Stevenage teenager determined to become an engineer after his MBDA experience
- Credit: Archant
A Stevenage teenager with a passion for engineering will return to school on Monday certain he is on the right career path after gaining hands-on experience during a five-week placement at high-tech town firm MBDA.
Daniel Dove was part of a team that made a light sensor which tells solar panels where to move so they absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.
The 19-year-old said: “It was fantastic. I got to use all different kinds of equipment that I have never used before. I also got hands-on experience and saw how the sensor we built worked.
“The project started off quite challenging – there were quite a few different ways to find a solution. We had to look through different kinds of sensors, pick one and then make it work.”
Daniel was mentored by electrical engineer Jack Kemp who went through the same placement as a Barclay School student six years ago.
He then went on to study the subject at the University of Kent before returning to work at the Gunnels Wood Road firm. He said: “I did work placements here every summer and ended up getting a job at the end of it. I think it is a scheme that gives you a taste of what it really is like to work as an engineer. We guide the students on the project and tell them what needs to be done but it’s up to them to do it.”
The project is run by the Nuffield Foundation which provides work-based placements for people across the country.
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Fellow electrical engineer Kat Arscott coordinates the placements at MBDA. She said: “It is about giving them the opportunity to get valuable experience. I think placements like this are a massive boost for businesses and helps them to identify talent and nurture people for the future.”
Daniel will return to the Da Vinci School of Science and Engineering on Monday to finish his second year of a BTEC in engineering. After this he plans on going to university to study the subject before pursuing a career in the profession.
He said: “I really enjoying spending five weeks here and am looking forward to going back to college to expand on the skills I’ve learned.”