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Technology gap year programmes

Top Science and Engineering Career beckons for Emily

Emily Nicholls has marked herself out as a future leader in the UK’s vital science and engineering sector by winning the top prize in ‘The Year in Industry’, the leading working gap year programme for students studying subjects leading to careers in science, technology and engineering. At an event at the BT Auditorium in London Emily was awarded the prize for the student whose project has provided the most significant "Contribution to the Business” for their host company.
Emily spent a year working with Babcock International Group in part working on a project concerning redundant radioactive equipment stored at the company which was assessed and sent to a specialised metal melting facility to have recyclable material extracted. The metal extracted was then recycled, meaning there was less remaining needing disposal. Emily’s principal role in the project was to assess the activity of the radionuclides in the waste. This proved a particular challenge as the activity values of some radionuclides had to be calculated using complex mathematical models, specialised software and spreadsheets. Emily used her calculations to estimate the total weight and activity of the waste and make initial transport arrangements for its consignment. Emily’s project was an important first for Babcock, paving the way for the future. Significant cost and environmental savings were made, with the one consignment resulting in many tonnes of metal being recycled.

Dr Gordon Mizner, Chief Executive of EDT, the educational charity that runs ‘The Year in Industry’ says,
"Emily has undertaken an exceptional project for Babcock. Over 500 students take part in ‘The Year in Industry’, all working for high quality companies on unique projects. To be selected as the top project for business contribution out of all these options is a considerable achievement.”
"‘The Year in Industry’ provides those who are planning a career in science, technology or engineering with an opportunity to experience those disciplines in a top class working environment. It also gives them experience of working in teams, project leadership, presentation skills and communications skills.”
"All students who have undertaken ‘The Year in Industry’ are equipping themselves to be highly attractive to future employers. Those like Emily who have been identified as undertaking excellent projects for their companies are marking themselves out for a top flight future career.”

Emily says,
"The work I have been doing with Babcock has really opened my eyes to future career possibilities. I have been given loads of responsibility to take my projects forward and to use my skills to bring them to a conclusion. It is really satisfying to see my ideas being taking into practice and, of course, like all students I welcome the fact that during the year I have also been paid by the company. As a really effective way to use a gap year The Year in Industry has been brilliant.”
Roger Collison, Health Physics Advisor (Disposal), for Babcock International Group was impressed with Emily’s contribution saying,
"The standard of work that Emily has achieved nearly matches the level that we would expect from an MSc Post Graduate and would daunt many professionals. Her work has been of significant benefit to the team and company, leaving a lasting and significant impact”.

‘The Year in Industry’ programme is currently filling its final few places for this year’s students and would also be interested in hearing from student and companies interested in taking part in the programme starting September 2011.

Those interested should visit or contact 023 8059 7061 or