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13 July 2012
Students studying maths and science A-levels and Scottish Highers have headed to Cardiff University to attend the UK Electronic Skills Foundation Summer School this week.
Students took part a design and build challenge, where they created and harmonised electronic voice boxes under the tutelage of David Howard of BBC 4's Castrato and Voice, Channel 4's Hidden Talent and professor of music technology at the University of York.
The course held at the Cardiff School of Engineering has been created to help reverse a 35 per cent drop in UK electronic engineering degree students; a decline which threatens the future of the £23 billion per year UK electronics industry, which employs 250,000 people.
At the heart of the course is creative sessions, where students design and build their own products; and lectures given by leading UK researchers and inspirational engineers from world leading electronic design companies, including course sponsors ARM, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor and Imagination Technologies.
Additionally students attend a career progression afternoon, with engineers from sponsoring companies; taster degree sessions run by UKESF affiliated universities; and visited the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, to see the application of advanced electronics in a scientific research setting.
Dr Derek Boyd, UKESF director and CEO of NMI said: "Electronic engineering is one of the most rewarding and interesting career paths open to students. The Summer School has been designed to promote awareness of this economically vital industry and the range of professional careers open to graduates."
Professor Karen Holford, Director of Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, said: "As a University we work closely with electronics companies within Wales and the UK to give our students the best opportunities to succeed. The UK punches significantly above its weight in electronic innovation and we need to continue to attract more of the brightest students to study engineering at universities like Cardiff and help prepare them for a vibrant and innovative career."
Bill Parsons, VP of HR at ARM, said: "The increases in university fees mean students are thinking very carefully about career paths and value for money. Engineers, who have the ability to think around problems, are among the most demanded by employers and the electronics sector has many exciting and well paid opportunities for talented graduates."
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