decided I wanted to take a year out a year or two before I got the
chance. I had already applied for University by the time I spotted a
poster advertising The Year in Industry. The organization was set up to
match promising students to interesting companies to give the students
a chance to do some meaningful work experience and give the companies
the opportunity to hire a bright young spark fairly cheap. The
organization has bases in each region of the country and keeps an
up-to-date record of all interested companies along with a database of
students. They link up suitable students and companies by sending
student's CVs to potential employers and arranging interviews with
I had been intrigued by Pera Innovation in Melton Mowbray, only a short
journey from where I live, so I rang them directly as well as
approaching them through the Year in Industry. Fortunately I knew
someone at church who worked for them, and he suceeded in chasing them
up before I had been bagged by another company. I had already had an
interview at KP Foods, and was distinctly unimpressed. They could at
least have offered me some free crisps, but all I got was a warm,
unflavoured, single, solitary Skip from the production line as I walked
past! (see my Skips
Jarr advert and instructions)
Finally I got an interview with Pera, and by the time I got home, I had
an email offering me the job. I started at the beginning of August,
just before getting my exam results, which, fortunately, were pretty
good. I also surprised the team I was to work with by, the very next
week after my interview, joining my brother in a protest sitting
outside the council offices just over the road. It was the day they
began the war on Iraq.
I have been involved in a number of projects at Pera, and you can see
examples of some of my work by following the links below. I have also
been a part of the BestMaths
offered by Loughborough University which provides teaching and testing
material for the entire maths content of the first year of an
engineering degree. I have recently finished the course, which was a
distance learning based program and relied on tests done on computer
and uploaded to their server which gave results immediately.
I've also been working towards a CMI (Chartered Management Institute)
qualification by submitting an essay now and then throughout the year.
The course was kicked off with 2 weeks of intensive team building and
talks on such mundane subjects as excellence and sucess.
These are summary sheets of the projects I've been involved in at
Pera. Most are large-scale research and development projects
go on for 2 or 3 years, but I've also done some prototype building on
tight schedules, which is fun. I haven't included the
Pickle dispenser that blew up...
- A method for drying food waste using superheated steam E-FLEX
- A system for increasing the efficiency of urban home delivery MEDICASE
- A concept for improving the shipping of sensitive medical supplies SMED
- A prototype to demonstrate rapid changeover time
I entered the last project listed, SMED, into the EEF Contribution to
the Business Award competition. I had to write a report, and then I was
shortlisted to give a short presentation to a panel of judges. I got
through to the regional finals, and was one of six people to
another presentation with a question and answer session in early July,
although I didn't win.
- This is the report I initially submitted (with strict word limits)
along with a statement from my boss. Presentation
- The final presentation for judging. About 4.5Mb, but the
and diagrams to help to make the concept a bit easier to understand.
I still have no idea what I'm going to do with myself after University,
but no doubt something will turn up. I am currently trying my hand at a
bit of teaching.
And more in line with the theme of the page, I did an essay on memory
for a Daily Telegraph competition, Science Writer. I
via their website, but it didn’t work, and I didn't find out
until after the deadline. Ah, well. Here it is for
world to see and marvel at: