Find out more about the Year in Industry from recent students who have completed their placement year.
“I deliberately chose the Year in industry option as I had heard much about how much of a boost it provides while looking for employment after university.
The placement year has been an incredible insight into the world of business and production, showing how what I was learning could be applied practically in the real world.”
Alice has now graduated and is a Quality Engineer at Praxair Surface Technologies.
"My course involved a Year in Industry and for me, it was an excellent opportunity. I enjoyed my work thoroughly. It not only gave me very valuable experience, it also helped me to realise where I want to go in the future.
A Year in Industry provides a very important bullet point for my CV. Nowadays it is not only necessary to have a very good result, but you will definitely go to top of the list if you have practical experience with a good grade.
My Year in Industry was a good break from studying and helped me financially as all placements are well paid."
"I chose to integrate a year in industry into my course so that I could develop skills and experience in industry. This meant I would be able to apply the final year of my course to a real life application and I would be more employable after graduation through the development of a professional skill set.
I worked with the Electronics team, designing and developing trackside equipment and testing circuit boards in the Energy Recovery and Energy Storage systems in the Mercedes F1 Power Units.
The Year In Industry gave me the chance to develop transferable skills such as organisation, communication and report writing, as well as practical electronics. I also used a range of professional software that i wouldn't have had the chance to use otherwise.
It was a great opportunity to integrate with a team but also work independently, prioritising work in order to complete work to a high quality and importantly on time.
My advice to students would be to apply for as many places as possible. In order to improve chances, do something on top of your course, e.g. Formula Student, which allows you to develop in a relevant field."
"I wanted to complete a Year in Industry as I felt that it would provide me with good experience in the future once completing university. I also felt that it may be beneficial to apply what I have learned in the previous years to a real engineering environment, helping understanding of some of the key principles of my course.
Most of the work was completing fatigue calculations on the compressor wheel of the turbo. This was to determine how long the wheel selected would last in the field application requested by the customer, ultimately determining the suitability of design, material selection and performance of the wheel selected.
It was good to see how an engineering department and company worked outside of university, also giving me a chance to use previous theoretical knowledge gained in an applied and more practical environment.
It has also helped to improve my confidence in my own knowledge and ability, including in a few useful areas such as pitching new, innovative ideas and with presentation giving.
I would advise possible students to look for a placement in an area of their interest, where they will be completing work relevant to their interests and experience from university. To students preparing to start their year, I would recommend to never be afraid to put forward ideas or changes you might have to your employer, as even remote ideas may possess some merit to them and earn recognition is doing so."
"I chose the Year in Industry scheme to enhance my CV and broaden my knowledge and skills in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The scheme gave me an amazing opportunity to apply and work for world-leading companies around the country. It also enabled me to experience, first-hand the difference between university teaching and the application of those skills relating to real world problems. It gave me a great insight into the requirements and skills that employers look for in a candidate, which will no doubt help me when I come to apply for full time positions.
I spent my placement year working for the Red Bull Formula 1 team, based in Milton Keynes. I worked within a small electronics team, looking after the entirety of the electronic systems used on and off the car, all of which were designed, manufactured and tested onsite.
My involvement was split between multiple aspects of the Formula 1 cars electrical and electronic systems, ranging from the testing of sensors and wiring harnesses, to designing integral looms which were to be used on and off of the Formula 1 car. During this time I got to experience some amazing things and played my part in sealing the teams 3rd and 4th world championship title.
The Year in Industry scheme has helped me to steer my career choice and has confirmed that I would like to work in the automotive sector once graduating.
The modules taught throughout my Engineering degree were related to the work I undertook during my time at Red Bull. My third year project was heavily influenced by the Year in Industry as it relates to car networking similar to that found on road/Formula 1 cars and vital sensor measurements."
Haydn has now graduated and is a Graduate Engineer at MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association).
"My placement year was extraordinary as I had the chance to work on two large scale infrastructure projects on opposite sides of the world. The first of which was a $500m+ water treatment plant in regional Queensland, Australia. After 10 months on that project I moved back to the UK to work on Bond Street Station upgrade in London.
The projects could not have been more different. In Australia I was at least an hour’s drive away from anything remotely like civilisation and in London I was right on top of Oxford Street, the busiest shopping street in Europe. Therefore I came across very contrasting challenges but the skills required to be a successful engineer I found remained much the same.
Throughout the year I was challenged with different roles and I always felt like an important part of the team. When I was in Australia, I was involved with managing the in-situ concrete package of works on site. At the end of my 10 months on the project, I had wide reaching responsibilities from interfacing with the client, subcontractors and suppliers to planning works and quality assurance.
Back in London, I became one of three site engineers responsible for delivering a reinforced concrete substructure. Once again I used many of the skills I’d learnt in Australia but perhaps with a more hands-on approach as, for example, setting out and dimensional control became a big part of my role.
I am now a scholar of the company I worked for during my Year in Industry and I am looking forward to continuing my development with them after graduation."
"During my placement year I worked at Atkins' Aerospace department. I had three main roles throughout the year. Stress analysis for the new Airbus A400M, looking into weight saving opportunities on the A350 XWB and dealing with in service support issues on A330/A340 Landing gear. Over the course of the year I gained many useful skills such as using NASTRAN (a commercial FE software) and learning VBA.
Currently I am in my final year at Swansea and am applying to various aerospace graduate schemes with top level companies such as Rolls-Royce, including potentially returning to Atkins.
The Year in Industry granted me a huge wealth of relevant experience from which to talk about on application forms and at interviews.
Ultimately the recognition of Swansea University's name in industry is very useful in getting a job. The specific degree undertaken at Swansea has provided a wide range of skills such as FEA that employers are looking for."
"I integrated the knowledge I gained at the College of Engineering with the activities that I was responsible for in my placement
year. The most important course feature which I combined with my work placement is CAD (Computer Aided Design).
At the College of Engineering I gained significant experience on Solidworks which genuinely helped me to get familiar and really good on Catia V5 which I worked on at my work placement as it is the industry standard multi-platform design and analysis suite for major aerospace and automotive companies.
The project I was assigned to involved a great deal of manufacturing engineering, I extensively used the knowledge I gained in engineering analysis 1 and 2 (mathematics) which I learnt as part of my course and also the technical and practical knowledge of drafting engineering drawings which was imparted at the College of Engineering.
My daily activities involved making technical presentations of results procured after conducting thorough analysis of and series of tests on engineering components, preparing crucial documents like bill of materials and reports on design faults and incompatibility and design to manufacture feasibility.
Everything I learnt at the College of Engineering facilitated my performance at my placement at every level.
This in turn helped me to understand modules better once I got back to University. It helped me to visualize and analyse the application of the theories and experiments in industry."
"I spent a placement year at Chevron between the second and third year of my degree which gave me a lot of relevant experience and helped in the third year of the course – for example, I’d seen firsthand a lot of the corrosion and metal failure modes we were learning about.
A placement year teaches you so much and gives you a huge amount of transferable skills. I graduated with a 1st class degree and was offered an immediate position with Chevron, so the placement experience definitely proved worthwhile.”
"I chose the Year in Industry scheme so I could put into context what I had learnt at University and gain experience to get a job when I graduate. Engineering is about applying what you have learnt into something practical and this scheme provided the experience to do so.
As part of my Year in Industry, I worked on the 240 Blackfriars Road project, a 19-storey office building in London. The placement included project management, and working on roles from the ground all the way to the top. I can now say I have made my stamp in London!
When I graduate, I want to experience the world and working in the construction industry offers the opportunity to be based at locations across the globe."
"Swansea University’s Year in Industry team sent me the details for the placement, which I could apply to. The placement was really useful and helped my career a lot.
The modules I studied at the College of Engineering including fluid mechanics and stress analysis were very useful for my placement because I worked on a pump upgrading project, which involved making several calculations on the pumps performance factoring the liquid flowing through it.
I was also involved in several stress analysis calculations for the refinery, which is very much related to what I have done in the University."