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Final Year Aero' Course Celebration

Thursday 29 January 2015

The day started with a heavy fall of snow around Sheffield and Derbyshire. This added to the challenge of the day for all who were planning to attend the final year Aero' celebration. However, students, academics and our alumni were determined and ploughed into Sheffield from as far as Lancashire and North Yorkshire to ensure the event took place on the evening of 29 January 2015.

Now working for companies such as Rolls-Royce, Eastern Airways and GE Intelligent platforms, our alumni were all keen to support our final year students in progressing their careers into an industry that contributes £52 Billion to the UK GDP. The determined and focused students attended from each of Sheffield Hallam University aero' courses: MEng/BEng Aerospace Engineering, BSc Aerospace Technology and BSc Aeronautical Engineering.

The evening started with an opportunity for the students and our alumni guests to network. This was followed by a keynote presentation by David Gilbert, chief of manufacturing and engineering operations at Rolls-Royce. He talked about his career progression through the company and how his studies at Sheffield Hallam had played an important role in his career. He also introduced some of the engineering concepts and technology he is working on today for the aerospace industry.

A prize giving followed with awards for best achievement from level 4 to 5 on each Aero' course, best performance at level 5 on each Aero' course, best placement poster on each Aero' course, best performance at level 6 on the MEng Aerospace Engineering and Best Aero' level 6 dissertation. The prize for the latter two awards, two return flight tickets to Aberdeen or Southampton, was kindly donated by Eastern Airways. This was well received by the recipients of the awards and we look forward to their report on their UK adventure.

The prize giving was followed by supper, networking and a highly motivating and entertaining presentation by Clifford Belton, a Hallam graduate who now works at the UK Ministry of Defence. He provided an insightful introduction to his experiences on the MoD graduate scheme and explained that the MoD are currently seeking applications from aero' engineers. His presentation was truly inspirational, highlighting the challenges of ballistic testing with the navy playing hide and seek with their submarines in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland. The majority of the Aero' students all reported that they are now all very keen to apply to the MoD graduate scheme.

The remainder of the evening was a further opportunity to drink and network. Ian Nunnington from Eastern Airways was keen to talk to students who wish to pursue a career as pilot. Addie Abbot from BOC, Alaric Fernande from Sheffield Hallam, Oliver Pogmore from AS Seal and Mark Redmond from Weston Aerospace - all recent graduates from BEng/MEng Aerospace Engineering - provided excellent career advice and mentoring support to the final year students on final year projects and graduate applications.

Feedback from alumni, academics and students was positive:

'I thought it was an excellent effort. The two speakers provided a nice contrast in perspective from different stages in their careers. Clifford was indeed inspirational and entertaining.' John Holding, Engineering and Maths Business Development

'It was an absolute pleasure to be part of your Aero' Engineering celebration event, thank you for inviting me.' Christopher Middleton, GE Intelligent Platforms, graduate from engineering at Hallam in the 1990s.

'It was a pleasure to attend the celebration event on Thursday evening. It was also good to see current students being proactive about employment after graduating from Sheffield Hallam, as well as seeing fellow course mates and lecturers.' Mark Redmond, Weston Aerospace, graduate from BEng Aerospace Engineering 2014

'Thank you for going to the trouble to set such a great event on, I know those of us that went really appreciate it and had a fun night.' Sam Shirley, Aeronautical Society

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