EW BrightSparks 2023


EW BrightSparks 2023 winners revealed at Elektra Awards

At the prestigious Elektra Awards in November, the EW BrightSparks of 2023 were announced and here is the EW BrightSparks cohort of 2023. And see the video further below to get a flavour of the event. Thank you to all who entered!

Click on the name below to see the individual profile.

    • Sarmad Adeel, Blueshift Memory, Senior Embedded Design Engineer
      • Sarmad began to make a valuable contribution in industry immediately, working long hours to help bring a project back onto schedule, which involved very demanding leading-edge research and required true ‘out of the box’ thinking
      • During his Masters and PhD at Hamburg University of Technology, he was lead author of five peer-reviewed papers, on the subject of DSP algorithms and applications for energy dispersive X-ray detectors.
    • James Arnold, University of Nottingham, Student
      • At university, a solar race car was developed, with James’ group successfully transmitted CAN bus data from the car – speed, battery status, co-ordinates, and irradiance – wirelessly to a chase car to be processed by a MATLAB model optimising race strategy.
      • As part of his UKESF scholarship, he was involved with the ‘girls into electronics’ day hosted by Nottingham University where he acted as a helper, guiding them through the coding exercises and answering any questions, about the exercise or engineering in general.
    • Tom Bowman, BT, Apprentice Applied Researcher
      • Tom helped develop an innovative security software tool, Inflame, which is a multi-award-winning epidemiological malware propagation simulator, helping the automatic detection and response to cyber-attacks and threats before they compromise a communications network.
      • He has co-authored four patents, while an apprentice – the only BT Research apprentice to have contributed new patents to BT’s portfolio. And he co-authored a BT and Ulster University research report on AI’s use within the automation of BT sport graphical insertion.
    • Jasmine Brittan, University of Warwick / ZF Automotive, Student / Sustainability Electronics Intern
      • Jasmine was a team member in the ESA’s Fly a Rocket! Programme, building and launching a sounding rocket at the Andøya Space Centre in Norway. Her responsibilities included building the pressure sensor and writing code to compare elevation values against those predicted by OpenRocket software.
      • Her STEM involvement includes serving as the President and Outreach Coordinator for Warwick Engineering Society, working on a multitude of simultaneous activities and setting the overall vision for the 500 member society.
    • Imogen Cole, Leonardo UK, Technical Apprentice
      • Studying for a degree with The Open University, full time alongside her apprenticeship, Imogen has enjoyed the role of lab manager at the company’s “innovation hub”, a space for use by employees while learning new skills.
      • She is also leading the Leonardo input to Girls into Engineering, a 3 day residential event, where one hundred Year 10 students from around the UK come to Loughborough University and take part in the activities planned by Leonardo and other organisations.
    • Matthew Cossins, University of Nottingham, Final Year MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering Student
      • Matthew has already received multiple engineering awards and scholarships – Arkwright and UKESF Scholarships – and received the Nottingham Advantage Award for completing three extra-curricular modules: a virtual consultancy challenge, a BP-funded research internship, and peer mentoring younger engineering students.
      • He successfully completed a 12-month engineering placement with Capgemini at the High-Integrity Expertise Centre. He worked on two industry projects: improving code-review efficiency in high-integrity (specifically aerospace) projects, and developing the first xHCI USB drivers for the secure microkernel seL4 (on Avnet Maaxboard).
    • Nathan Dickson, BT, Network DevOps Engineer
      • Nathan shone throughout his apprenticeship when he built an application providing insight into the physical UK network configuration to enable better planning. He is also part of the BT buddy system.
      • He also pitched, designed, built, and delivered an automation tool for use in the Network Integrated Test (NIT) team, putting together a three-person software squad. It resulted in the first NIT test to be fully end-to-end automated.
    • Lucy Down, Future Facilities, Technical Marketing Engineer
      • Lucy, her manager told us, is a rare quality of engineer, knowing her subject inside and out, and being a creative problem solver, and she always has time to share her enthusiasm for engineering with the next generation. She also won an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship.
      • By visiting schools and engaging with young people, especially young girls and those from a broad range of backgrounds, Lucy is passing on her passion for engineering. Her work as part of the SheCanEngineer initiative has already received accolades from teachers.
    • Claudia Ferreira, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, Materials Engineer
      • As a Graduate Engineer, Claudia led the CSA’s SpaceForge project (an in-space manufacturing company developing the world’s first returnable satellite) while the project lead was away and completed it on time with quality results.
      • Claudia developed the Cu-sintering process, which is a brand-new semiconductor assembly process used for high-power electronics packaging, that can be used for applications in power electronics assembly for automotive and energy.
    • Evan Jackson, Leonardo UK, Systems Engineer
      • Evan joined Leonardo as a Technical Apprentice in 2015 and from day one has excelled in his role, a colleague told us, showing a clear aptitude for electronics and engineering in general.
      • Starting as an apprentice and becoming a senior systems technician, he’s now studying for a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and has now achieved the rank of Systems Engineer.
    • Alex Jarvis, Diodes Incorporated , Application Engineer
      • For Alex to go from being a student at university to representing a global electronics company and making presentations to engineers throughout Europe in just two years is some accolade, needing both knowledge and confidence, his manager told us.
      • To assist with training events, he designed and developed a range of demonstration units to show how Diodes’ products (hall sensors and LED drivers) work in specific applications. The demo units have been used at events in Europe and for use by engineers in the USA.
    • Sam Jones, Lancaster University, PhD Student
      • Sam is an EPSRC-ICASE PhD student working on a unique collaborative project with IQE on telecoms-wavelength vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) where GaSb quantum rings (QRs) are the source of the emission, his supervising professor told us.
      • As well as helping cohorts of undergraduate students develop their practical lab work skills, he has volunteered at university open days, showing the latest devices to prospective students and parents through the use of a demonstration kit, and providing a taster of the technology required to engineer such devices.
    • Vanessa Kandodo, Intel, Systems and Hardware Enabling Engineer
      • Vanessa has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary aptitude for engineering design, customer support, and project management, her colleague at told us. Despite graduating just over a year ago, her work has been crucial for both Intel and its customer base.
      • She played an important role in ramping promotion of Intel’s 4th Gen Xeon Scalable Processor. A demo showcasing the built-in accelerator known as Quick Assist Technology (QAT) was required and her engineering skills allowed the enabling and testing of the platform.
    • Mary Kong, University of Edinburgh, Electronics and Electrical Engineering Student
      • A member of Edinburgh’s Hyperloop Team (HYPED), Mary helped develop Greyfriar’s Poddy – a 4th generation hyperloop pod for high-speed transportation. At European Hyperloop Week 2022, her team’s design was placed top five in one category.
      • For her involvement in peer-assisted learning scheme, due to her commitment and contributions towards the Edinburgh student community, she was awarded an Edinburgh Award for Leadership in Student Opportunities.
    • Toby Lane, Amodo Design, formerly of Ignys, Hardware Engineer
      • Toby Lane was described by his manager at Ignys design consultancy as being instrumental in driving processes, taking on a test jig role and delighting customers with his involvement in idea generation workshops.
      • We were told he goes out of his way to take on new learning doing exceptional work on thermal testing with environmental test chambers, willing to take on any project that gives him the opportunity to learn.
    • Raymond Liu, EDA Solutions, Applications Engineer
      • Raymond’s manager told us he is a highly motivated and results-oriented individual, always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done and has continuously looked for ways to improve the team’s processes and procedures.
      • During his time in Warwick Racing, he worked as an electrical systems engineer and CAD manager, designing and manufacturing parts. He represented Warwick Racing at a COP26 Electric Roadshow to discuss the car’s impact.
    • Kate Lucas, Cambridge University, Student
      • Co-President of Cambridge University Robotics Society, Kate has been working ‘to make robotics accessible for all’. As well as securing funding and organising talks, she’s been planning and organising the Unibots UK 2023 competition.
      • Currently registered as a STEM ambassador, she’s been involved in a wide range of community engagement activities. For example, Zero Gravity mentoring, Apply Cambridge mentoring and being a Homerton Student Ambassador.
    • Richard Newman, CSA Catapult, UKESF Scholar, Royal Holloway, University of London, RF & Microwave Engineering Intern
      • At CSA Catapult, Richard participated in a collaborative group project amongst the other interns to help encourage young people into STEM and electronic engineering. Richard helped create a Boolean logic gate circuit game, to be showcased at the company stand at Cardiff Science Festival.
      • Winning a UKESF scholarship, he has proved adept at learning new skills and software for a variety of projects, for example designing a wideband impedance matching network for a GAN HEMT transistor at 3.5GHz in Keysight ADS, or simplifying the test and measurement process in the CSA RF lab.
    • Nyal Patel, University of Southampton, Student
      • Awarded both an Arkwright Scholarship and UKESF Scholarsip, Nayal also won the University of Southampton Zepler Prize for best academic performance in his programme.
      • As well as mentoring younger students in A-Level and GCSE years, he organised and ran a STEM workshop for a girls school in Surrey, for 40 students between the ages of 14-17, alongside two other engineers.
    • James Pickford, Siemens EDA, Software Intern
      • James has worked extensively on a hardware based cyber security solution for connected vehicles, involved with everything from initial security attach profiles to the embedded software to drive the hardware components.
      • Alongside his software abilities, James has firsts class communication and presentation skills being able to communicate complex engineering problems and solutions to a wide audience, his manager told us.
    • Soham Pramod Kale, Prodrive (Motorsports and Advanced Technology) , Composites Laminator Trainee
      • Soham has demonstrated a proficiency in a range of programming languages, software tools, development boards and lab equipment, while obtaining a Master’s in Astronautics and Space Engineering, achieving a Merit Class grade.
      • He has engaged in a range of community and extracurricular activities, for example, Social Media Manager of Global STEM Initiative UK Chapter, a Member of UMEED Foundation, and Event Head at Telecommunications Engineering Students Association (TESA).
    • Shriyansh Sapkota, BT, Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprentice
      • As an apprentice, Shriyansh is a reverse mentor, with his role including speaking with senior managers every month about workplace issues, suggesting ideas that would make the workplace more inclusive.
      • “Shriyansh has a very exciting career ahead of him. Not only does he focus on his own development to make himself the best engineer possible, he brings others along on the journey with him,” said one manager.
    • Daniel Schmeer, Crypto Quantique, IC Test & Verification Engineer
      • Daniel’s manager told us that he owned the testing platform for chipset validation and characterisation – making several contributions involving various complicated test setups for low-noise, pico-amp level accuracy temperature characterisation and full system QDID evaluation.
      • He also helped in preparation and setup of the FPGA-based hardware demos of CQ’s quantum-based key generation scheme at Embedded World in March 2023, requiring a knowledge of ARM’s AMBA environment and designing the peripheral communications.
    • Luisa Schrempf, University College London, Postgraduate Student
      • During her BSc thesis, Luisa worked with Edinburgh University on creating strings of conductive particles in nematic liquid crystals, a principle that can be used in EV batteries, conductive inks, or potentially organic solar cells.
      • She discovered an unknown operating regime of silicon oxide memristors, which increases the possible use-cases for the devices both in current applications (frequency combs) and future ones (neuromorphic computing).
    • Norbert Sieczkiewicz, Dyson/Lancaster University, Science and research engineer
      • It is anticipated that Norbert’s Industry 4.0 research work on a surface autofocus method for electron beam welding (EBW) could lead to higher weld integrity, better process monitoring and reduced failure rates in service, in industries requiring the most exacting standards, e.g. aerospace and nuclear.
      • As well as mentoring Graduate Engineers and volunteering for the Cheltenham Science Festival and The Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, he has also presented STEM activities for kids, for example he created a challenge for the James Dyson Foundation involving welding with chocolate.
    • James Stephenson, University of Glasgow, Electronics and Software Engineering Student | Research Project Assistant
      • James is the only student in the UK to receive an IEEE Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship from the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society valued at $3,000 – he is one of only three awardees from European universities. And he has demonstrated excellent communication skills, his manager told us.
      • An “all-round engineer”, his drive and motivation were highly evident when independently acquired flexible (F)-PCB design skills for a complex wireless system involving switched RF transmission lines, power amplifiers, and wireless SoCs for wearable multi-antenna sensor nodes.
    • Andrew Stylianou, The Little Car Company, Special Projects and Powertrain Engineer
      • Described as an energetic, resourceful and creative engineer – solving numerous design challenges – Andrew’s manager describes him as “a wunderkind!”
      • He has done a lot of outreach, often sharing engineering insights and giving tours and talks to children from local schools around Bicester.
    • Lewis Thom, GB Electronics, Design Engineer
      • His manager told us how Lewis had excelled: “It was sometimes easy to forget that throughout his four years he was still an undergraduate and studying for his degree. I am nominating him for this award as his hard work, perseverance and incredible work ethic deserves this recognition”.
      • He led the design and development of a new blood tracking system as part of a new concept for his company. Lewis carried out all of the initial research stages of this design – including visiting partnering hospitals to get feedback from users and clinicians – and he led presentations with the client.
    • Ifaz Uddin, Imperial College London, Student
      • Overcoming many hurdles, Ifaz became a self-taught student juggling numerous part-time jobs to finance his studies to get into one of Imperial College’s most competitive degrees, Joint Maths and Computer Science, where he has continued to excel.
      • He has worked as a cybersecurity intern in the summer, created two coding courses for a startup company in Dubai and created an online maths platform for a tuition company that allows for online lessons, recorded video access, exam practise and feedback mechanisms.
    • Vasiliki Georgia Xiradaki, University of Birmingham / EnSilica, Student / Digital Design Engineer
      • Successfully demonstrating a mixture of analogue and digital design skills, Vasiliki’s final year project will be the design of a high-performance Digital-to-Analogue (DAC) converter for a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications chip.
      • As well as participating in many outreach activities across different age groups, she was selected to participate in the Academy Achiever’s #BeMeDigitalInclusion charity STEM event, targeted at black girls from vulnerable backgrounds.

We were very pleased to announce that the EW BrightSparks 2023 awards were highlighting the brightest and most talented young engineers in the UK today!

Now in its sixth year, EW BrightSparks was looking for the engineers – aged 30 or under – who are already making a difference in the UK in the first years of their careers, or those who are still studying in the UK but showing the promise to become the innovators and leaders in electronics in the years to come.

We were particularly interested to hear from those who have, for example, applied electronics know-how in the field of sustainability and the environment, or started their own business, or demonstrated ingenious ways of safeguarding health or participated in STEM activities… And we’d love as wide a range of applications as possible, whatever the individual’s background – help us show the diversity in engineering!

The deadline for entries was Friday 13 October 2023. The winners will be informed shortly afterwards. The Awards Day will be on Wednesday 29 November at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.

Inspiring the industry

Why are we doing this? Electronics Weekly believed that by celebrating the achievements of the most talented young people in the electronics world, we can play a significant role in inspiring and encouraging new entrants to the industry. This was particularly important in the context of the industry’s well-publicised skills gap and the efforts of the UK government and other organisations to encourage greater take-up in schools and universities of STEM and engineering-related subjects.

EW BrightSparks will also serve to inspire other newcomers to the sector or those interested in a career in electronics.

See the Previous winners – The Classes of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022 »