This year I had the pleasure of being invited to the awards ceremony held at Queen Mary during its Industrial Liaison Forum. This is a day where students have the opportunity to network with associates from external science and engineering companies/organisations such as Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Caterham, MHRA, NHS, Contour 886, Airbus, and many many others.
The day started with a display of selected posters exhibiting research work being undertaken by current students at both undergraduate and post graduate levels. The industrial associates have the opportunity to see the impressive level of research that QM students carry out. Moreover, it is an opportunity for students to gain industry interest and recognition.
This is followed by the prize giving ceremony – an event dedicated to recognising the achievements of QM’s best students, which includes rewarding them with a certificate and often a prize from an external company. This was my second year of receiving the award for the ‘highest achieving medical engineer’ in my year. On both occasions my award was presented by Apatech, a world leading medical materials specialist in synthetic bone graft technologies – who were generous enough to award cash prizes every time. I shall not disclose the figure awarded, but it was certainly enough for me to do something useful with it. I must say that aside from the superficial benefit of receiving a prize, it is rewarding to be recognised for your achievements. Having received it in my first year, I felt that it has been one of the motivating factors that drove me to excel through my second year and outperform my first year results significantly. Moreover, it has given me a sense of confidence in my abilities. It really does make a difference when your institution makes a conscious effort to reward you for your efforts, and also showcase their high achieving students to the external companies.
The ceremony was followed by special panel sessions. where students had the chance to ask industry specialists questions regarding internships, jobs, career prospects etc. I attended the healthcare panel, which included one of the clinical scientists that I had the pleasure of working with on my summer placement. It was very insightful, for example, they gave constructive advice on how to stand out when applying for their respective companies.
Finally, the day ended with a networking session where students were able to speak to all companies that were present on the day individually. This was an opportunity to exchange contact details and also find out more about the companies from personal interaction with the client. A great way to end the day! Images from the event are included below.