SPS students enjoy summer placements

SPS students completed placements this summer in a range of fields, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and Tesla Engineering Ltd.

Luke Cornwell, a third year MPhys Student, won one of just 22 places at “The Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Operations” – a week long training course held by ESA at the European Space Security and Education Center (ESEC) in Redu Belgium.

With just 22 places available for all BSc, MSc and PhD students from the 22 member states across Europe, getting a place wasn’t easy and involved submitting an in-depth application including a motivational letter, a copy of academic records, a CV and a recommendation letter from an academic – kindly provided for Luke by Dr Mark Price.

However, the hard-earned space was well worth it for Luke who spent the week attending interesting and engaging lectures given by David Evans – a mission operations concept engineer – as well as a tour of ESEC, and going inside the control room of Proba V as it came over Redu and made contact. Luke also participated in a simulation mission plan to map the dwarf planet Ceres and then do a flyby of Pluto.

You can read more about Luke’s placement here.

Meanwhile, final year Physics student Kritam Thapa enjoyed two months at Magnetic Shields Ltd, a leading specialist in the manufacture of bespoke MuMetal® magnetic shielding and the supply of MuMetal® sheet, foil and bar. After some refresher reading of research papers, Kritam started making transmitter and receiver coils to carry out research into the magnetic shielding effect in MuMetals® at extremely low frequency (ELF).

As well as his research project, Kritam wrote a programme in Python for another physicist at the company who needed to manipulate his data from the lab to analyse it much faster.

You can read more about Kritam’s placement here.

Another student who successfully completed an exciting placement this summer was Grace Maxted, who worked as a Magnet Division Project Engineer Intern for Tesla Engineering Ltd. From helping out with the testing and winding of coils which make up a proton therapy magnet to paperwork and data entry, Grace’s days were varied and full. She was also working on a SEPNet project throughout the duration of her placement, which involved winding some breakable coils to study and characterise.

You can read more about Grace’s placement here.

Further success was also enjoyed this summer by Kian Lennon – a final year Physics with Astrophysics student. After setting his sights on an internship that matched his chosen career path, Kian spent 6 weeks working for Plum Data Ltd – a small business based in London.

While the role started out as a data science internship, it quickly transitioned into a more generalist internship where he led the creation of what was arguably the most comprehensive database and mapping of holiday parks available anywhere in the UK. As well as tapping into the brains of the owners and learning first-hand about their experience and knowledge of the industry, Kian’s highlight was being given responsibility for drafting a list of potential investors in Plum, giving him the chance to read into venture capital and private equity firms. Kian also dealt with potential clients, engaged in the development of the Plum website and discussed the pricing models for the business.

You can read more about Kian’s placement here.