How engineering is helping Joshua take his business forward

Final year Aeronautical Engineering BEng(Hons) student Joshua Gere tells us why he chose Brighton and how he is taking forward his business idea with his company DroneAvion.com

The open day definitely made me choose Brighton. I went to a few different ones then came here. It was more than a regular open day, the lecturers really gave us their time. It showed how supportive lecturers are here and how approachable they are for students.

At the open day I spent a lot of time talking to Dr Daniel Coren about what I wanted to do. He could see how passionate I am about the subject, was really interested in my business idea, and gave me some good insight into life at Brighton. I knew I wanted to come here and went home and cancelled all my other university applications.

Lecturers go the extra mile to assist you. Like anything in life, as long as you are trying something, if you ask for help they can guide you with their expertise and technical knowledge. They can help you find ways to expand your ideas and see things differently to help you achieve what you want to achieve.

My final year project is based on my business idea that I want take forward once I finish my studies. I set up a start-up business called DroneAvion.com and we are now a team of engineers who are all passionate about the business so we all help to motivate each other. We are developing a bird-type unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone to reduce bird strike incidents in the aviation industry. It doesn’t have a propeller so it also increases safety for its users.

We have sponsorship from Santander Universities who have a grant scheme for start-ups and are currently making our first functional UAV. As part of my project I’m getting it to a more optimised level, developing mathematical model to optimize scaling. The lecturers are helping with the development and calculations, and Arran Goodchild at the BigBang fair has a contact at Gatwick Airport who is arranging for us to talk to them about the project. If I wasn’t here I wouldn’t be getting that support and that exposure.

In June I plan to apply to a start-up accelerator based in Silicon Valley to talk to investors and raise funds to take the project further.

My placement as a Structures Engineer at Airbus in Bristol was amazing. It was different to uni, which is more hand on maths and physics. At Airbus I learned how to use C# and built a database of all projects running on a single aisle to find out what areas needed improvement and to prioritise the need. It was good to learn the software as it’s helping me in my final year project. Airbus also gave me time to work on my project and is where I developed the first working model of my UAV.

If there is any advice I could give about studying I would say choose something you are really passionate about. You can just come to get your degree and get a job, but your passion will keep you going when things get tough, and really help you to make it. And find something outside of your studies that makes you shine. Everyone can get good grades, when you go for an interview you need something that makes you different.

I didn’t know the city before I came to the open day. The social life is great, I love the vibe of the city and it feels safe. I have a connection with the city, it’s like it was meant to be.

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