Back to search results
Research and Development Intern
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

As part of the course, it was required for us to undergo a 5-month industrial placement. It would have been an interesting learning curve and different from the purely research-based experience I had already.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Department email

Application process

Simply sending our CVs and cover letters to the contact in the company. Potential supervisors then selected us based on our past experience and some were allocated to new projects too.

Main responsibilities

To source materials and products, test and characterise them for their suitability for a new ultrasound device.

Typical day

From the outset, I was contacting and liaising with suppliers to obtain samples of materials and products which could have been a solution to the problem.
Throughout the project I was testing materials for their acoustic properties and other properties that made it suitable for the application. The advantages and disadvantages of each material had to be noted and would be compared with one another. Modifying the materials to improve them was required to make them better candidates as the solution.
If a material was found to be close to the solution, meetings were held with the suppliers to discuss the next steps in developing the product into something more suited. There was also the opportunity to be inventive with solutions and it was possible to write up some potential patent ideas.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

The opportunity to contact suppliers and work with other employees on a level-footing to find a solution to the problem.

Challenging aspects

Keeping confidentiality during the meetings was a new skill that needed to be developed, where one mention of a word or requirement could lead to significant disclosure of the application to a potential competitor.
Also having several ideas at the beginning which could be patent-worthy and not disclosing it to others was harder than I expected and much of this placement experience questionnaire has had to be generalised.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

Materials processing, particularly polymer processing.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Yes definitely. I would definitely broaden my scopes of employment to other countries now, as well as companies involved in more medical applications.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

If there's an opportunity to do something, such as writing up a patent idea, take it. It might take a lot of work and stress, but it will definitely give you an idea of what it is like and whether that is something you would or would not like to do in the future.
If you don't try, you will not know.

You may also be interested in...

Form completed: 09 Aug 2017

Back to search results