Virtual graduation celebrations for class of 2020

Screenshot of virtual graduation

As with most things in 2020, the celebrations for the class of 2020 happened at a safe social distance.

The School of Computing graduates from Canterbury and Medway campuses had their prize giving streamed on YouTube followed by zoom after-party rooms where students and staff could meet to chat, talk about their time at Kent and their future plans.

Head of School Professor Peter Rodgers welcomed the students and congratulated them on their amazing achievements in a difficult year where they quickly rose to the challenge of online learning and exams. For some graduates this has been excellent preparation for the rapidly changing world of employment that they are entering, with many starting their graduate jobs working remotely. Peter also thanked the staff, parents and families who have supported our students through their time at Kent.

Deputy Head of School, Fernando Otero oversaw the prize giving. As well as the academic awards there were some informal prizes too.

  • The most creative or impressive celebratory hat toss went to James Pearson. His take on the traditional throwing of the mortar board was substituted with a woolly hat, a drone cam and the sound track of Flight of the Valkyries.
  • The best Dressed student was awarded to Brandon Okeke who has sent us a selection of his strongest looks on twitter and attended the event in Versace. Earlier in the year he was also chosen to help with the ribbon cutting of the new student common room because of his fabulous trousers!
  • The award for most creative three words that sum up your University of Kent experience went to Duchey Bui who chose ‘Community, Passion and Growth‘. Judges liked the way he acknowledged that the years at university are about so much more than just what is learned in a lecture theatre.

The three winners will receive a certificate, free membership to the British Computing Society and a bottle of wine.

The more formal awards were presented to the following students:

School of Computing Prize

A prize awarded for outstanding performance overall.

  • Medway won by Kamil Bajwoluk
  • Canterbury won by James Dyer

School of Computing Contribution Prize

A prize awarded for contribution to the school overall

  • Medway – Chris Wood. “Chris has contributed to the School for the whole time he has been with us, and always with a smile on his face. His contributions to the school are numerous, high quality and in a variety of areas, throughout his time here, from workshops to applicant days.” Dr Anna Jordanous
  • Canterbury – Pierre Charles. “Many students help with peer tutoring or applicant/open day tasks and we appreciate every one of them. Pierre, however, is always one of the first to volunteer and volunteers for almost every task. He is reliable, conscientious and always has a smile and a good word for everyone.” Janet Carter

Computing Project Prize

This prize is awarded for the best final year Computing Project. The students who are prize winners are those who achieved the highest marks for their project.

  • Medway – Chris Wood and Sean Hamill. “Chris was fantastic! This is the best CO600 project and team I have seen so far and Chris was a pivotal member of the group. I was lucky to work with them.” Huy Phan

“Sean had a superb all-round performance. He investigated the potential of AI in terms of gait analysis for both healthy and musculoskeletal disorders patients. He works with novel conductive-ink printed smart-insoles and its development process. He achieved far beyond what the project was designed for, demonstrating his ability of being proactive, creative, rigour with strong technical and communication skills.” Caroline Li

  • Canterbury  – Filip Grebowski. “Filip’s project involved the integration of two industry-strength web application frameworks: Django and React. He undertook his project in collaboration with the team he spent his placement with at Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, but had to expand his understanding of the architecture of the two frameworks well beyond either his teams knowledge, or the documentation. He also had to cope with personnel changes in the team, and incompatible version updates to the frameworks. His work was technically very challenging, and highly successful, producing not just a mechanism for integrating applications using the two systems but also tools for robustly automating the process. A release is planned for this summer.” Ian Utting

The School of Computing Fivium Placement Prize

A prize awarded for the best placement report was announced by Robert Loveless from Fivium who kindly sponsor this award.

  • Medway – Hnin Khine. “Hnin spent her Year in Industry at Brakes in Ashford. In addition to receiving very positive feedback from her managers and her team, she was able to use the Year to develop a range of new skills and as a launchpad for her future career.  The Report she wrote about her year was outstanding.  It was a highly polished and professional document that reflected incredibly well on the business environment, her work and the personal skills she was able to develop and demonstrate during her placement.”
  • Canterbury – joint award, Callum Mardle and Thomas Matthews.

“Callum had a fabulous Year in Industry spent at Motability Operations in London.  In addition to receiving an excellent evaluation for the year from his manager, he wrote an outstanding Placement Report for his Year in Industry submission.  The Report reflected on the business environment, the work he undertook at Motability Operations and his personal development during the year.  It was a Report to be proud of; rich in content, depth and an attractive and well-polished document to read.”

“Tom had an amazing Year in Industry spent at the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer in Sandwich.  In addition to receiving glowing feedback from his immediate team, he was also able to impress his colleagues internationally and in other areas of the business.  He wrote an outstanding Report about his year that was rich in reflections about the business, his work and his personal development.  The Report was engaging to read and professional in all aspects.”

School of Computing Careers & Employability award

A prize awarded for the best careers and employability contribution to be awarded by Kate Buchan the Employability & Marketing Co-ordinator

  • Medway – Temmy Sulemon “Temmy did his year in industry at Citrix Systems, gaining in-depth technical knowledge, competency when servicing clients and the offer of a graduate place on the Citrix Leadership Development program as a software developer. On his return to university he become the Employability Ambassador for the School of Computing at Medway and threw himself into engaging with other students about employability opportunities and the year in industry, passing on his experiences and inspiring other students. He also helped at open days and selection days spreading the word about employability and the year in industry.” Kate Buchan
  • Canterbury – Abigail Pattenden “Abigail did her year in industry at Fivium, taking every opportunity to improve her skills and come out of her comfort zone. She was rewarded with an offer of a graduate role. On her return to university she was keen to spread the word about the advantages of the year in industry to other students, becoming Employability Ambassador for the School in Canterbury. She helped raise awareness of employability opportunities and placements by writing blogs, profiles and presentations and spoke passionately about the course and the year in industry at open days and selection days. We received many comments from parents and applicants on her presentation and enthusiasm at these events, inspiring many prospective new students.”

School of Computing KITC Prize

A prize awarded for the best Kent IT Consultancy mark.

  • Medway – Jake Hall. “Jake has been a fantastic consultant for the KITC. He worked on a range of challenging projects, to which he brought not only his skills but also his enthusiasm and creativity. As a project manager he was clear, calm and encouraging and helped his team achieve great things. He did particularly, well in his last project, managing a tricky client relationship during the covid lockdown and the challenges this brought. This award recognises not only Jake’s talents, but the effort that he put in to develop and hone these skills over his time in the KITC.” Jason Marshall
  • Canterbury – Charlotte Hollman. “Charlotte’s contribution to the KITC this year has been outstanding. She is a natural leader: Organised, thoughtful with the ability to build excellent working relationships with clients and colleagues alike. Charlotte led two very successful projects, one of which was to build a website for a local manufacturer. Here is what they had to say: “Charlotte and the KITC team were fantastic. They understood the brief really well, were very well organised, checked in every week and delivered a fantastic site within a few weeks. Probably the best supplier experience I have had in a while!”. This award recognises both Charlotte’s achievements but also the effort she put in to develop her skills over her time with us.” Jason Marshall

Janet Linington Prize

Awarded by the School of Computing in the area of schools liaison and outreach work

“This prize goes to Howard Burroughs. Before he came to university Howard was a pupil at a local school that places Computing in the Classroom students. He took the module in order to be an ambassador for the subject and university at his old school; someone who experienced an ambassador when a pupil now being the ambassador. He also produced an enthusiastic video about his placement that we are using as an introduction to the module for current students.” Janet Carter

Poster Fair Prizes

  • Most exciting idea for global reach, sponsored by TMLEP, and awarded to the student or students whose project has the most exciting prospects for application globally. Won by David Arnold for the project Quantum Cryptography – security for a post quantum World.
  • The Poster Fair Innovation challenge, sponsored by Kent Innovation and Enterprise – KIE, were looking for evidence of an attractive business concept and well-researched market opportunity. This prize is aimed at recognising and supporting early stage entrepreneurship and is judged on the level of innovation, viability of the market, consideration of the Intellectual Property position and professionalism expressed in the submitted work. This prize was won by Sarunas Valiuis for the project Passwords in a 3D world.
  • The School of Computing Project Poster Prize – A prize awarded for the best poster at the project fair voted for by staff and students. Medway Prize –  won for the Scientific Research Calculator poster by Ashley White;  Daniela Miteva; Fardusa Jibril; Modestas Garkevicius; Simran Mattu. Canterbury prize – won for the TimeMap poster by Isaac Williamson; Callum Mardle and Charlie Cook.

Faculty prizes

  • The Faculty of Science Rotary prize, awarded for distinguished performance in the examinations went to James Dyer and Brychan Bennett-Odlum.
  • The Faculty of Science Deans Prize, awarded by the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences for outstanding performance in the examinations was won by Declan Barnes.