Student with Edwards Wins National Award
A gap year student working at Edwards has taken maximum advantage of his time before university by scooping the top national prize in “The Year in Industry”, the leading working gap year programme for students working in science, technology, engineering and maths, run by education charity EDT.
At an event at the BT Auditorium in London on 12th September, Jonathan Wilde was awarded the prize for the student whose project has provided the most significant “Contribution to the Business” for their host company. The award was sponsored by The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (The LRET).
Jonathan was working with Edwards on a project to considerably shorten the time it took to get spare parts to equipment that needed repair. By implementing an online catalogue of spare parts allowing field engineers to directly order parts, lead times were reduced by as much as five working days, enabling a much improved service from Edwards to its international clients.
Jonathan, who is planning to go on to study Mechanical Engineering at Brunel University has found his gap year experience to be very valuable. He says, “Working on commercial projects in an international company has completely changed my outlook. I am now going into my degree with a much greater understanding of how engineering is applied in a commercial environment and with well developed skills in terms of project management, time management and presentation skills. These not only give me an advantage going into my degree but also will make me much more employable once I graduate. I would recommend anybody thinking of a science or engineering degree to look at The Year in Industry as a gap year. Earning money within a company gives you perspectives and experience that are invaluable for university and beyond.”
The major project on which Jonathan worked during his year was developing a catalogue of spare parts to help Edwards’ global service engineers efficiently resolve problems. Jonathan single-handedly compiled comprehensive spares catalogues for Edwards’ two main product families. Field engineers can now quickly and easily identify spares required, ensuring that customers are satisfied by keeping tool down time to a minimum. Jonathan’s work has met with such a positive response, that Edwards’ management are now planning a similar activity on its legacy products at an investment of over $300,000 (£190,000). Jonathan drew praise from his supervisor Gareth Baines, product data management team leader at Edwards who says; “The delivery of a technically challenging project against tight timescales requires tenacity, communication and planning skills, all of which Jonathan has demonstrated to a surprisingly high level. I know Jonathan has gained a great deal from his time at Edwards and working with ‘The Year in Industry’ is of great benefit to the company as well. We get the opportunity to work with some really bright students on projects which can, like Jonathan’s work with us, prove to be of significant commercial benefit. We also get a first look at some very talented students who might be future recruits and we know that by engaging with students to improve their knowledge and skills before they move on to university we are contributing to improving the pipeline of students which will be the lifeblood of the UK engineering and science industries which are so important to the country’s future prosperity.”
Speaking after the awards event Mr Chris Ward, National Director for ‘The Year in Industry’ said, “By winning this award Jonathan has marked himself out as excelling in a group of around 500 students who have taken part in ‘The Year in Industry’ this year. This makes him one to watch for the future, having proved himself in a commercial environment by delivering a project which has made a real difference to Edwards”.
Source: Edwards Vacuum