‘Don’t be intimidated, robotics is a multidisciplinary subject which means there will always be stuff you don’t know. Best thing to do is read and practice the stuff you don’t know!’
Connor Meringolo, Graduate Robotic Systems Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space, graduated from his BSc (Hons) Electronic and Communications Engineering with a Year in Industry degree in summer 2021. We caught up with Connor, who chatted to us about his favourite memories of Kent and his advice for students looking to get into the industry.
How do you feel your time at Kent prepared you for working in the industry?
Kent prepared me to go into industry by allowing me to work in my areas of interest, like robotics, and paired me with the right supervisors.
What did you learn in your degree that has been beneficial to you in your role?
Doing the Matlab and Control Theory modules really helped in learning some of the more advanced robotics concepts I have to learn in my job.
What are your main responsibilities and tasks?
My main responsibilities are primarily software of robotic manipulators, working with software like ROS (robotic operating system) and I aid in hardware development where I can. Being in robotics means there isn’t really a “main responsibility” we do everything!
Are you working on any exciting projects that you can share?
In terms of exciting projects, I’m working on future space robotic arm, including testing and in-space calibration.
What are your plans for the future?
I will be staying with Airbus as I loved it in my internship and I am still loving it now. However, in my own time I am developing a new quadruped design that I think is rather interesting. I also might do a part time masters if I can juggle it with full time work, but that’s just a thought at the moment.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same career path?
My advice if you want to follow a career in robotics is that you shouldn’t ever listen to “it’s too difficult for you to do”. You know your limits and if you’re ambitious and want to create the next big robot, then go for it! Personal projects are always a hit, and will give you great conversation points in your interviews. My final advice is: don’t be intimidated, robotics is a multidisciplinary subject which means there will always be stuff you don’t know. Best thing to do is read and practice the stuff you don’t know!
What was your favourite memory from your time at Kent?
My favourite moment at Kent was my last final project oral exam. As weird as that sounds, knowing that I put my all into my project and it had a very good reception made me feel like an actual engineer, as this was a project I made from scratch. There was really nothing like it.
Please add anything else you wish to mention.
In addition I’d like to state that you should really aim for the stars, don’t ever think that you’re not good enough for a position or a company. Chances are they want you just as bad as you want them!