We are delighted to say – after a pandemic pause for a year – that we are launching EW BrightSparks 2022, our annual programme to highlight the brightest and most talented young electronics engineers in the UK today. We have teamed up again with RS Grassroots to showcase young talent within the industry.
EW BrightSparks is now in its fifth year, and once again we are looking for the engineers who are already making a difference in the first years of their careers, or those who are still studying but showing the promise to become the innovators and leaders in electronics in the years to come.
This year, we are particularly interested to hear from those who have:
– Applied electronics know-how in the field of sustainability and the environment
– Started their own electronics business
– Demonstrated ingenious ways of safeguarding health or preventing the spread of Covid-19
– Participated in STEM activities to spread knowledge, information and understanding
Simply complete the form below to enter yourself, or to nominate a colleague:
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Reasons for nomination (please detail best achievements, problems overcome, STEM work, etc 750 words maximum) *
Community engagement (for example, blogging, mentoring, volunteering or STEM activity – optional)
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Key dates of the 2022 programme
Nomination Deadline – Friday 1 April 2022
Judges Day – TBC, late April 2022
Awards Ceremony – TBC, mid-June 2022
Inspiring the industry
RS Components’ CEO Lindsley Ruth on the UK’s vision for engineering
Why are we doing this? Electronics Weekly and RS believe that by celebrating the achievements of the most talented young people in the electronics world, we can play a significant role in inspiring and encouraging new entrants to the industry. This is particularly important in the context of the industry’s well-publicised skills gap and the efforts of the UK government and other organisations to encourage greater take-up in schools and universities of STEM and engineering-related subjects.
EW BrightSparks, in partnership with RS Grassroots, will also serve to inspire other newcomers to the sector or those interested in a career in electronics.
We are looking for engineers between the ages of 18 and 30 who are working or studying in the UK – so those who are still in the early stages of their career and who will be the people shaping UK electronics in the years to come.
Nominations will be reviewed and shortlisted by a panel of professionals from across the electronics industry. Stay tuned for news on the selection panel for 2022.
EW BrightSparks 2020
See: Step forward, EW BrightSparks of 2020
Jordan Albutt, Manufacturing Leadership Engineering Degree Apprentice, Rolls-Royce / University of Warwick
Jordan was tasked with re-writing inspection programs for a machine that inspects solder paste deposits to support a newly introduced manufacturing process. The inspection machines now run correctly with no false calls.
Participating in a variety of STEM events within his time as an apprentice, he become a STEM ambassador. His company’s Operations Executive asked him to the lead the organisation of a STEM event at the WMG Academy for Young Engineers.
Aakash Bansal, PhD Electrical Electronic and System Engineering, Loughborough University
Aakash has shown extraordinary skills with 3D designing and electromagnetic simulations. He is presently working on developing a novel antenna system to enable wireless communication at millimetre-wave frequency bands for 5G.
Along with his research on “Active Beam Steerable Antenna Array for 5G and Future IoT Devices”, he’s promoting STEM Education in the community with the support of the IEEE, Rotary Foundation and Loughborough Student Union.
Ben Cartwright, Spacecraft Electronics/Systems Engineer, STFC and Citadel Space Systems
Winning awards for his degree work on a navigation system for cubesats, Ben is now an electronic instrument engineer at the cutting edge of the space industry, working on the WFI/NFI instruments for NASA’s PUNCH mission.
Graduating from Aston University with a Master’s (1st class with honours), he was elected VP of the Aston Electronics Society and VP of Aston eSports, and was founder and president of the Aston Astronomy and Astronautics Society.
Rodosthenis Charalampous, Industrial PhD Researcher / Electrical and Electronic Engineering, National Nuclear Laboratory / The University of Manchester
Rodosthenis’ doctoral project is “Communication Localisation using Underwater Acoustics” and he researches the use of underwater communications within confined environments, for use with ROVs and spent fuel decommissioning activities.
A summer research internship, supporting the Hallé Orchestra, investigated the capabilities of an Intel SoC for future designs of robotic musical instruments for the “Manchester Robot Orchestra” educational project.
Nicole Cox, Graduate Engineer, Siemens Rail Infrastructure
Already winning company awards for excellence and innovation, her Siemens management highlight the impact Nicole has already made, whether helping win bids, automating existing processes or mastering presentations.
Working as a STEM ambassador and for Women in Engineering she has delivered lectures on Automating Railway Operations. She was Siemens CIS Woman of the Year 2018, and Siemens Mobility EDI & STEM Champion 2019.
Yanislav Donchev, MSc Artificial Intelligence, University of Southampton
At Uni Yanislav created an air-drumming device, with sensor-fitted drumsticks, a custom-built PCB and feature-rich software. An internship with Microchip saw him build a new display signal emulator with a GUI for parameter control.
A UKESF scholar, he presents lectures on long- and short-term memory neural networks, has done activities promoting electronics to young students, programmed robots for LEGO competitions and supervised a computer vision workshop.
Lauren Gray, Development Scientist, Peratech
Lauren redesigned a test system, using Arduino, that automates creating and running almost any test routine on any matrix-sensor configuration including ones with over 10,000 individual sensing points, with a UI for auto-generating test-routine code.
She also envisioned the systems Peratech would need to accelerate and scale development of everything from sensor designs, mechanical and electronics integrations, nanoparticle ink development and mass production traceability.
Anna Hart, Graduate Electronics Engineer, Leonardo
She is making a big impact on a project to redesign a current radar product, working with electromagnetic simulation models, trying to optimise various parameters of the antenna design, such as the dimensions of the radiating element.
She has also been very involved with STEM projects introducing young children to coding with the use of handmade enigma machines. She also helps organise a work experience week for pupils to experience workplace engineering.
James Imber, Senior Research Engineer, Imagination Technologies
James has contributed to 20 patent applications, several of them granted. His paper ‘Intrinsic Textures for Relightable FreeViewpoint Video’ presents an approach to estimate the intrinsic texture properties of scenes.
Described by management as an excellent team player, he’s instigated collaborative work within Imagination and is involved in its STEM outreach programme, visiting local schools and talking about his engineering experiences.
Dominic Lane, PhD student, Lancaster University
In developing a memory process in his PhD, Dom has become the most experienced user of the Quantum Technology Centre (QTC) cleanroom in Lancaster, overcoming many obstacles to refine the work of his ULTRARAM research.
His supervisor says Dom has already demonstrated exceptional abilities as an engineer and developed superlative experimental skills that have allowed him to fabricate highly complex devices with extraordinarily tight tolerances.
Cheng Hao Lim, MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering, University of Edinburgh
Cheng became Head of Electronics for HYPED (Hyperloop Team), leading work on the control system part of the pod that would emerge as one of the top 20 teams in the world, and be the only UK team at SpaceX California in the Hyperloop competition.
He founded Edinburgh University’s only electronics and electrical engineering society, Asteria, a student-led team funded by the University’s Data-Driven Innovation programme, and it is dedicated to space and satellite development.
Marnie McKay, Graduate Engineer, Atkins
At Atkins, Marnie designs the electrical track equipment aspects of rail installations, developing simulation models for new or extended rail/tram lines, which help to automate the set-up of model data and extract results.
She also spent a study year at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where, in addition to learning introductory Chinese, she completed a dissertation on wireless communications at Rolls Royce’s corporate research labs.
James Morris, CEO, Intelliroller
James has used embedded systems and IoT to create a wheelchair treadmill for friends who struggled with the current wheelchair rehabilitation system in the UK. The treadmill acts as a controller for a virtual reality game built into a smartphone.
A budding entrepreneur, he created the system for less than £200 while the cheapest device on the market, with a lower spec, costs $9000. A health professional assessor can control the game from anywhere in the world using a website.
Grant Mullen, Founder, Managing Director, Ai Automation
Inspired by successfully creating systems for other companies, Grant created his own company, Ai Automation, which turned over £200k in its first year, offering cobots, robots, measurement systems, vision systems, laser markets and custom automation solutions.
He also helps with the mentoring of apprentices, teaching them skills around programming and automation, and he has given speeches and Q&A’s in local schools on the merits of attending university.
Zain Nazar, Digital & Technological Solutions Degree Apprentice (Software Developer/Engineer), BT
As a new degree apprenticeship with BT, Zain had a significant impact on a new £40 million network BT is working on called Athena. It is a software defined network that allows customers to provision their own services via a web portal or API.
He has also become a STEM Ambassador, attending careers fairs and making school visits, to give back to the community and help children pursue STEM career paths. He’s also become a ‘barefoot volunteer’ to help teachers with STEM activities.
Tom O’Brien, TV and Digital Media Apprentice at B, BT
Tom was entrusted with updating the security on the BT Sport app, which has a reach of up to 1 million customers, and innovating processes on a multi-billon valued network, changing the configuration of the production version of the app.
He also oversaw the completion of the Radius Migration project, which saw the migration of 40 offshore devices and accounts on BT’s Global Media Network onto a new administration platform for better device security.
Amber O’Connor, Equipment Health Monitoring & Performance Engineer and Remote Diagnostic Services Programme Manager, Siemens Aeroderivative Gas Turbines
Amber is responsible for managing an engine fleet of 180 units worldwide, which covers any arising connection and hardware issues, assigning resources for problem resolution and managing multiple workload priorities.
She is heavily involved in improving the workplace culture, forming the ‘Press for Progress Committee’ which looks at tackling key issues within the workplace such as flexible working, parental leave and cultural behaviours.
Olivia Ojuroye, Product Specialist, The Wearable Tech Hub
Olivia’s PhD involved developing a commercially viable sensing and washable capacitive proximity and touch sensing circuitry for yarn-based e-textiles, wearable technology, and other industrial applications.
A specialist in AI algorithms being applied to audiovisual databases, she got the chance to work on an EU-funded audiovisual database project (Presto4U) using PHP and SQL to enhance an AI algorithm’s data insights.
Gethn Pickard, Graduate Engineer, Plessey Semiconductors Ltd
When Plessey achieved its GaN-on-silicon monolithic wafer-to-wafer bonding breakthrough in 2019, Gethn had designed the electronics system for the demonstration unit, set up the driver and programmed the display to run.
He also built an imaging test system to retrofit to a wafer probe station. It had a full GUI which had custom built image processing algorithms to calculate pixel performance data. It came complete with calibration problems, which Gethn overcame.
Luke Richards, MEng Mechanical Engineering, University of South Wales
Fighting hard against the initial odds, including having to be self-taught, Luke’s academic results were so impressive that in his second year he was asked to upgrade his course to a Masters in Engineering.
After graduation, Luke has been offered a position at the electronics giant Sony on their competitive graduate scheme. He has volunteered weekly for many years at the Sea Cadets as a senior member and a teacher.
Katherine Scott, TV & Digital Media Degree Apprentice at BT, BT
Katherine has contributed to BT’s large scale Athena project, building FTP servers to create test versions of network setups. She currently monitors and supports the servers behind BT’s Video on Demand platform.
Inspired to champion apprenticeships, she is working closely with BT’s HR and making improvements to its application process – challenging bias and recruiting people who demonstrate eagerness to learn, even if they may lack in technical knowledge.
Andy Tay Kah Ping, Research Fellow, Imperial College London
He has made significant contributions to the field of tissue-machine interfaces for neuromodulation and nano-structure mediated DNA delivery, combining nanotechnology and electrical engineering to invent technologies for biomedical applications.
Multiple award winning, he also designed a toy kit in collaboration with the Stanford Design School to educate children who are fighting cancer about immunotherapy. He volunteers to provide educational opportunities to children in Cambodia.
Elvis Tinago, Student / MEng Aerospace Engineering, University of West of England Bristol
Elvis was the first engineering student at UWE to receive the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering’s ‘Engineering Leadership Scholarship’ awarded to 30 students across the UK with potential to become engineering leaders.
He volunteered full-time for a year with the educational charity, City Year UK. In his role as Peer Mentor, he mentored and encouraged young people from inner city schools in Birmingham into STEM careers.
Alexander Tomlinson, Lead Analytical Measurement and Equipment Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
Alexander designed and manufactured an electronically controlled mobile flushing rig to fully automate an emissions flushing process so the measurement pipes do not need to be removed from the test cells and users are not exposed to hazardous compounds.
He has also designed and manufactured electronically controlled systems to significantly improve process efficiency. Called an Eluter, it was built to automate a key aspect of the analysis process for a specialist emission group called aldehydes.
James Veale, Mechanical Engineer (Ice Core Drilling), British Antarctic Survey
When James first joined Innomech, he was given an early concept for a precision powder dispensing machine which he transformed into a unique, highly featured and easy-to-use product, helping to launch it into a highly competitive market.
James has now moved to a position at the British Antarctic Survey where he is supporting scientists undertaking climate research, working in Cambridge and Antarctica to develop equipment used to extract ice cores from Antarctic ice sheets.
Kyle Walker, Phd Student Underwater Robotics, University of Edinburgh
For his PhD in Underwater Robotics, Kyle is designing a control system to predict waves before they occur, so that it can be used on autonomous underwater vehicles to ensure they remain stationary in rough seas.
He helped create an affordable prosthetic hand, designing the electronic system in the form of a four layer PCB, which receives signals, via electromyography, to be processed by the onboard MCU for movement of DC motors for the fingers.
Ying Wan Loh, Manufacturing engineer, Rolls-Royce plc, University of Cambridge
At Rolls Royce, as a manufacturing improvement lead, she led operational improvements in a complex manufacturing environment and delivered over £1m in total cost savings. She received the IET 2019 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award.
As well as volunteering for disadvantaged schools in Malaysia, she was professional development lead for the Rolls-Royce Gender Diversity Network, a STEM ambassador and led the Rolls-Royce family day STEM activities.
Tyler Ward, Senior Engineer, Audioscenic
During his PhD, Tyler helped produce Erica the Rhino, a piece of interactive artwork which was used to promote rhino conservation and to support Southampton University’s electronics and computer science outreach activities.
Tyler discovered an issue with the Raspberry Pi 4’s Type-C power connector, widely covered by the media, when reviewing the schematics of the Pi upon release to investigate available features. He documented the issue and wrote a technical analysis.
Adam Wilson, Embedded Electronics Engineer, Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) UK
At Glasgow’s King George V dock, Adam commissioned and tested a control system for remotely controlling and monitoring auxiliary systems (generators, pumps) on a prototype renewably-powered buoy.
His main hobby is the restoration of 1980s 8-bit computers, such as Commodore, Sinclair, Apple and Acorn devices. He enjoys getting them working, but also reverse-engineering them to understand how they operate on a logic-gate level.
James Zaremba, BEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Year 3, Swansea University
James developed a forward-looking prototype of a unique very small and cheap portable computer which could find use in many different markets. In his design, the screen is created by an in-built micro-projector which significantly reduces the price and size.
Nominated by his project supervisor, James had to overcome many challenges in his work but also showed “exactly the type of innovation we are looking for from our students”, succeeding with both time-consuming PCB design and 3D modelling.
EW BrightSparks 2019
See: The EW BrightSparks 2019 winners revealed at IET
Here is the full list of 2019 EW BrightSparks:
Victoria Aviomoh, Arup
Lewis Baldry, British Telecom
Dr Alex Beasley, Pico Technology
Kerris Boulton, The University of Manchester
Kisha Bradley, founder #girlswithdrills and Brightbox Maker Space
Shawn Brown, Presenter & Inventor, Kids Invent Stuff
Emma Curati-Alasonatti, Arm
Craig Dickson, BAE Systems
Maisie Edwards-Mowforth, The University of Edinburgh
Joe Gibson, University of Strathclyde
Ryan Gilmour, University of Edinburgh
Shoubhik Gupta, The University of Glasgow
Benjamin Harris, Rolls-Royce
Niall Holmes, University of Nottingham
Scott Lorimer, BAE Systems Naval Ships
Elizabeth Maclennan, McMurtry Automotive / University of Bath
Stewart Macpherson, Thales
Liat Moss, Ji
Ben Nagy, Jaguar Land Rover
Emma Nolan, Thales
Sophie Paveling, Coca Cola European Partners
Nathan Ruttley, RPD International
Kate Self, British Telecom
Max Simmonds, Safran
Louisa Smith, Imagination Technologies
Ryan Smith, Science and Technology Facilities Council
Giovanni Sobrero, Rolls-Royce
Ricki Tura, UltraSoC / University of Southampton
Ciaran Walsh, Analog Devices
Richard Wereski, BAE Systems
EW BrightSparks 2018
See: EW BrightSparks 2018 receive awards at the IET
See: Sunday Express on the EW BrightSparks 2018 Awards (PDF) »
Here is the full list of 2018 EW BrightSparks:
Abdulrahman Albar, Brunel University
Ruth Amos, Entrepreneur
Mary Bennett, UKESF
Melissa Berthelot, Imperial College London
Gregor Birrell, University of Edinburgh
Aidan Bradfield, Ultrahaptics
Razvan Caramalau, Imperial College London
Hamish Crackett, University of Liverpool
Oishi Deb, Rolls Royce
Marco Domingo, ARM
Edward Evans, Rochester Independent College
Michael Gucluer, University of Warwick
James Henderson, Plextek
Jamie Hill, University of the West of England, Bristol
Yi Chen Hock, Student
Ivan Krastev, University of Birmingham
Herman Larsen, EDA Solutions
Robert Leadbeater, BLM Audio Electronics
Robin Lee, Park Signalling
Iestyn Llyr, Microsemi
Daniel Loud, Leonardo
Samuel Moss, ARM
Orla Murphy, Jaguar Land Rover
Archie Roques, Student
Vladislav Rumiantsev, University of Edinburgh
Chaoyun Song, University of Liverpool
Daniel Toth, University of Edinburgh
Josh Valman, Entrepreneur
Nicole Weckman, University of Cambridge
Rachel Rui Wong, UCL Institute of Child Health
EW BrightSparks 2017
Here is the full list of 2017 EW BrightSparks:
John Alton, Lascar Electronics
Chelsea Back, AB Open
Robert Blenkinsopp, Ultrahaptics
Josh Boakes, Convert
Josh Bowen, He-Man Dual Controls Ltd
Daniele Capocci, Nissan Technical Centre Europe
Shuran Chen, Self-employed
Saloni Chhabra, Cadence Design Systems
Andrew Cowan, Cobham Antenna Systems
Alex Croucher, GB Electronics (UK)
Sherzaad Dinah, Nissan Technical Centre Europe
Ryan Dunwoody, Pi-Top
Josh Elijah, Engimake
Calum Finn, Nestle
Benjamin Fitzpatrick, Dyson
Rob Green, Loughborough University
Daniel Harryman, Science and Technology Facilities Council
James Hayman, Ametek
Keno Mario-Ghae, Imagination Technologies
Jacob Marsh, ModMyPi
Emilio Mistretta, University of Hertfordshire
Edward Nutting, University of Bristol
Lewis Osborne, JME
Sam Presley, University of Southampton / Dyson
Chris Shaw, Sensible Objects
Robert Smith, Plextek RFI
Roger Thornton, Raspberry Pi Organisation
Matt Timmons-Brown, The Raspberry Pi Guy
Tim Wiles, Peratech