The interns part 2: catching up with Ashwin, Joshua and Phil
Before Christmas, we met our three Year in Industry (YinI) placements that are currently on a year out from university, gaining practical work experience at Innovative Technology (ITL). Now that they have settled in it’s time to catch up with Ashwin, Joshua and Phil to see what they’ve been up to over the past few months and how they’ve settled into working life.
Ashwin Varughese, Industrial Placement – Electronics
Things have been going really well for me at ITL. My main project has been developing a circuit that measures and displays the characteristic performance of a motor. The project has required me to measure the motor’s life time at a certain load and be able to measure the performance characteristics of the motor such as speed of rotation, current, power, efficiency and torque.
It has been a valuable experience working at Innovative Technology for the first four months, I have been able to develop my design skills whilst working on real projects at the same time. The work load has been balanced, which has allowed me to gain an understanding on how the department and company functions. During my placement so far I have managed to develop a wide range of skills especially communication, team working, time management, problem solving and organisational skills. I have been able to apply my theoretical knowledge to project work and gained a real insight into the development cycle of products, testing and customer support which will all benefit me back at university and in my future career.
Joshua Whibberley, Industrial Placement – Software
I’ve enjoyed working on my current project, which is to design a high level API (Application Programming Interface) for ITL customers to help them program ITL devices easier. The project is fairly large and can be done in a variety of different ways to make it more efficient which makes it very interesting. I enjoy this project as it requires a large amount of different commands to be understood and used with a variety of different devices which helps to keep it fresh. I have completed a small project for the BV20 validator, which counts the number of accepting notes and also uses the aforementioned API that I developed.
Since I’ve been here I think I’ve developed a lot more self-confidence and my programming and problem solving skills have come a long way from when I first started. Working at ITL has also helped me to understand the demands of a full time job, as I had very little experience of this before my placement. For my final year of uni I will have definitely improved in both confidence and knowledge. In terms of working at ITL compared to uni life, it’s an important year for me learning to be more independent having moved to Oldham in order to work here. Living away from home and working during the week has been a big step and helped me to become more confident and independent. As I had never been to Oldham before, it’s been interesting seeing a new place too.
Phil Forster, Industrial Placement – Mechanical
I’ve been really pleased with how much responsibility I’ve been given since I joined. Before I started, I imagined that I would be treated like a bit of an outsider since I was the student amongst a group of professional designers and engineers but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have been given my own project working on a new version of note acceptor for one of our customers. This project has required me to use a 3D printer for the first time and I’ve enjoyed being able to use the machine to physically create parts that I designed using CAD software.
I have also been heavily involved in the development of a product for a new market we are entering. The development process for this particular product has been really interesting since I’ve needed to remain in constant contact with our Chinese colleagues in our manufacturing operation in Shenzhen, China and understand the parts that they wish to use. As this product will eventually be mass manufactured, I not only need to design a functional product but also a product that can be easily built and assembled by the employees on the production line so there is this extra dimension to consider.
I’m continuing to enjoy my time at ITL. The work week is quite a lot busier than it would be at university but I am learning to relish my time off at the weekend and get into a good work routine so I can fit in everything I want to do during the week.