Here, in our series on the latest EW BrightSparks of 2022, we highlight Mohamed Elrayah, an Electrical and Electronic Engineering Student at Southampton University.
Mohamed played an integral role in delivering high quality, high attendance events at his university during the pandemic. As secretary of a 300+ member student-led society at Southampton – the Electronics and Computer Science Society – he was responsible for organising weekly meetings, taking down detailed meeting minutes and ensuring fellow committee members completed tasks promptly and to a high standard.
During the pandemic, it was difficult to organise in-person events, therefore Mohamed helped organise popular virtual events. For example, the Bloomberg mental health workshop, addressing the huge impacts on lonely students living away from home.
This experience helped developed his leadership, innovative thinking and resilience when dealing with society’s problems, he told the EW BrightSparks judges.
In January 2020, he took part in a team Hackathon, where the team placed second overall. The task involved finding a solution to help cities during disaster recovery. They were given an ARM Arduino kit and focused on tracking supplies going into and out of a warehouse. The result was a DIY capacitor, used to weigh supplies, and algorithm to calculate the number of supplies and alert when more are needed using the Arduino’s Wi-Fi capabilities.
In his degree, Mohamed told us, he was most engaged during the electrical and electronic engineering design module. For example, working in a team of six to design a chip for manufacture. he was responsible for designing the schematic and layout for a ring oscillator circuit on the S-edit and L-Edit software.
The project required him to research how a ring oscillator worked and building a clock divider circuit using D-Type Flip Flops to output the required frequency. He was also learning how to use the software, exploring concepts such as hierarchy and routing. Finally, he successfully extracted and simulated the circuit on T-Spice.
From January-June 2021, he was logistics operative at Bracknell Lighthouse Lab. His responsibilities included: following safety protocols to unpack swab samples, using LIMS to track numbers of samples and following SOPs based on COSHH to process 40,000 COVID-19 tests daily.
This role required remaining positive during busy night shifts as well as constant team work to ensure daily targets were met, we learned, to deliver high quality PCR results to patients quickly. He learnt to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
Mohamed has also been involved in programmes such as Bright Network Internship Experience UK and Upreach Tech500 Bootcamp, developing his leadership skills by taking up positions such as Project Manager. In addition, he built upon his problem solving and teamwork abilities by providing solutions to real-world problems, such as extracting precious metals from disposed PCB boards.
More recently he has taken part in Southampton Robotics Outreach. This requires working in a team to build a series of obstacles for sixth formers to solve by programming robots during a summer school. The aim of the project is to motivate students to studying STEM. The project required creativity, team work and thinking about the ‘customers’ needs.
Congratulations to Mohamed!
BrightSparks 2022 overview
EW BrightSparks Supporters
We are very grateful to the companies and organisations that help support the EW BrightSparks programme, and make it possible. Special thanks to: TE Connectivity and the UK Electronics Skills Foundation.
TE Connectivity is a global industrial technology leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future. Our broad range of connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest environments, enable advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications, and the home. With more than 85,000 employees, including over 8,000 engineers, working alongside customers in approximately 140 countries, TE ensures that EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS. We are delighted to be involved in the Bright Sparks initiative which allows TE Connectivity to learn from and inspire the next generation of engineers. Learn more at www.te.com and on LinkedIn, Facebook, WeChat and Twitter.
UK Electronics Skills Foundation
The UKESF’s mission is to encourage more young people to study Electronics and to pursue careers in the sector. In the UK, the Electronics sector is big, valuable and growing; however, the demand for capable, employable graduates is currently outstripping supply. We are an educational charity, launched in 2010, with both public and private seed-corn funding. We operate collaboratively with major companies, leading universities and other organisations to tackle the skills shortage in the Electronics sector.