Every year EASL offers placement opportunities for engineering and marketing students to transfer knowledge and provide practical experience to younger generations. Placement students get to work with our professional team and develop their skills whilst collaborating on some very exciting projects.
One of our latest placement students is Jamil Jahid from Altrincham. He is studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham and, after his placement year with EASL, he will return to complete his Master of Engineering (MEng) degree. Jamil shared his experience at EASL.
How did you find out about the EASL’s placement opportunity and what made you want to join us?
I found out about the placement opportunity on Gradcracker.com. I saw that EASL specialises in ABAQUS, FEA and stress analysis which I thoroughly enjoyed during my 3rd year of University and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to increase my knowledge in these areas. I also noticed the company’s active role in working on Nuclear Fusion, which is an area that interests me as a future career opportunity. Finally, I noticed it was in my home town of Altrincham, so I wouldn’t have to move to a different part of the country!
What made you choose the engineering pathway?
I gained a curiosity in physics and the unknown properties of the Universe intrigued me. Learning how to apply these skills in a practical sense at the forefront of technology and innovation is what drew me to choosing an engineering course. Imagine being someone actively participating in the development of Nuclear Fusion!
It’s been an unprecedented year. How did you manage to adapt to the current working arrangements and social distancing?
Yes, it has been unprecedented and maybe not what I had in mind when I envisaged my placement year.
Nevertheless, everyone at EASL made the day to day working arrangements so easy and flexible, while complying with Government guidelines, so overall the experience was very good and fairly stress-free.
All the staff at EASL are extremely friendly and supportive too, answering any questions I’ve ever had as soon as possible, which has been very helpful!
Moreover, my last term at University was delivered remotely which meant that most of the course work was group assignments, which is in certain ways similar to remote collaboration when completing a work task.
Having had that transition period helped me to adapt to the new working environment.
What has been your experience with the EASL team? What elements have you valued the most?
Everyone at EASL has been fantastic. They’ve been so helpful in answering my questions, as well as guiding me through work tasks in great detail; making sure I’m comfortable in performing these tasks.
It has been great to be able to work with collaborative platforms such as Teams, Slack as well as Zoom or Skype.
The team at EASL have also created open lines of communication and have provided support as and when required; not only from a technical and work-related point of view but also from a personal and mental health perspective.
Describe a day at EASL?
Typically I always have a task or two that needs working through; this can range from working on solutions for a shorter-term smaller task or working on a larger scope project. I help people complete their tasks and occasionally I have worked on my own tasks, as the main originator. A recent example of origination is some of the support work I have done for UKAEA, regarding material selection for a Nuclear Fusion reactor prototype.
What areas or aspects of the role have you enjoyed the most?
I’ve enjoyed all of the work so far, working in a consultancy has enabled me to collaborate on a great variety of tasks and projects, which I find very stimulating.
The most enjoyable parts of the role involve those where collaboration and discussion with another person are required to solve a potential problem or set of problems. I have also cherished the new things I have learnt on my placement, such as how to use PSA5 software, or training and personal development skills that I have learnt while completing SQEP 0.
How do you think this placement experience at EASL may help you with your current academic studies?
The methodology and planned steps outlined in Pre Job Briefs would help with group work at University, as it gives a methodical way to plan out meetings and entire projects. My increased knowledge in ABAQUS will certainly be useful for any FEA simulations that I will need to carry out in my final year also. I’ve also been able to learn how to use Excel more efficiently, with macros and formulas, for example, this will be useful in the final year as it will save lots of time when dealing with multiple similar calculations that need to be performed. Finally, the theory I have learnt from SQEP 0 has helped me to consolidate my existing understanding of mechanics, which will be useful for some of the course modules next year.
Who would you recommend joining EASL as a placement student to?
I would recommend any aspiring engineers who wish to have an active part in the future advances of nuclear energy to join EASL. The balance between responsibility and support you will have as a placement student is perfect, and you will learn a lot during your time here!
Three words to sum up your placement experience.
Innovative, insightful, exciting.
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