Ahead of entering their third year at the University of Strathclyde, engineering students Daniel Wright and Richard Sarkhosh eschewed a summer of leisure and beach holidays to complete a three-month industrial placement at the Catapult. Here, they recap on their summer of discovery and reflect on the lessons learned that will benefit their future studies.
“My time at the Catapult has been spent with the operations and maintenance team,” said Richard, “focusing on benchmarking industry data. I was mainly working on producing a tool that uses historical data on wind farm failure rates to help wind farm operators increase reliability.
“The project really challenged and pushed me: I had to learn about failure rates, and I was working with new software, so I had to hit the ground running. I’ve had the chance to work on aspects of wind farms that are really interesting, and I wouldn’t have found out about them if I’d been on placement elsewhere. So I’m looking forward to be able to learn more about these as I start to pick my classes for third year and apply my new-found knowledge going forward.
“The Catapult put faith in me to deliver the necessary results, and it was rewarding to work on projects that have real-world applications. The experience has helped me grow and I now know what I can do when I’m challenged in professional environment. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time here at the Catapult and I’m looking forward to coming back next summer.”
“The very first day was an information overload,” said Daniel, “but after getting to grips with all the new terminology and acronyms I soon began to feel at home.”
“I was lucky enough to have some expert teaching from a MATLAB (a computer modelling software package) guru, who helped me get started with the tasks at hand. I found my footing quickly and I was able to create new, innovative ways to show what I was doing and also apply new ideas to projects.
“One of my many tasks was designing a CAD model for a framework that will be mounted on a tidal turbine substructure. I find it amazing that my CAD model will be implemented in real life – it has boosted my passion to become an engineer and gain my CEng.
“I hope that after the academic year I’ll be back again next summer, ready for another exciting and innovative internship.”