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2011/12

»Into games? Get into games design P.31 »Switching on to nuclear careers P.14

»Where’s your career going? P.18

livMake a life, not just a

ENGINEERING TEC HNOLOGY SPECIAL

EXCLUSIVE

STEPHEN FRY THE GURU OF GEEK

“Beware prophets: technology has never been predictable"


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contents | WHAT’S INSIDE

CONTENTS Editorial News The Interview Stephen Fry - Geek is good Social Media Tweets from the top Social Media Change your career status Nuclear Industry What do they do Engineering Graduates Where’s good to go? Engineering Ask the pros Eco Engineers Is green good for you? Real Life Stories Graduate engineers Technology The cutting edge Technology Game for a career Technology Level up Directory Who’s who

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04 06 08

11 12 14 18 20

22

28

24 26 28

31 32

get connected 12 £

££

£

££

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££££££££££

£££££££££

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GRADUATE ENGINEERS ££

£££££££££

££

18 region

1

Turnover of engineering sector Number of people employed

10:50

Scotland £781,500 20,370

The engineerin sector makes u nearly a fifth o the UK econom

1. south east

North east £360,250 7360

NORTHEN IRELAND £454,250 8770 North WEST £1,010750 18,100

HIGH

££

££

££ ££££ £££

RANKING FOR PEOPLE EMPLOYED BY REGION

LOW

WHERE WILL YOU GO

WHAT WILL YOU EARN? ...Using social media to &find your job ££

Real World has teamed up with TotalProfession.com to help you get inside advice from those in the know: Including architects, artists, technicians and teachers.

1. south east 2. east 3. london 4. scotland 5. north west 6. east midlands 7. yorkshire/the humber 8. south west 9. west midlands 10. wales 11. n.ireland 12. north east

Get inside the professions

yorkshire/ the humber £783,250 16,270

WEST midlands £881,750 15,625 WALES £535,875 8955 SOUTH WEST £1,002225 15,890

3. london

east midlands £795,000 16,580

5 sou we

east anglia £1,328125 27,165

WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM RW 3 SOUTH EAST £1,893000 29,255

london £1,011625 22,070


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EDITORIAL | WELCOME

EDITOR’S LETTER

Editorial Publisher: Johnny Rich Editor: Jon Madge Assistant editor: Galen Stops Sub-editor: Jen Clark Writers/Researchers: Jenny Collins, Sabrina Wimalasuriya

Sales Nafeesa Shamsuddin

Marketing and Distribution Manager Diana Maggiore

GRAPHIC DESIGN Luke Merryweather

ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY have long been professions where there has been no shortage of jobs. At this year’s Institute of Career Guidance Conference, the annual meet up for anyone who wants to help graduates get into great jobs, the issue of getting more people into these industries kept being raised. Carl Dawson, graduate programme manager for Nuclear Graduates stressed how important it was to reach out to graduates in new and interesting ways. As professions, engineering and technology suffer from something of an image problem. They conjure images of the IT crowd, computer nerds and hi-visibility jackets. Which is a shame, because the truth, well the truth is very different. As our article on new graduate technologies (p.26) shows, technology can reshape the world into something more exciting, engineering is constantly pushing the boundaries of the possible (p.22) and even contentious industries like nuclear power are arguing points because there’s so much about them still to discover. If all that wasn’t support enough, Stephen Fry, the Sultan of social media and undoubted king of being right, speaks out in this issue on why geeks are good and technology is damn cool. So in the industry where you can literally invent or engineer a career for yourself, what are you waiting for?

Client services manager

Jon, Editor editor@realworldmagazine.com

Marie Tasle

FOUNDER Darius Norell

Real World 22-26 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ Tel: 020 7735 4900 info@realworldmagazine.com www.realworldmagazine.com Copyright © 2011 Cherry Publishing. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs or for material lost or damaged in the post. The views in this publication or on our website are not necessarily those held by the publisher.

WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM Real World doesn’t end here, we’ve got more news, advice and exciting competitions on our website.

4 RW WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM

Make a life, not just a living At Real World we believe you should have a job that you want to get out of bed for. You should be doing something that’s going to inspire you, reward you and challenge you for the next 50 years. We help you do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. We want to be the ones to tell you about the job opportunity that’ll change your life. And we want to help you to get that job and then succeed without limits. Real World is more than just a magazine. We’re leaders in graduate employment research. We train people how to raise their game. Everything we do is about helping you understand your career, kick-starting it and developing it. After all, apart from sleeping, you’ll spend more time working than doing anything else in your life. We want you to make a good living, but we also want you to make a good life in the process. No sugar-coating and no dry job jargon – Real World tells it like it is. Just the best facts, advice and opportunities.

A p


Photo Credit: Spring Project working at the D&AD Graduate Academy

EmployabilityTraining As you’ve never experienced it before I am am az my min ed at how quic d set ha k s chang ly ed

I more than is re e h d ; ve learne st 21 years la e h t What I ha r e v ut myself o have abo amazing. and that is

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CURRENT STUDENTS: To bring the Spring Project to your university speak to your careers service RECENT GRADUATES: Sign up for a free event at www.springproject.co.uk CAREERS SERVICES: If you are interested in bringing the Spring Project to your University contact Andrew Armes on Andrew@springproject.co.uk EMPLOYERS: If you’re interested in sponsoring training contact Darius Norell on Darius@springproject.co.uk The Spring Project is a not for profit set up by Real World to provide world class training to unemployed graduates.


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NEWS | WHAT’S HAPPENING

News Small businesses switch on to tech grad potential SMALL BUSINESSES are being advised and encouraged to use technology, particularly the internet. Why? To increase profits and widen customer reach, with graduates being the people to help them do it. Since 2000, the value of the UK online retail market has grown by nearly £60 billion, according to research released by

the Interactive Media in Retail Group. Much of that is generated by larger businesses, which see a greater proportion of their income generated online than their smaller counterparts. Now smaller businesses are being advised to follow suit and they’re looking to graduates to help them do it. Recent research by the BBC suggested

that, if current trends continue, the average person will have access to three devices that can connect to the internet by 2015. As well as providing greater opportunities to sell, this will change the way in which retail business is done, meaning businesses will need to match consumers in keeping up to date with technology.

Jobs in aerospace are taking off

Get paid to stay at home

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DESPITE not having suffered too greatly under the recession, the aerospace industry is looking at a massive increase in orders and jobs, great news for graduates with the skills the industry needs. It’s surprising which industries have come through the recession relatively unscathed. Aerospace was one of them and it’s set to turn it’s resilience into a boom of job opportunities. The last few years haven’t seen the industry unchanged, there has been a substantial shift from military engineering and technology to a much greater demand for civil aerospace. The UK is still a leader when it comes to this sector, ranking second in the world after the US. And, as Graham Chisnall,

managing director for AeroSpace and Operations at industry association ADS adds, “It’s not well-enough known that the UK has the number-one aerospace sector by revenue in Europe.” Both Technology and Engineering graduates are in demand by the sector, which invested £1.9 billion last year in research and development alone. That cash also reaches to graduates, which pays salaries 46% higher than the UK industry average for manufacturing. Proof of this outlook came in the form of Airbus’ pledge earlier this year to create 800 new posts in the UK, with a large number of those specifically for graduates.

THE JOB MARKET looks to finally be picking up. But the rise is seeing companies finding new ways for their employees to work. Telecommuting, remote working, are you ready for the office-less job? The latest CBI/Harvey Nash survey into employment trends shows that around a third of employers are planning to increase the number of staff they hire within the next six months. That’s the good news. The, possibly, even better news is that 59% of employers are offering what’s being called

‘teleworking’ to staff. This means working from outside the office most of the time and communicating by phone and email. Along with features of the working day that have become more common, such as flexi-time and job-shares, the nine to five looks set to become a thing of the past. Whilst employers are keen to stress they can’t offer working conditions like these to everyone, their effect on morale, costs and reducing carbon emissions from unnecessary commuting suggest they’re very much hear to stay.


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NEWS | WHAT’S HAPPENING

Funding for high tech entrepreneurs INVESTMENT IN TECHNOLOGY start-ups and graduate entrepreneurs needs to be increased, and more support given, says technology mogul and billionaire Sir Terry Matthews. Citing worries about the UK’s ability to compete internationally when it comes to technology graduates, Sir Terry said, “We have fabulous graduates with the potential to be business people, but we must get the funding and mentoring models right, and those that are knowledgeable must participate in an advisory capacity.” He followed his statement by announcing an expansion of his existing graduate entrepreneurship programme, which was

confined to Wales, to include all of the UK. Sir Terry also encouraged others to invest in the future of technology graduates. The fund, part of the not-for-profit group Alacrity, is receiving $20 million (around £12.4 million) along with four other investors pledging similar amounts. The hope is that graduates will be able to receive investment and business support for technology startups and new enterprises, which in tme will attract further investment from overseas. For more information on the Alacrity Foundation visit www.alacrityfoundation.com/unitedkingdom

Graduate engineers are going abroad THE UK has little problem producing engineering graduates, it just can’t keep them in the country once they’ve got their degree. Those are the findings of a recent survey by engineering firm GE. The survey, of students and lecturers in the UK, revealed that the USA, China and Germany all topped the UK as destinations for graduate engineers. Businesses are worried that they might be losing out on the best graduates as a result. 68% of respondents to the survey said that they thought the USA offered the best career prospects for engineering graduates, with China rated second highest with 67%. By contrast less than a third of respondents (31%) said they thought he UK was market

leader for engineering careers, placing it fifth in the world. Despite just over half of lecturers and just under half of students saying they thought the UK was less ambitious than the rest of the world when it came to Engineering and Technology, Mark Elborne, CEO of GE in the UK, said he was optimistic about the future of the sector. “The engineering sector is the lifeblood of the UK economy and we clearly have a very bright, enthusiastic and skilled generation of young people choosing engineering as a career, mainly because of the impact they can have on society. Both business and government need to continue to support and invest in this new generation, to ensure we nurture and retain such talent,”

www.realworldmagazine.com/news For all the latest graduate news including: • The future’s bright, the future’s in telecomms • Why the healthcare industry wants engineers • Myths of the IT sector busted

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CAT gets the cream THE CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY (CAT), a world leader in teaching sustainable engineering and architecture, has had the high quality of its teaching recognised with an Ashden Award. Sat on the England-Wales border, CAT has long been a pioneer in postgraduate sustainable energy and architecture. The Ashden Awards for sustainable energy were set up champion organisations that offer practical solutions to the problems of climate change and sustainable energy. As well as offering professional development and short courses of as little as two weeks, CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment trains students in renewable energy and sustainable architecture. The school offers unique courses like Doctor of Ecological Building Practices and MSc Renewable Energy. Graduates can apply for distance learning courses or study at CAT, whose lecture theatre is made of hemp and rammed-earth, powered by solar and biomass and is probably the coolest university building in the country. For more information on CAT visit www.cat.org.uk

68% Of engineering graduates think the USA offers the best job prospects according to a survey by GE

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Section | TOPIC

Gadgets, tweets and geeks are more than just quite interesting

‘I simply never ever do print interviews. Ever’ 8 RW WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM

exclusive INTERVIEW: STEPHEN FRY


INTERVIEW | STEPHEN FRY

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If ever there was someone who needed little introduction it’s the polymath STEPHEN FRY. From a start as one of the most important figures in alternative comedy (before even graduating), he’s had a career in films, on radio and on TV, been a presenter and documentary maker and has written a fair shelf’s worth of books. There’s almost nothing this Cambridge graduate hasn’t tried his hand at... and succeeded.

I

n recent years, however, the front-runner for most intelligent man in the world has become the thinking man’s supporter of Twitter. With a new book that explores how technology (among other things) affects language and a recent TV series looking at the 100 greatest gadgets, Stephen managed to do the impossible and find time to tell us how he thinks social media is changing the world. YOU’RE KNOWN AS ONE OF THE GREATEST ADVOCATES FOR SOCIAL NETWORKS, PARTICULARLY Twitter. WHAT IS IT YOU LIKE ABOUT THEM? Twitter suits people like me exceptionally well. Facebook exactly doesn’t. The only way I could have a Facebook site is as a kind of bulletin board, or under a secret identity for only friends and family. Otherwise my “wall” would be unreadable. Twitter allows one to communicate with millions but in one’s own time and under one’s own terms. Anyone who understands Twitter knows that I can’t be expected to see or reply to every tweet from every follower, but that I am like one in the woods in autumn with a swirl of leaves around me, grasping at the ones nearest to hand occasionally but missing most. Those whom I follow can, on the other hand, have a private dialogue, but again not in an intrusive real time way, like Facebook’s odious messaging that tells everyone when you’re on line. Most of all, Twitter frees me from any obligation to talk to the press. Since I have more followers (and I honestly don’t mean this in a boastful way) that the numbers who buy the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, FT and Independent combined - it means I can tell every publicity person on every film, TV project, book etc. that I work on that I simply never ever do print interviews. Ever. It is a whole pain, terror and horror gone

that connection. Plus, as every Twitter user knows, there is the blessed Block option. Someone is rude, unkind, poisonous in their opinions, and with one stroke you never see a word they tweet again. It’s a miracle. And, of course, no tweeter need ever complain that I dominate or hog Twitter, or that they find my opinions vile or intrusive because they too can unfollow and/or block me at a stroke. In that sense it’s wonderfully equal turf.

“The small and independent of today becomes the bully tech-giant of tomorrow” from my life. I can agree to the odd thing (like this) where I can be judged on my words for good or ill, but not on the malevolence, mood or disposition of some “profile writer.” Being free of printed media obligations is no small thing. Much bigger names than I, in all fields, music, film, politics whatever it might be, can tell their millions of followers that such-and-such a “media columnist” is lying, or misrepresenting and has no inside track at all on a person’s life or real access to showbusiness as they pretend to. Naturally this frightens deadwood journalists who both loathe and now depend on a “celebrity Twitter feed” in equal measure. Plus, Twitter is fun. It’s genuinely an exciting and extraordinary way to have a connection with people you’ll never meet, while being able to control the boundaries of

HAVE NEW TECHNOLOGIES LIKE Twitter AND PORTABLE INTERNET DEVICES CHANGED THE WAY YOU INTERACT WITH PEOPLE? The only sensible answer to that question is ‘D’uh’. That is like asking someone if having a car and road network has altered the way they travel. The answer is in the question. They don’t alter, if that is what you mean, the fundamentals of human face to face interaction, any more than the invention of rubber dolls alters the way humans have babies. We’re not a jot or tittle less human when we use a different pipeline down which to talk, whether it’s a speaking tube, a letter, a telephone, an email or a tweet. There’s an argument that modern conduits allow us to be more of what separated us from other animals - which is to say language-capable entities. ‘Ordinary’ people are now, despite the views of some snobs, more articulate in the sense that matters than ever before. The parish pump, the garden fence, the market gossip all had their place in allowing freedom of interaction but there is much more real freedom for self-expression now than ever before. It may not be done in the prose style of a Gibbon or Macaulay, or with the panache and wit of a Wilde or a Coward, but it is real and as felt (or indeed as unreal, fabricated and ludic), as the communicator wishes it to be... on their terms.

>>

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INTERVIEW | STEPHEN FRY

WOULD YOUR CAREER HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT IF SOME OF TODAY’S TECHNOLOGIES HAD BEEN AVAILABLE WHEN YOU GRADUATED? I don’t think mine would have altered significantly. It required a group of likeminded individuals (such as the Footlights in my case) a chance to play at the Edinburgh Festival, the acquisition thereby of an audience and reputation and well-disposed TV producers. I think student loans, pressure on university places and the importance of a ‘good’ degree - all of which are privileging vocational training as against true education (what Americans call impressively and unembarrassedly ‘the liberal arts’) - are much more influential and to the detriment of student life and prospects. There may be some cute curriculum vitae software and LinkedIn style closed social networks available, but they cancel themselves out in usefulness by being equally available and therefore equally useless, to all. Maybe I’m overstating it, but university is first and foremost about intellectual sodalities, learning ‘to play gracefully with ideas’ in Oscar’s phrase, reading, time and friendship. Learning to understand the limits of one’s knowledge. All these high academic ideals are horribly compromised when debt, job prospects and the ability even to think of being able to afford a roof over one’s head are called into question. And no amount of smart digital gadgetry or social networking can get round those problems. WHEN FILMING LAST CHANCE TO SEE, THERE WERE A FEW OCCASIONS IN WHICH

YOU HAD TO RELINQUISH YOUR MOBILE PHONES AND PORTABLE COMPUTERS. DID THAT MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE? Not especially. I knew that it was only temporary. A bit like when one was roughing it in the jungle for three or four nights: as long as one knows that there is a hotel, laundry and hot water at the end of it, it actually becomes a fun challenge. And the fact is there was better all-round 3G coverage in remote conservancies in Kenya than there is in Norfolk, or sometimes even the Home Counties... FOR OUR READERS, WHO ARE GOING TO BE SHAPING THE NEXT GENERATION OF TECHNOLOGY, WHAT IS THE INVENTION, PROGRAMME OR SITE YOU’D LIKE TO SEE? Beware of prophets of any stripe: religious and spiritual ones can be tolerated with a shrug, but technology has never been predictable. I’d certainly like to see the net and the web always having room for independence, new ideas and counter-cultural forces that can’t be easily snapped up and absorbed by tech-giants. Of course Apple was once one such spirit in the world, as was Google, so there is bound to be a cyclical way in which the small and independent and minority and cult of today becomes the bully of tomorrow, but so long as the ecosystem out there allows for new growth and for biodiversity then that’s fine. So profusion, imagination, growth and bloody-mindedness, that’s what I’d like to see. I couldn’t give such sites, services or technologies a name, but it’s the freedom and fertility that counts.

“High academic ideals are compromised when debt and job prospects are called into question”

Planet Word is out now in all good book shops (and online).

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SOCIAL MEDIA | tWEETS FROM THE TOP

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Liam morgan

Tweet your way into a career

LIAM MORGAN IS THE DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL TALENT AGENCY COGS AGENCY. HE STUDIED INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND POLITICS AT LANCASTER UNIVERSITY AND REVEALED TO US HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE AN INVALUABLE WEAPON IN YOUR JOB HUNTING ARSENAL.

J

OB HUNTING with social media allows for a more real-time job search. You can follow businesses you want to work for, keep up to date with their news and see live jobs as they appear. Often, all before a traditional ad has even been sent to print. It enables you to interact with the hirer more quickly and sometimes directly. However this increase in speed doesn’t mean you can compromise on the quality of your application. Although social and professional networks are a powerful part of job hunting armoury, company websites haven’t become extinct just yet. Employers still advertise jobs and invite applications through their sites. There’s a maturing of how we differentiate between ‘social’ and ‘professional’ media so that employers don’t need to interrogate your entire Facebook life; but still use common sense. Networks like LinkedIn and Xing are ‘professional’ whereas Facebook and Twitter are ‘social’. Google+ is trying to

evolve this by its use of ‘circles’ as the type of conversation you have with your friends is different to one with your boss. Be aware of your digital footprint; bad behaviour or ill judged remarks about potential bosses might not be the best start to your job search. To start with sign up to LinkedIn and Twitter and follow companies you’re interested in working for and soak up their news - you don’t have to be a vociferous tweeter. Make sure your profile is well prepared, up to date, accurate and honest. In effect you’re putting yourself and CV online for the world to see so it needs to create a good impression. Also learn about searchabiltiy functions so that you can seek out opportunities (like hash tags on Twitter #graduatejobs). Time spent on social media

finding work, needs to be reinforced by planning applications and investigating industries and companies. Don’t ignore other channels open to you and make sure that when called for interview your research on the business is not confined to social and professional network platforms. These are tools to be used not a substitute for perseverance and hard work. Of course once you get a job, unless it’s within social media, spending your life on Facebook might not be conducive to keeping it! Naturally social media is embraced more by certain business sectors, like Technology, Creative, Digital and Consumer, but LinkedIn still has a wide spread of industries. All big firms trying to attract graduate talent should have recruitment schemes involving social and professional media.

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get connected ...Using social media to find your job


SOCIAL MEDIA | CHANGE YOUR STATUS

Real World Magazine www.realworldmagazine.com

www.realworldmagazine.com

graduate jobs + careers advice + sector news + case studies + employer profiles +

2011/12 just Make a life, not

graduate jobs + careers advice + sector news + case studies + employer profiles +

»into games? Get into games design P.31

2011

Make a life, not

»switching on to nuclear careers P.14

»where’s your career going? P.18

RW

» real world awards Where are you headed? P.29

» accountancy Brave the jungle P.32

» “we want to pay your tuition fees” P.08

www.realworldmagazine.com

graduate jobs + careers advice + sector news + case studies + employer profiles +

2011

Make a life, not

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» real world awards Where are you headed? P.29

» accountancy Brave the jungle P.32

» “we want to pay your tuition fees” P.08

just a living

just a living

Kingdom Student life/News/Publishing - London, United

Infographic CVs:

a liv»master yourself Which postgrad courses really graduate jobs + count? P.12 careers advice + sector news + e case studies + ngin eer employer profiles +

Section | topic

www.realworldmagazine.com

2011

ing tec Hn spe ology cial

just Make a life, not

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» gap years Career chasm or a bridge? P.28

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» new year, new career Want success in 2011? Ask the experts. P.15

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SPECIAL

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SPECIAL

a living

EXCLUSIVE

STEPHEN FRY THE GURU OF GEEK

“Beware prophets: technology has never

been predictable" EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW CHRIS BATES FROM ‘THE APPRENTICE’ REVEALS WHAT’S NEXT

‘The job

: rview Sites we like inTe

everything. From Facebook Social media might be the new way of doing ing, the way we make to YouTube and the music industry to job hunt means employers can see connections is changing. Used properly, this new technology there are the real you like never before, but with any what they are. new rules and it’s not always easy learning RW wrote

of social media is Clean up your profiles - One of the advantages anyone can see it. that is that of side that anyone can see it, the down iters you’ve recru by d notice get might and wide JANUARY/FEBRUARY ISSUE You spread your net nt links to a accou if your never approached on sites like LinkedIn but Linkedin Amsterdam, in end week Mostly for business, facebook profile with photos of you on a stag based you judge not for those then your future employers will online, anyone can see it. ‘hilarious’ photos on that. Remember that if you put something Facebook Like • Comment • Share • October at 12.15pm

from hell’

WWW.REALWoRLDMAGAZiNE.coM RW

It might be for your friends but don’t forget employers too Blogging an undedited forum for you to show off your skills

Twitter treat each post like a business card Google+ Google’s answer to facebook, twitter and everything else Layar It shows what jobs are available in your current location Slideshare.net - upload you CV slideshows and send recruiters the links

Business cards: (with a twist)

1

Chris Spurlock

www.cjspurlock. squarespace.com

RW wrote at 12.15pm

different benefits Also link your profiles. Different accounts offer r if you don’t Twitte on iters recru ing follow in point no s and there’ you and about s detail giving else have an account somewhere work. your off ng showi maybe even October at 12.30pm • Like

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ear your conversations, Get tweeting - Twitter lets other people overh , employers are likely active so make sure they’re good ones. If you’re thing good about you. some say to it want you to see your account and n industry, tweet chose Make sure you’re following key people in your know when to and cts subje nt releva about and retweet knowledgably g. say nothin Like • Comment • Share • October at 1.00pm

RW wrote

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Jamie Kite

wallblog.co.uk /files/2011/02/ CVinfographic-copy.jpg

Like • Comment • Share • October at 1.10pm

RW wrote

Luke Merryweather

sites like Blogging - it’s not just about social networking your job hunt help can media social facebook and Twitter, other s to potential talent your off show to way great a is ing too. Blogg time is a free your in job the employers. After all, already doing it. for paid being to suited you’re ng showi of great way October at 1.30pm • Like

Want to know about the dark side of Social media? Check out the other side of the story at www.realworldmagazine .com/advice/negativeside-facebook

lukemerryweather.com

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Section | TOPIC

GLOWING CAREERS DOES A CAREER IN NUCLEAR APPEAL?

THE ENGINEERING INDUSTRY has a skills shortage like no other. Even in this time of job cuts and mass unemployment, graduates engineers are needed on all sides. And nowhere is this truer than the nuclear industry. But with the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan on 11th March 2011, along with renewed discussions earlier in the year about Britain’s nuclear submarine programme, lots of people are thinking twice about a career in the industry. What should graduates think about the nuclear industry? We spoke to four from across the industry to find out. 14 RW WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM 14 RW WWW.REALWORLDMAGAZINE.COM


NUCLEAR INDUSTRY | WHAT DO THEY DO?

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HIL CARSON is an Intern with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an Environmental Remediation Assistant.

I THINK FOR NUCLEAR WE HAVE HAD AN IMAGE PROBLEM linked to the very secretive way in which our industry worked for many years and I feel that it’s my duty to be as open about the industry as I can. “Atoms for Peace” remains the Agency’s motto to this day. It is true to say that most of the nuclear industry today grew from military programmes of the middle-20th Century. The massive impact of nuclear weapons on modern history is indisputable and they continue to shape the world today. I think it’s important to recognise that society has received huge benefits from the clean energy produced since civil nuclear generation started in the 1950s. The radioisotope thermonuclear generator originally developed during the Cold War has powered many of the satellites which increase our understanding of the universe and the work to create synthetic radionuclides has massively advanced nuclear medicine. The best thing about my job is the international aspect of living in Vienna and working with the IAEA. However, I do miss working actually on nuclear sites and getting involved with work ‘at the chalk face.’ There are plenty of opportunities in the nuclear industry, but not always in the most ‘central’ locations, so you must be geographically flexible. It sounds obvious, but do your homework, the industry is a complex web of different organizations which all work together.Think carefully about whether you would like to work on a nuclear site, or for a consultancy company supporting their client site? Or perhaps you might like to choose a graduate programme like nucleargraduates which allows you to try both?

“I think for nuclear we have had an image problem linked to the very secretive way in which our industry worked” “Nuclear is a low carbon alternative, with minimal emissions to the atmosphere. Yes there are the questions concerning radioactive waste, but that’s a separate debate entirely”

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ON BANKHEAD is a Policy Advisor with the Department of Environment & Climate Change (DECC)

THERE’S GREAT VARIETY in my day to day work and there’s a degree of interaction with other departments such as MOD, Treasury and BIS. Some people have concerns over how environmentally friendly the nuclear industry is and this is clearly an important debate. If the world’s energy needs could be met purely from renewable energy resources that remained unseen then this would be the best option from most people’s perspectives. Currently this is not the case and a diversity of supplies is required to ensure a continued reliable supply. To date, the main source of energy has been from fossil fuels, but it’s simply unsustainable to continue in this manner. Nuclear is a low carbon alternative, with the amount of emissions to the atmosphere being minimal. Yes there are the questions concerning radioactive waste, but that is a separate debate entirely. I have worked at a nuclear power station and have seen all the security measures that are in place and how strictly correct procedures are adhered to. People assume that they are dangerous just because of the nature of them. There has been a history of bad communication between the public and the industry and we are trying to rectify this by making everything as transparent as possible. The UK energy infrastructure is undergoing some extensive changes to cut down on our contribution to climate change. With that statement alone, I know a few people will roll their eyes, but both parts are true. The UK wants to cut down its emissions and steps are being taken to do so, and climate change is happening.

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NUCLEAR INDUSTRY | WHAT DO THEY DO?

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ANDY LESTER is an In Service Submarines support contractor for nucleargraduates

I STUDIED PHYSICS AT MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY and decided that I wanted to work in applied physics or engineering. I applied to the nucleargraduates scheme in my final year, and after a fairly intense assessment process was selected to be Defence streamed in March 2010. As a physicist I feel that nuclear is sadly misrepresented in the media and this fosters a lack of understanding about radiation, risk and all things nuclear. People are intelligent enough to understand these issues and they deserve better reporting so that they can make informed judgements. As an engineer I see the part the nuclear industry plays in keeping the lights on and maintaining the peace and security of the UK. This requires solving some of the most difficult technical challenges in the world: dealing responsibly with the decommissioning legacy left to us, building ever safer and more efficient power stations, designing nuclear submarines more complex than a space rocket. I enjoy being useful in my job. I like getting to grips with a problem, coming up with a solution and discussing it. I also love the variety of experiences I get. I’m working at MOD now and involved with processes and management, but I will be going to Oldbury power station to do maintenance engineering for my next placement, to get a civil perspective on nuclear technologies. We’ve been on site visits galore, visited Parliament to speak to MPs, presented to senior people within multinational companies, done the Royal Navy’s sinking ship exercise, even had a go at setting up our own business. The industry can be quite old-fashioned at times and getting over that barrier is tough.

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“As an engineer I see the part the nuclear industry plays in keeping the lights on and maintaining the peace and security”

“There’s a massive skills shortage within the nuclear industry. Not only that, the industry has an ageing workforce”

For more real life grad stories go to www.realworldmagazine.com /case-studies

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smann Ahmed is a Graduate Electrical Engineer with Atkins.

I’M ON A TWO YEAR GRADUATE SCHEME MADE UP OF A FEW DIFFERENT SECONDMENTS. So far I’ve had a role at Sellafield in the design team researching and developing safe solutions to problems on plant and working on plant looking at obsolescence issues. Energy demand is ever increasing and fossil fuels are in decline and causing damage to the environment. Nuclear has the answer to fulfil the energy demand as a reliable consistent source of energy I understand the concerns and the controversy over nuclear energy but working in the industry has given me a firsthand view of the safety precautions that are taken. I personally believe that nuclear energy is one of the safest forms of energy and that future nuclear plants will be even more safe and reliable. Safety is paramount and can never be compromised which makes simple jobs last a long time. Electrical jobs that would normally take three days to implement can take two weeks on a nuclear facility. When at university I wasn’t too sure at what exactly I wanted to do but I did know I didn’t want a repetitive nine to five job. I ended up doing this because my final year project was based on power generation, and I was amazed by the challenges that are facing nuclear power today especially in the decommissioning sector. It’s tough times for grads just now but there is a massive skills shortage within the nuclear industry. Not only that, but the industry has an ageing workforce. The last plant commissioned was Sizewell B back in 1995. 16 years later the industry needs a fresh, young, dynamic workforce to ensure nuclear has a part to play in the UK market.


Turn a new page by visiting ours nucleargraduates.com We’re a two year graduate scheme with a difference Sponsored by Rolls Royce PLC, Sellafield, Magnox and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, we offer opportunities in science, engineering and business across the UK and worldwide Hear our story at: nucleargraduates.com and nuclearfootprints.com


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GRADUATE ENGINEERS ££

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region Turnover of engineering sector Number of people employed

Scotland £781,500 20,370

N £ 7

NORTHEN IRELAND £454,250 8770 North WEST £1,010750 18,100

RANKING FOR PEOPLE EMPLO BY REGION

HIGH

£££££

££

££

£££ ££

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WHERE WILL YOU GO & WHAT WILL YOU EARN?

WEST midlands £881,750 15,625 WALES £535,875 8955 SOUTH WEST £1,002225 15,890


1. south east 2. east 3. london 4. scotland 5. north west 6. east midlands 7. yorkshire/the humber 8. south west 9. west midlands 10. wales 11. n.ireland 12. north east

The engineering sector makes up nearly a fifth of the UK economy

LOW

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NKING LE EMPLOYED REGION

Average weekly raises in the engineering sector between 2010 and 2011

RANKING FOR TURNOVER BY REGION

otland 81,500 370

1. south east

North east £360,250 7360

2. east

yorkshire/ the humber £783,250 16,270

3. london

east midlands £795,000 16,580

4. north west

5. south west

6. west midlands

7. east midlands

east anglia £1,328125 27,165

9. scotland 12. north east

SOUTH EAST £1,893000 29,255

london £1,011625 22,070

8. yorkshire/ the humber 10. wales 11. n.ireland


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ENGINEERING | ASK THE PROFESSIONALS

PAUL JACKSON, What is the best Chief Executive, way to get into EngineeringUK the engineering industry? The great thing about a career in engineering is that there are different routes into the industry depending on what you want to do and how you prefer to learn. Whether you go to university, follow an apprenticeship or find work after a placement, there is a range of exciting opportunities at every level. The potential earning prospects for engineering graduates are attractive too. On average, engineering graduates can expect to earn over 50% more than the GAYLE CAIRNS, average graduate in Technical Lead their working lifetime.

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT A CAREER IN ENGINEERING BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHO TO ASK

for the Japanese

Do you believe Earthquake engineering is worth Response Team, it for the money? EDF Energy Absolutely. Engineering is a very rewarding career and, despite the recession, engineering salaries are holding up; the average starting salary for graduate engineers is around £25,000. Last year, four of the top ten graduate salaries were in engineering subjects.

Do you believe engineering is worth it for the money? Yes. This is an excellent career with solid prospects for advancement. Whether you want to be a technical expert or a manager in any number of really exciting fields, from hands on out in the field work to ‘atom boffins’ crunching codes to multi-million pound project management. How did you get where you are today? I started out on our graduate scheme

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working at Hunterston B power station. The scheme gave me the opportunity to try different aspects of the business through rotations to other areas of the company. This has proved to be useful as I have moved through several roles and currently am finding this background useful as I’m the Deputy Programme Manager for our Japanese Earthquake Response which is drawing on lots of different areas of expertise from within EDF Energy.

ALISTAIR VICKERS, Vice President of Safety and Operations, Global Wells BP

What is the best way to get into the engineering industry? I believe strongly in the value of getting exposed as much as you can to the very practical end of the industry you choose. An internship or work experience placement is an excellent way of getting exposure to the industry you are interested in. At BP we have a large internship programme and also offer other opportunities through initiatives such as BP Discovery Days and the BP Ultimate Field Trip competition which are great ways of getting started . What is the biggest mistake you have made in your career? Never be too proud to have someone check and balance your work, it helps you learn and other people can always bring a different perspective. There’s nothing worse than that moment when you hit the green button and your design doesn’t do what you expect it to.


ENGINEERING | ASK THE PROFESSIONALS

G I B

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SIMON KIRBY, Managing Director, Network Rail

N O I T S QUE GARY COPELAND, Director of engineering, British Airways

What is the best way to get into the engineering industry? At the entry level, it’s more about demonstrating your qualities, than just getting the right qualifications. We want people who have drive and enthusiasm, who can provide examples of team working and problem solving. Having some relevant work experience is vital, so organising that throughout your degree will provide you with some extremely valuable experience.

What is the best way to get into the engineering industry? Most engineers start their careers either as apprentices or as graduates in engineering, science or mathematics. British Airways runs very successful apprentice schemes at it’s main bases in London, Cardiff and Glasgow. Apprentices initially qualify as mechanics, but many people who start this way go on to further training as licensed engineers or to complete graduate training programmes. BA also recruits engineering graduates into a two-year graduate programme, leading to careers in aircraft management and maintenance. We have 120 students beginning apprenticeships this year, and 10 graduates entering the graduate programme.

What is the biggest mistake you have made in your career? Putting off additional training and learning. Every time I have pursued further training, I’ve found it paid off quickly in terms of career development and personal reward. Do you believe engineering is worth it for the money? A good engineering career is well rewarded and it’s also very satisfying to make things work, and to make a positive contribution to society. Above all, I have found my career in engineering to be both challenging, and fun. I have also had the opportunity to work with some great people over the years.

How did you get where you are today? When I graduated I chose to join a general engineering training scheme with a company that was a prime contractor for a nuclear submarine system design and manufacturer. This gave me an overview of a complex business and time to consider exactly what I wanted to do in the future. In 1993 I took on and turned round an underperforming project involving artillery systems. Costs were too high, there were design flaws and the factory was clogged with unused components. I knew it was a difficult project, but when you’re asked to do something you should take the risk and do it. It’s nearly always the right thing to do. The most challenging tasks are when you push yourself to do things you didn’t honestly know you could do. I ran three shipyards at the age of 34. Sometimes, at work, people don’t push themselves enough. If you want success you need to be self-motivated, to shape your own career. If you take responsibility for your own career, believe me the results will be entirely positive.

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ENGINEERING | IS GREEN GOOD FOR YOU?

The future’s bright, the future’s green COULD YOUR FUTURE BE IN ENVIROMENTAL ENGINEERING? GREEN ENGINEERING ISN’T JUST BIG NEWS, ITS BIG BUSINESS. For graduates looking to become engineers, the green sector is growing and knowing what’s what could give your career the green light.

Green meat SOMETIMES the least green industries aren’t immediately obvious. Farming livestock produces 18% of all greenhouse emissions, according to one study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisations. Yes cows, sheep and pigs are delicious but they’re also a big problem from a global warming point of view. Researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Amsterdam have come up with a solution that would keep the planet clean, our plates full and one that’s also kinder to animals. It’s called ‘tissue engineering’, growing just the meat wanted from a particular animal artificially in a lab. The meat is grown using Cyanobacteria hydrolysate as a nutrient and energy source for growing muscle cell. The idea’s green credentials come from the fact that it uses between 7-45% less

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energy to create the same volume of meat as it would to rear livestock for pork, lamb or beef. It would use slightly more energy than it would take to get chicken the old fashioned way but nowhere near as much land or water. “We are not saying that we could, or would necessarily want to, replace conventional meat with its cultured counterpart right now,” said Hanna Tuomisto of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, who led the research, “however, our research shows that cultured meat could be part of the solution to feeding the world’s growing population and at the same time cutting emissions and saving both energy and water. Simply put, cultured meat is, potentially, a much more efficient and environmentally-friendly way of putting meat on the table.”


ENGINEERING | IS GREEN GOOD FOR YOU?

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Bishop’s Palace motors into 21st Century Cling film, the new solar cell? IT MIGHT SOUND UNLIKELY but researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Sheffield have found the future of green energy might well lie in cling film. One of the down sides of solar power is that the cells, the bits that actually collect the energy, are expensive to manufacture. This means that they’re difficult to convince people to switch to and are only really for the rich and famous to power their ivory towers. But all that might change with the introduction of cling film solar cells. The results of a study by the two universities showed that stretching layers of cling film-like photovoltaic material over large plastic surfaces, as well as being simple to use, flexible and easily mass-produced and a much cheaper way to manufacture solar cells than using conventional silicon cells. Dr Andrew Parnell, who worked on the research at the University of Sheffield, spoke about the future of the breakthrough. “Our results give important insights into how ultra-cheap solar energy panels for domestic and industrial use can be manufactured on a large scale. These films could then be used to make cost-effective, light and easily transportable solar panels.” Renewable sources like solar energy are an essential part of making the future of energy production green and sustainable. As Dr Parnell’s colleague at the University, Professor Richard Jones said, “over the next fifty years society is going to need to supply the growing energy demands of the world’s population without using fossil fuels, and the only renewable energy source that can do this is the sun. Cheap and efficient polymer solar cells that can cover huge areas could help move us into a new age of renewable energy.”

USUALLY environmentally sound buildings are made of white plastic or have smooth sweeping architecture. Rarely are they medieval castles. But Bishop’s Palace, which has been the home of the Bishops of Bath and Wells for the last 800 years, is producing enough renewable energy to power its new visitor’s centre. It might sound outrageous to stick wind turbines and solar panels all over an impressive old building, and it probably is.

Luckily that’s not how they did it. Instead, a water source heat pump was installed in the moat which surrounds Bishop’s Palace. The pump, which is made of six 100 metre long coils, works the same way as the coil on the back of a freezer but in reverse. Water naturally heats up in the coils and that heat is then distributed throughout the visitor centre via under-floor heating pipes. Neil Otter, Operations Director for Ecovision, the company that installed the heat pump, explains why it was such a challenge to install. “We’ve installed many closed loop water source systems using the same loop layout strategy. However in the past we’ve had the luxury of a dry surface to construct them on. The challenge at Bishop’s Palace was to get the loop set in exactly the right position by floating it from the launch area on the bank into the final sunken location.”

Solar space ray SOLAR PANELS are likely to be an important energy source in the future, particularly if oil either runs out or we decide to stop using it because of all that global warming. The problem is, they generate relatively little power even in large quantities. The solution: concentrate the Sun’s power so you need fewer panels to generate more power. Researchers at the University of Surrey, led by Professor Stephen Sweeney, believe they’ll be the first to do this. The idea was proposed in the 1960s, but only recent developments in photovoltaics, the science of generating electric power using sunlight, have made it possible. Using satellites, the proposal is to focus sunlight converting it into an infrared laser beam. Targeted at a ‘receiver spot’

somewhere on the Earth, the energy is ‘harvested’ using ultra-efficient photovoltaic cells. Collecting solar energy in this way has a number of benefits. As well as increasing the energy that can be collected from each cell, it also means satellites can be repositioned to capture sunlight 24 hours a day, with no loss of energy in the atmosphere. Whilst targeting a laser at the earth might sound a little dangerous, the laser would work at a long wavelength so wouldn’t be visible or harmful, like ultraviolet light. The proposed system is also believed to be accurate to less than 30 metres. It might sound like the stuff of science fiction films, but trials began this summer. If all goes well, it is hoped that the satellites will be in space and operational by 2016.

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REAL LIFE STORIES | GRADUATE ENGINEERS

GRADUATE STORIES David Talbot studied Chemical Engineering at Nottingham University. He’s now a Graduate Process Engineer with Centrica. FOLLOWING BRIEF INTRODUCTIONS to senior management my head of department outlined the list of jobs I was to complete. I was terrified, to go from university where I was working on risk free theoretical work, to working in a team of experienced engineers on tangible projects that would make a significant difference; it was a bigger leap than I’d anticipated. I knew if I got to the end of the year I would be 100 times the engineer that I currently was. I left work completely drained and completely ready to start my career. The biggest change over the year has been my confidence in my own ability. No longer do I look at a problem and assume it’s beyond me. I’ve developed a structured, reasoned approach to tackling problems. I’ve also worked with the production technicians; which helped me understand the asset a lot better as I was physically out on the plant. The major lesson I’ve learnt is that the network you build dictates how effectively you can complete a task. Knowing one key person can save you days of trawling through archives; alienating people and isolating yourself will do you no favours in industry. My team are definitely the best thing about my job, they have seemingly infinite patience for my questions, and their engineering understanding is inspiring, I want to be that good! The worst part of my job? Poor quality tea-bags. Other than that there is a fair amount of red tape so forcing change swiftly is often a very tough task. As with all things, experience will help. My advice would be to say yes to everything. As a graduate you essentially know nothing and so you will be learning new things in everything you do. Every opportunity is one for development and every piece of work makes a difference. Also enjoy it ... you won’t be stuck behind a desk all day every day; you can get your hands dirty and physically see the produce of your labours.

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“EVERY OPPORTUNITY IS ONE FOR DEVELOPMENT”


REAL LIFE STORIES | GRADUATE ENGINEERS

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Bethan Smith is studying Mechanical Engineering at Bath University and is doing a year in industry as an Intern with Rolls-Royce. “MY CURRENT PROJECT INVOLVES LOOKING AT STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY” I am currently working in the NDE (NonDestructive Evaluation) Engineering department at Elton Road, Derby, which takes care of all the NDE for civil aerospace. I am working for the In-Service team, whose job it is to inspect for cracks on any damaged or critical parts in the engine. My current project is to research and collate the different probe and manipulator technologies that could potentially be used within the NDT In-Service team, as they have great difficulty accessing and inspecting some areas of the engine. This involves looking at state-of-theart technology and visiting and talking to other relevant companies. My first day at Rolls-Royce was quite nervewracking – having to meet all the people I was going to be working with for the next year; but,

my line manager was very helpful and after a couple of weeks I felt very settled. Being here, I’m learning a lot more about the common practices used within the industry, and the acronym’s used. The quickest thing I am learning and improving is my communication skills, both through presentations and meetings and more informal environments as well. The best part about being here is the people I work with and the offsite work – like going on inspections and visiting other engineering companies. Although the downside is getting up at 6.30am so I can get in for 8 o’clock. My advice to new graduates is don’t be afraid to ask questions, everyone was a new starter once! And a phone call is often a lot quicker and more informative than an email.

Tom Barker is studying for a MEng in Mechanical Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University. He is currently a Summer Intern Manufacturing Engineer in Rotatives New Product Introduction for Rolls-Royce. “STUDENTS SHOULD EXPECT TO BE PLANNING OR OVERSEEING THEIR OWN ENGINEERING PROJECTS” Right now I’m between my third and final year at university and working in my third undergraduate placement as a summer intern. Between my second and third year at university I took a year internship and straight after I worked as a summer intern. As an intern, the first day at RollsRoyce is spent in a corporate introduction, learning more about the company. On the second day you move into your new place of work. I remember feeling nervous and in awe of the experience and knowledge of the people I worked with. I also felt that everyone was using an alien language to communicate, although I quickly found myself picking up the acronyms used to explain components and processes and

understanding the work that I was set. This transition was made much easier through the support which everyone gave me and the many people who were willing to go out of their way to explain things to me. The best thing about all the jobs I’ve worked in has been the amount of responsibility I’ve been given. No student should be under any illusion that a summer or year internship is a chance to get good at fetching people coffee. At Rolls-Royce students should expect to be working as real engineers who will be planning and overseeing their own engineering projects. I’ve visited and worked with suppliers both in their place of work and at the Farnborough air show, taken a redesign of a Trent 900 engine part from concept

through to development and managed the manufacturing capability of engine components. During the first month of my year internship I kept quiet in the thought that people didn’t much want an intern constantly asking questions and inputting ideas. I soon found this to be totally untrue and, as soon as I did, new opportunities opened to such an extent that I found myself taking a lead on the redesign of a component. My piece of advice to new engineers is to show interest, ask for help when you need it and try to be as realistic as you can when you set yourself deadlines. A notepad and a pen to hand also helps.

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TECHNOLOGY | THE CUTTING EDGE

Tech-ing over t NEW TECHNOLOGIES - MADE BY GRADUATES AND MAKING THE NEWS

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RADUATES with knowledge of the latest technologies are invaluable to all sorts of companies, helping them stay at the cutting edge. But as well as keeping employers up to date, graduates are also redrawing the map of the technological landscape. Here are some of the latest technologies to make their mark.

TOUCHSCREEN SCREEN TV

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ome of the fun of being a technology graduate has to be making real what previously only existed in science fiction. That’s definitely what BSc Software Engineering student Adil Zaheer must feel he’s done. The University of Salford student, along with lecturer Lee Griffiths, has created a new touchscreen technology that allows the user to pick up, drag around and generally play havoc with social media of any kind. “Interactive touchscreens and surfaces are becoming commonplace since being popularised with products like the iPhone. Our touch surface application allows TV presenters to display and manipulate pictures and comments sent in by viewers,” Griffiths explained. Nicknamed MediaSurface, the technology is proving so popular that the BBC have been trialling it for use in future broadcasts. Having used the technology to incorporate viewer’s posts on Twitter and Facebook into a broadcast, BBC presenter Gordon Burns tried the technology and had nothing but good things to say about it, commenting on how it was exactly the sort of technology TV presenters would welcome.


TECHNOLOGY | THE CUTTING EDGE

r the world FLEXITRONICS

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ith e-books, iPhones and just about everything else getting smaller and smaller, it’s got to reach a point when gadgets just can’t get any smaller. So what happens next? Postgraduates and researchers at the University of Surrey have sidestepped the size issue by designing components that fold. The break-through technology is called the Source Gate Transistor (SGT), used to amplify and switch electronic signals without needing to be integrated into an electronic process. The SGT is a physical barrier, which means it can be easily modified to serve different purposes, from powersaving to analogue precision. Basically, it’s so simple it can be used for pretty much anything. “With the SGT, the beauty is that you can tune it to your application and it’s still very robust so it doesn’t require perfect alignment during fabrication,” says Radu Sporea, a third-year Electronic Engineering PhD student at the University. The fact that it doesn’t need to be precision-built to work means the SGT can be produced cheaply and still be usable. Sporea is part of the team making the SGT usable in everyday technology. He believes that in a few years it could be printed onto sheets, making it a cheap and flexible component for use in everything from screens to keypads. He adds, “A very good application of all this would be very thin plastic display screens that are flexible enough to bend or roll up into a cylinder, with all the electronics built in and sort-of transparent.” The real problem now is convincing industry that the technology is worthwhile. But Sporea is confident that once they’re on board, anything’s possible.

TALKING TECHNOLOGY

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hile a lot of new technologies are fun or frivolous, some can change lives. An electromagnetic voice synthesiser, developed by a group of British universities, promises to do just that for throat cancer patients. The technology, designed and created by experts at the universities of Hull and Sheffield together with the NHS, could replace existing options for patients that have undergone throat surgery. Currently the only options for anyone that has had their larynx removed are electrolarynxes and silicone valves. Both have faults; requiring awkward equipment and sounding unnatural or filling with fluid after a few months. James Gilbert of the University of Hull comments, “It’s clear that current techniques and methods available to patients are limited, with systems failing too soon or sounding too artificial. With further work our research could allow patients to lead normal lives without drawing attention to their condition.” The new technology works by using a series of magnets to create a moveable three dimensional electromagnetic field inside a patient’s mouth. With analysis of which movements will link to which sounds this can be used to generate specific words and phrases. Trials have so far created databases of up to 57 words. The hope is, in future, to record a patient’s voice before surgery to allow it to be synthesised afterwards. Combining these two technologies could give a patient their own voice back after surgery...only with a robot voicebox, which is much cooler than an ordinary one.

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JOBS AT THE TOP LEVEL SCORE YOUR DREAM JOB IN GAMES DEVELOPMENT


TECHNOLOGY | GAME FOR A CAREER

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GAMES DESIGN IS COOL, let’s face it. In the last ten years computer games have come of age, resembling Hollywood movies in plot, visuals and budgets. But how do you get to be on the other side of the screen? We spent a day with indy games developers PLA Studios to learn how to set the high scores in the technology world.

ROBIN LACY CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND CO-DIRECTOR OF PLA STUDIOS As Creative Director my job is to oversee the team and to make sure things are delivered on time and on budget. And to rein in the development process so that the best possible product is made rather than just an insane product. Essentially my job is part time being that of a Producer, making sure that what we want to achieve is achievable, so speaking to George and Russ and making sure everything is working well and on time, and if that all happens then it gets made. My background is I set up a company when I was 25 called beatnik games and I had to develop something of a project management role because we didn’t have a producer. So I cut my teeth doing that. A lot of keeping things on time and budget is just running a business. In terms of technical background, I did an English degree and worked in journalism for a bit, I had no end of jobs. But there is technical stuff involved in this job and having an understanding of all the processes that go into making a game is vital. I set up the company and came at it from a business development angle and had to learn about game development and everything like that on the fly. Which was pretty terrifying. There aren’t really qualifications in this

industry. There are games design degrees but they don’t count for all that much. The whole industry thrives on people who think in interesting and different ways and those people tend to come from different backgrounds. There isn’t really a course because it’s such a young industry. Anyone can sit at home and make great games, pretty much off their own back. If you just spend a year making game you’re going to learn ten times more than some lecturer telling you what good games design is. And if you put out a game, even if it’s just a flash game, and it’s a bit popular that’ll really make people take notice and show you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. That’s the main thing, to just show willing. A friend put it that as a games developer, you know the secret language to make anything happen. So it’s a creative media where there’s pretty no holds barred. It’s very exciting to be in that kind of space. Do I enjoy my job? Definitely, it’s the best job in the world without a doubt.

TOM PAIGE IS CO-DIRECTOR OF PLA STUDIOS My job is basically split between general marketing of us as a business, new business-lead creation, business development and a certain amount of marketing input to the games we make.

Before this I used to work in PR and marketing in the games industry. I used to work in digital communications for corporate clients, before that I was a broadcaster on the radio and before that I was a sound engineer for a rock band. And before all that I was at university where I studied philosophy. My experience in digital marketing to do this job was invaluable, my experience in the games industry just introduced me to the process of games development. I’m not a developer myself, I’m not a techie, I can’t programme a line of code and most of the time what I hear the rest of the office talk in technical terms it just goes straight over my head. Nowadays media in all its form has got to the point where the various channels of the media are so complicated, so advanced and so constantly converging that traditional passive advertising and marketing is starting to fail. People are sensitised to things like banner adverts, and interactivity is the key to getting people’s attention and potentially selling something to them. And there’s no industry more expert in the art of making an interactive experience than the games industry. As someone that hasn’t been in the games development world very long, it is an absolutely fantastic metaphorical place to work. If you’re not really interested in games, there’s no reason why you’d consider this industry, but if you are absolutely passionate about games and the process behind creating games then you have a much chance as getting into the industry as anyone out there. The backgrounds of people in the games industry are so ridiculously diverse. Yes, if you want to be a coder or a designer you’re going to have to learn to code or design, but there really is no barrier of entry to that. You can start no matter how old you are. People are so happy to see what can be done and to see other people create something unique and interesting that competitiveness doesn’t enter into the >>

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TECHNOLOGY | GAME FOR A CAREER

"MY ADVICE: STICK AT IT. IT'S NOT AS DIFFICULT AS IT MIGHT FIRST SEEM" TOM PAIGE

industry at all. That’s why it’s such a lovely place to work. My advice: Stick at it. It’s not as difficult as it might first seem to break into the industry.

GEORGE BUCKENHAM IS A PLAYFUL EXPERIENCE GURU AT PLA STUDIOS I programme, make, put together and design games, pretty much all the bits that don’t involve drawing or modelling stuff. I’ve been working at PLA since March but in terms of actually making games, I’ve been doing it a year or two longer than that. I went through university and studied Cognitive Science, which is a joint degree between computer science and psychology. The main help it was was that computer science taught me how to programme. I don’t know how much of it was specifically taught but I spent four years in the company of people who programmed. You definitely need some knowledge of programming to do this job but I’m a reasonably decent programmer and I’ll meet people who are, by their own admission, worse programmers and they’ll show me things they’ve done and I’ll be like “What? How did you do that?” So you don’t necessarily need to be like an amazing programmer, the important thing is that you start making games. I got involved, at uni, in the indy games scene and I was annoyed that I hadn’t

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actually made a game. So just after uni I got frustrated and made a game. It took me about a month, working on it most of the time. I put it out there and actually put effort into marketing it and promoting it and it got tens of thousands of hits. People seemed to like it and it got nice reviews. The most important thing is to just make games. Whilst you’re at university you have time, you don’t have as much time as everyone else patronisingly assumes you do, but you do have some time and should use that time as much as possible. Just make games. If you want to be making games there’s no reason why you can’t be already. It’s obviously lovely to be doing this during the day but if I wasn’t I’d still be making games. There are no barriers to making games and once you’ve done that for a year and got to know people in the games industry one day someone will say “we’re looking for a programmer, somebody mentioned your name” and you end up with an actual job.

IAN GILLESPIE IS LEAD ARTIST AT PLA STUDIOS My job involves doing everything. Because we’re a start-up I had to do all the artwork for everything basically: all the stuff for games and all the branding, 2D stuff, 3D stuff. I did computer games design at uni but

after I graduated I didn’t go into games I did animation. I had been in the animation industry for a few years before I started this job. I got into animation through computer games because I did a degree game and did all the artwork and animation for that and thought “this is pretty fun”. The best advice for anything art related is just be interested, just sit around and play with the programmes. If it’s fun to learn then that’s a good way in. The reason I didn’t get into games before is that I’m a bit too broad for a lot of people. They either want just a 3D modeller or just an animator or something like that and so I was a bit of a jack of some trades, master of none. Then when I came to see Robin and Tom they said “oh we love you.” What I like about the job is that you get to come in and draw stupid things. It’s cool. Another good thing is just meeting people who are into the same stuff. I wouldn’t say schmoozing is a good way into the industry but if you’re a good person people will remember you. The games world is very much a community rather than an industry. You all meet up for drinks and there are a lot of events and things like that. My advice is to do what is fun, just do what you like and good things will come of it. You can get into games design from any degree as long as you’re interested and put in work to learn things beforehand.


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ARE Y U GAME? WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET INTO GAMES DEVELOPMENT? AMES DEVELOPMENT is different to a lot of jobs in that everyone who does it wants to do it. If you don’t, then why start? It’s not like the world is lacking in computer games. It’s also different because having a passion for it is about all you need to get involved, you can pick up everything else along the way. So what’re you waiting for? WHAT DO I NEED? The truth is, not very much. If you want to programme games then obviously you’re going to have to be able to programme (and having a degree in something that involves a lot of programming is going to be a benefit). But the games development industry is pretty diverse and employs people qualified in everything from journalism to marketing to psychology.

Like any creative industry, what games developers really want is someone who can think differently to everyone else. So if you can come up with ideas that even surprise you, then proving that to employers is going to have more effect than anything on your CV. But ‘proving it’ is the important point. Employers aren’t going to invite you to an interview because you say you’re good at thinking up games concepts. If, however, you’ve created a simple game in your spare time then employers might not even wait for you to apply before offering you a job. HOW DO I GET STARTED? Getting started is as easy as, well, getting started. As well as making games for fun before you make them for a living, doing everything else a games developer does will set you up for a job in the industry. For example, go to games meetings and talk to people in the industry. Games development is a relatively young

field, so networking isn’t about schmoozing and handing out business cards at private functions. It’s a lot more like hanging out in a community, admittedly one that’s really passionate about one thing. Gamejams, weekends where developers get together and make games for fun, are really good ways to get to know people in the industry and to let them know what you can do. IS IT TOO LATE? It’s never too late. Software updates itself so often that if you start now, you’ll be as clued-up as anyone else in a month or two. And that’s all the specialist knowledge there is. Most of it is open source and free to download too, so it won’t cost you a fortune to see if it’s for you. So now you’ve got everything you need, are you ready for the next level?

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DIRECTORY | WHO’S WHO

DIRECTORY CIVIL ENGINEERING Civil engineers are responsible for bridges, dams, roads and pretty much anything else you can point to day to day, unless it’s a tree. Because of this there are loads of chances to specialise in everything from coastal engineering to the urban environment. Babcock Their range of projects is diverse and most graduates will find something that suits or interests them. Applications open in October 2011 for their graduate scheme in 2011/2012. www.babcock.co.uk/pages/careers/ graduates

Balfour Beatty Apply all year round using their job search for suitable jobs opportunities. You’ll need at least a 2:2 degree to apply. If you’re to be considered, you’ll also need to pass pre-employment checks, including proof of your right to work in the UK. http://graduates.balfourbeatty.com/ graduate-careers.aspx

Centrica Applications for their 2012 graduate scheme and internship open in October 2011. http://www.centrica.com/index. asp?pageid=928

Network Rail Applies to: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Finance, Information Management (IT), Mechanical Engineering, Project management) Ripe with new funding, Network Rail’s graduate scheme covers most kinds of engineering. Application for a place in 2012 close in September. http://apply.networkrailgraduates.co.uk

Nuclear Graduates Application runs throughout the year and they want Engineers of all disciplines. Successful applicants join a two year

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scheme, at the end of which they get allocated to one of the member companies and organisations. www.nucleargraduates.com/

graduate scheme covers most kinds of engineering. Application for a place in 2012 close in September. http://apply.networkrailgraduates.co.uk

Npower

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING As a mechanical engineer, you get to take what physicists do and make it real and possible. It nicely fills the mid ground between science, technology and business. That said it isn’t any one thing, building a programmable robot is miles away from engineering a container ship.

Balfour Beatty Apply all year round using their job search for suitable jobs opportunities. You’ll need at least a 2:2 degree to apply. If you’re to be considered, you’ll also need to pass pre-employment checks, including proof of your right to work in the UK. http://graduates.balfourbeatty.com/ graduate-careers.aspx

Corus An employment scheme for graduates and placements for studying students. Applications are in five waves, they open in September and close when all positions are filled. You can register with them throughout the year. www.corusgroup.com/en/careers/ graduates_and_placements/

Cummins Recruitment starts in October for the following year. You can apply on their website throughout the year. www.eujobs.cummins.com

Network Rail Applies to: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Finance, Information Management (IT), Mechanical Engineering, Project management) Ripe with new funding, Network Rail’s

Online applications open in September each year and close once all positions have been filled. www.babcock.co.uk/pages/careers/ graduates

Nuclear Graduates Application runs throughout the year and they want Engineers of all disciplines. Successful applicants join a two year scheme, at the end of which they get allocated to one of the member companies and organisations. www.nucleargraduates.com/

Science and Technologies Facilities Council Their recruitment process is closed for this year, but check early next year for their 2012 uptake. www.graduates.scitech.ac.uk

Thales Thales takes on about 100 graduates each the year in mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Recruitment is continuous and application is through their website. www.ukgrads.thalesgroup.com/

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING Electrical engineering was first considered its own field after the invention of the telegraph, and it’s been going strong ever since. With almost everything having some kind of wiring in it these days, electrical engineering isn’t just a diverse field, it’s also one where you’ll be constantly in demand.


DIRECTORY | WHO’S WHO

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DIRECTORY AMEC Recruitment is across their three divisions: natural resources, power and environmental engineering. Applications open from October 2011 for their 2012 schemes. www.amec.com/careers/graduates

Balfour Beatty Apply all year round using their job search for suitable jobs opportunities. You’ll need at least a 2:2 degree to apply. If you’re to be considered, you’ll also need to pass pre-employment checks, including proof of your right to work in the UK. http://graduates.balfourbeatty.com/ graduate-careers.aspx

Network Rail Applies to: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Finance, Information Management (IT), Mechanical Engineering, Project management) Ripe with new funding, Network Rail’s graduate scheme covers most kinds of engineering. Application for a place in 2012 close in September. http://apply.networkrailgraduates.co.uk

Npower Online applications open in September each year and close once all positions have been filled. www.babcock.co.uk/pages/careers/ graduates

Nuclear Graduates Application runs throughout the year and they want Engineers of all disciplines. Successful applicants join a two year scheme, at the end of which they get allocated to one of the member companies and organisations. www.nucleargraduates.com/

Science and Technologies Facilities Council Their recruitment process is closed for this year, but check early next year for their 2012 uptake. www.graduates.scitech.ac.uk

Thales Thales takes on about 100 graduates

each the year in mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Recruitment is continuous and application is through their website. www.ukgrads.thalesgroup.com/

IT AND COMMUNICATIONS In a world where everyone wants an iPhone, everyone has a personal computer and the average car has more computing power the Apollo 11 lunar lander, IT is an important industry. Far from just including programming, jobs in IT and communications can involve building computer hardware, designing mobile phone and internet networks and pretty much being in demand by any company with more than two people on staff. Centrica Applications for their 2012 graduate scheme and internship open in October 2011. http://www.centrica.com/index. asp?pageid=929

Ericsson (UK) Ericsson offer a graduate R&D programme. Recruitment is in the fourth quarter of each year for the following year. http://www.ericsson.com/careers/student

Science and Technologies Facilities Council Their recruitment process is closed for this year, but check early next year for their 2012 uptake. www.graduates.scitech.ac.uk

Thales Thales takes on about 100 graduates each the year in mechanical, electrical

and software engineering. Recruitment is continuous and application is through their website. www.ukgrads.thalesgroup.com/

AEROSPACE ENGINEERING Probably the best thing about being an aerospace engineer is being legitimately allowed to say “it’s not rocket science and I would know”. Aerospace engineers get to work on all the biggest toys, from microlight aircraft to NASA’s hypersonic jet. Airbus They offer three graduate schemes, all of which are closed for 2011 application check their website for details of their 2012 scheme. www.airbus.com/en/careers/opportunitiesfor/recent-graduates

Defence Engineering and Science Group DESG offer three graduate schemes, in different parts of the country, and a student sponsorship. Applications open in midSeptember for the following year. http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/ AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/ ScienceandTechnology/DESG/ GraduateOpportunities.htm

GE Recruitment is throughout the year, via their website. Schemes include internships, Masters courses and leadership programmes. www.ge.com/careers/students

Rolls Royce Applications for different positions (on both civil and defence aviation) run throughout the year. However, candidates can only apply for one position each recruitment cycle.

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DIRECTORY | WHO’S WHO

DIRECTORY www.rolls-royce.com/careers/graduate_ progs/

www.matthey.com/careers/ GraduateOpps.html

Thales

Kerry Group

Thales takes on about 100 graduates each the year in mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Recruitment is continuous and application is through their website. www.ukgrads.thalesgroup.com/

They take on graduates all year round, although the location of vacancies changes. Application is via their website. http://www.kerrygroup.com/careers_ index.asp

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING If the lab, white coat and goggles were always an important part of science for you, then chemical engineering might be a good calling. Being the people who create everything from new shampoo formulas to life-saving drugs, it’s an interesting and diverse business. AMEC Recruitment is across their three divisions: natural resources, power and environmental engineering. They recruit around 50 graduates a year in the UK and have schemes abroad. www.amec.com/careers/graduates

BP They offer a range of graduate schemes and internships. Recruitment for all positions opens on 19th September 2011. As might be expected from a global company, they have schemes worldwide. www.bp.com

Centrica Applications for their 2012 graduate scheme and internship open in October 2011. http://www.centrica.com/index. asp?pageid=928

Nuclear Graduates Application runs throughout the year and they want Engineers of all disciplines. Successful applicants join a two year scheme, at the end of which they get allocated to one of the member companies and organisations. www.nucleargraduates.com/

DEFENCE ENGINEERING Defence has always been at the cutting edge of engineering. Building new weapons, ways to defend against them and all the infrastructure that armed forces use is a multi-trillion dollar international industry. Babcock Their range of projects is diverse and most graduates will find something that suits or interests them. Applications are in four stages and you need to apply before January because that’s when successful applicants get interviewed. www.babcock.co.uk/pages/careers/ graduates

BAE Systems They offer three graduate programmes, for finance, engineering and fast-tracked leadership. Recruitment is throughout the year and application is via their website. www.baesystems.com/graduates/

Johnson Matthey Positions are available throughout the year, depending on location.

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Defence Engineering and Science Group

DESG offer three graduate schemes, in different parts of the country, and a student sponsorship. Applications open in midSeptember for the following year. http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/ AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/ ScienceandTechnology/DESG/ GraduateOpportunities.htm

EADS They offer a fastrack management scheme and a graduate programme. At time of print, applications for their 24 month PROGRESS graduate scheme had closed, but their 2012 scheme was about to open. They recruit for graduate roles more generally throughout the year. http://www.eads.com/eads/int/en/work-foreads/Early-Careers.html

Lockheed Martin Recruitment is throughout the year, apply through their website. You must have a 2:1 or expected 2:1 in a relevant degree to be considered for any of their programmes. http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/careers/ grads-interns.html

Rolls Royce Applications for different positions (on both civil and defence aviation) run throughout the year. However, candidates can only apply for one position each recruitment cycle. www.rolls-royce.com/careers/graduate_ progs/

Thales Thales takes on about 100 graduates each the year in mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Recruitment is continuous and application is through their website. www.ukgrads.thalesgroup.com//

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Career Resource featuring over 270 Professional Bodies

34 sector summaries and a profession finder search Supported by professional bodies such as: Association of Accounting Technicians, Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment, Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, Chartered Insurance Institute, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Socitm, British Institute of Facilities Management, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Institute of Physics, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Association of International Accountants, Society & College of Radiographers


my ‘I felt like it was responsibility to ck’ give something ba Adam Rogers, taught ICT, now Director of Year 9 Progress

change Their lives and change yours Just 16% of kids eligible for free school meals make it to university, compared to 96% from independent schools.*   Take up the challenge, Teach First.

www.teachfirst.org.uk Teach First is a registered charity, no:1098294

TF2206 Real World Engineering &Tech A4.indd 1

*Sutton Trust, 2010

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NEW Engineering Special Edition 2011