what she gained from her work placement.

Q. Have you always wanted to be an engineer?

A. I’ve always been interested in building things and I really like the idea of seeing ideas taking physical shape.

Q. What did you do while you were working at I2C?

A. In just four weeks I had a huge variety of experience. 3D visualisation is a really good way of speeding up the design process and I was creating 3D models for components of a project. I also put together Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings for manufacturers and was doing accurate precision measuring in order to send out base plates to be made.

Q. How do you think I2C beneficiaries benefited from your placement?

A. I spent a large part of my time preparing material for a presentation for one of I2C’s regular masterclasses, which promote design and innovation across Cheshire and Warrington. This particular masterclass focuses on Computer Control and Monitoring and everyone attending will learn how to monitor different systems and discover hands-on ways of processing and analysing data using computers. Anyone registered to the 12C project can attend.

Q. How did you benefit from the placement?

A. As well as helping me complete a University project, I also gained some great experience using particular software and learning how to design parts from specifications. I also acquired all sorts of useful workplace skills. I was having to keep to really tight time constraints and work as part of a team. Working alongside an electronics engineer was excellent preparation for me too, as in this industry all engineers have to get used to working closely with engineers from a wide range of disciplines.

Q. What did you enjoy most about the experience?

A. I feel much better prepared now for life beyond University and I made some great connections which I think will be useful when it comes to job-hunting and references. It was great learning to operate as part of a team and seeing a real project through to completion. I’ve already asked if I can come back next year for a longer placement at I2C!

Q. What advice would you give to any other young women wanting to pursue a career in engineering?

A. It’s easy for girls to be put off it while they’re still at school by some people claiming it’s very much a man’s world. That’s not been my experience at all. If you are interested in engineering you should definitely go for it. It’s a really exciting sector to be involved with and there’s a huge variety of disciplines to specialise in. Work placements like mine are invaluable as it’s shown me what working in an industrial environment will be like once I’ve graduated.

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