UNITECH GA 2014 follow up

A long time ago I mentioned that I would share some photos and video footage that Abdi and I had taken whilst we were at the UNITECH General Assembly (GA) 2014 in Delft, Netherlands. I’m sure some of you may have come across the videos if you’re part of the UNITECH Alumni Association. Anyway, in order to reminisce what happened and to give an idea of what we’re looking forward to in Dublin for the UNITECH GA 2015, take a look at the links below.

UNITECH Trialogue 2014 – Round 1

UNITECH Trialogue 2014 – Round 2

UNITECH Trialogue 2014 – Round 3

UNITECH Trialogue 2014 – Round 4

UNITECH Graduation 2014

In case you did not see my comment on my earlier blog post, here are some photos taken by photographers appointed by Delft University of Technology (aka TU Delft).

I forgot that Abdi and I had taken some photos during the event as well. So here’s a different perspective and a reminder of some of the great ideas by the 2013-14 and 2014-15 students.

Maybe see you in Dublin?


UNITECH Mid-Term-Week 2015

Loughborough University hosted the UNITECH Mid-Term-Week 2015 between Sunday 4th – Friday 9th January 2015. This is the second time it has been hosted here since Loughborough joined the UNITECH Programme in 2010, with the first time in 2012 when I was part of the programme as a student. This time the roles were reversed as I was an Academic Partner (AP) and as part of my intern duties organised the event with Kate Everest with support from Dr Adam Crawford and Dr Ashraf El-Hamalawi. We would like to thank Room Bookings (Carmela Valentine and Mike Earl) who supported us in securing the rooms that we needed during the first teaching week back after the Christmas holidays. Catering was provided by the Refresh service from imago which everyone enjoyed and we would like to thank them for their flexibility during the week.

There were 79 students, eight coaches and 20 corporate case advisors who attended overall. This is the second joint module in which the exchange students participate, developing their non-technical core skills and using them in their groups for a case provided by the Corporate Partners (CPs).

The week started off with a Welcome Dinner at The Link Hotel, on Sunday night at 19:00. It was a traditional English dinner with a choice of fish and chips, lasagne or vegetarian lasagne followed by dessert.

On Monday, it was an early start with registration at 08:30, followed by an introduction at 09:00 from Professor Chris Linton, Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Next, Bob Reed, Senior Programme Manager for the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), presented the AP lecture on behalf of Loughborough University. This focused on communication skills and how to work in multifaceted groups, relating to his experience in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Students asked questions at the end and used the skills gained throughout the week in their case assignments. The coaching perspective started at 11:00 with David Ward, main Coach from UNITECH International Society in the Keith Green Building. This was followed by lunch at 12:00 and then at 13:00 the students started working on their case assignments in their allocated groups. At 15:30, we were all invited to the Caterpillar Visitor Centre in Desford, Leicestershire, by one of the UNITECH CPs, Caterpillar. This gave UNITECH participants a chance to learn more about what Caterpillar does and speak to senior engineers and managers as well as graduates. Also, this gave Caterpillar a chance to learn about the talent that UNITECH offers to them as a CP.

From Tuesday to Thursday, the students spent their time gaining some coaching advice and working in their case assignment groups to complete their presentations for Friday. They had an opportunity to discuss some of their ideas that they had worked on since the end of November with their Corporate Case Advisors (CCAs) on Wednesday afternoon.

All groups presented their ideas to all participants on Friday. BPA – best presentation award was awarded to the ZF group and there were several runner ups receiving recognition due to their ideas and the impact they made. The students had a chance to reflect on their work throughout the week at the end of the day with the UNITECH coaches.

In the evening, the Networking Dinner took place at Burleigh Court. This provided the students with an opportunity to network with the CCAs who are CPs as they aim to secure an internship that is a mandatory part of the UNITECH programme. Finally, one of the UNITECH Alumni Association Local Chapter Coordinator (UAA LCC) for the UK, Samuel Nunn, hosted a party at Vodka Revolutions in Loughborough.

Overall, the event was a success with lots of positive feedback from the students about the Caterpillar Visit and the running of the week. Photos from the week can be found here and will shortly be presented in the UAA Digest to the rest of the UNITECH network. More information about the week, including the schedule can be found on the CEDE website (correct as of Monday 19th January 2015).

Graduate internship at CEDE

I’m Huzaifa Essajee and for the next year I’ll be blogging about my work at The Centre for Engineering and Design Education (CEDE) at Loughborough University. For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve just completed my degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering MEng with a first class honours from Loughborough. This included a year out in industry at Jaguar Land Rover between my second and third year and an exchange year abroad for my third year as part of the UNITECH programme. This included an academic year at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden and a summer placement at Vorwerk Elektrowerke GmbH & Co. KG, Wuppertal, Germany. After completing my UNITECH year, I founded the Local UNITECH Chapter (LUC) in the UK in 2012 on behalf of the UNITECH Alumni Association (UAA) with David Jenner who studies Chemical Engineering with Management.

I am the second intern here at CEDE, continuing on some of the work that Raimat did during her internship and also taking on new projects and tasks. I have just started my fourth week and so far am enjoying my time here. The key aspect of this role is student-facing, informing and increasing usage of the rooms in CEDE (bookable here) and supporting CONNECT and UNITECH. I will also engage students in the projects that we do for the 5 Schools (4 Engineering Schools and the Design School) to ensure that the outcome is in their best interests and that they are aware of the improvements being made to their course.

As part of the induction programme and through this internship, I will get the opportunity to learn more about what the university does ‘in the background’ to deliver the ‘student experience’. So far, I’ve had a one-to-one session with each staff member to ‘break the ice’ and learn about what they do. When I need help in the future, I’ll know who to turn to. I also had the chance to join in on the team away day which was split into two. The morning was based in Woodhouse Eaves, finding answers to the various clues and enjoying the trail in the process. We then spent the afternoon in Beaumanor Hall, brainstorming and discussing our ideas/solutions for a potential project.

What am I doing? I’ve just taken over the EDEN FLIX initiative from Jonathan Attenborough and am looking for documentaries to screen in the upcoming academic year 2014/2015. Feel free to email your suggestions to H.Essajee@lboro.ac.uk or tweet @lboro_cede. I will be attending the UNITECH & UAA General Assembly in Delft, Netherlands next month. Furthermore, I am supporting the organisation and logistics for the UNITECH Mid-Term Week taking place here in early January 2015. I look forward to meeting the new cohort of students and the corporate partners.

The benefits of doing an internship here at Loughborough University is that you are encouraged to develop yourself to further your career in an organisation that does teaching for a living. I’m looking forward to doing various courses, working on projects with colleagues and going outside my comfort zone to learn something new.