The Department of Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway hosted a three day residential course ‘Girls into Electronics’ in collaboration with the UK Engineering Skills Foundation (UKESF) and the SmallPeice Trust
Line following robot winning team
The packed programme of events from 8-10 July was designed to enhance the students’ technical skills while also making them aware of their career choices through a variety of talks and hands on sessions. The CEO of UKESF gave a talk about the importance of engineering and the ability of engineers to improve lives, and eleven electronics companies attended to offer the students an insight into cutting-edge technology and their future career options when studying Electronic Engineering.
The companies included Beko, Sensata /Swindon Silicon, STFC, Onsemi, Vivamos, Idex, Moortec, AWE, Meggitt, Itdev and Renishaw. The careers fair also drew together ‘Girls into Physics’ and students from Royal Holloway who were keen to share their own experiences and motivation to study Electronics.
Head of Department, Professor David Howard commented,
“It has been a delightful privilege to host the Girls into Electronics event here at Royal Holloway. We focus on the importance of creativity in electronic engineering and how wonderful it was to see creativity in action in the solutions that these female future engineers came up with.”
22 highly motivated and extremely able future female engineers took part in activities from class room lectures such as ‘Keeping the lights on’, ‘Microwave Photonics and Sensors’ to hands-on exercises such as ‘Engineering audio’ or ‘Watching time’ and a project to build and code a line following robot spanning over the whole duration of the course.
All five groups had a lot of fun assembling their robot and then writing code to make it follow a line, completing a circuit in the shortest time possible. Many lessons were learned ranging from hardware problems to software problems, from the realisation that the highest speed is not always the best, to some advanced approaches to the control problem.
On the final day the robots best times about the racecourse were recorded and each team presented their project. The first prize winners all received a DAB radio from PURE and there were prizes for all runners up. To further foster their passion for electronics all participants were encouraged to take a Micro:bit home for future projects.
In their free time girls were well entertained with a DVD night, BBQ, quiz and campus tour.
Royal Holloway’s Department of Electronic Engineering was launched in 2017 with an equality ethos and an inclusive learning environment that aims to attract a greater than UK average proportion of women students. The university received a £5m grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to develop a new building in order to encourage more female engineers to address the national shortage, and the Shilling Building has provided a fantastic home for our Electronic Engineering community.