The Ogden summer internship programme continues to grow. This year, 66 placements were successfully completed at 32 host organisations around the UK.
The majority of internships this year were in research at universities and affiliated organisations; 51 placements were successfully completed and several of the interns will be named as co-authors on papers due to be published in the future. There were 11 internships in university outreach and a further four in a commercial setting. The feedback from the programme has been incredibly positive and has shown that the interns were of a very high-standard; most have made a genuine and worthwhile contribution to highly-complex projects and have approached the tasks assigned to them with professionalism and commitment.
[The intern] has been a real pleasure to work with – keen, interested in everything, communicates very well and appears to have really enjoyed the internship. [She] has understood a sophisticated research project and produced numerical simulations to investigate the behaviour, with good graphs and plots as outputs. Her standard of work is very high and it will form part of an academic research paper that we intend to publish in a journal in due course.
[The intern] has produced some outstanding results. He has written a prototype of software that we can use to make measurements in the lab. I fully expect that we will be using his software for real experiments within the next couple of months.
“I have been really impressed by the variety and complexity of the placements and the achievements that have been made by our interns, many of whom are only in their first year at university,” says Melanie Gardner, who co-ordinated the programme this year. “It has been a pleasure to read the reports from the interns and to see the feedback that they have received. Our interns seem to make a real difference to their host organisations, and in turn the placements are making a real difference to the interns – opening up new opportunities and showing them different options.”
Twenty-one interns were nominated by their supervisors for an Outstanding Intern award – acknowledging and rewarding those interns who excelled in their placement and who have shown commitment, personal development and growth as a result of their internship experience. Selecting the winners was a difficult process, but in the end, the following awards were made:
Luke Buxton was recognised as our outstanding commercial intern; Emma Dodd for research, and Mariam Rashid and Ryan Barouki were jointly awarded the prize for outreach.
Luke Buxton – Astute Fire
From day one, Luke demonstrated an extremely positive and determined attitude towards the overall internship and every task that he undertook. He demonstrated an outstanding ability to pick up new tasks and challenges very quickly, and executed his work to a standard higher than we would have expected from a first-year student, and in some cases better than we would even expect from a qualified engineer. As part of his internship, Luke was tasked with completing a full research project into a new and innovative idea that would strengthen our company’s offering and build on its technical capability. He presented all of the problems, methodologies, assumptions and results using a well written and professional powerpoint presentation to the whole of the company. He responded without hesitation to every comment during the Q&A session, no matter how technical, and was able to recommend future actions in order to make this new idea a commercially viable product.
Emma Dodd – University of Lancaster
Emma’s attitude throughout the internship was outstanding. She started without any relevant previous knowledge, but excelled in all tasks and showed an attitude at the level of an excellent PhD student. Emma did extraordinarily well, progressing at a much faster rate, and achieving results that will be part of a refereed publication. I would definitely recommend Emma for any research position she may be interested in in the future. She not only did outstanding research work, but she also explained it really well to colleagues and other interested people.
Ryan Barouki (York) and Mariam Rashid (Leeds) – Physics at Work
Mariam and Ryan were able to quickly and competently achieve the task set out for them in preparing the project management plan for the Physics at Work event occurring in December 2018. Mariam led the development of the Physics at Work website, and Ryan produced a video to promote the event: http://wripa.ac.uk/physics-work-event/
Ryan was highly motivated throughout the internship and worked consistently hard. He managed his time extremely well and was very proactive in looking for opportunities to enhance the project. Ryan gave up additional time to participate in a sixth-form residential. He was a real asset – taking the lead on running the activities he had developed. Ryan was diligent in trialling all aspects of the experiments to ensure that the accompanying lab scripts were both thorough and pitched appropriately. These activities have allowed us to pursue a much-needed new approach to give sixth-formers hands-on experiences when they visit the University, they have already been used extensively by visiting groups and are proving very popular. Ryan was always positive and friendly and worked well with staff and students alike.
Mariam approached her internship with optimism, positivity and enthusiasm for the role and the remit of the work. She focused on the task at hand, planned tasks and executed them within a specific timeline. Mariam worked collaboratively with Ryan at York and was open to the experience of learning new skills and practising them during the role. Mariam also stepped in to assist with work experience week and the physics summer school when needed, acting in a leadership role towards student hosts and assisting with management of programmes throughout the events.
Applications for the 2018 programme will open in February/March next year.