Students watching a presentation about sustainability

Civil Engineering Practice module – guest lectures

Our first year civil engineering students were recently visited by guest lectures from professionals from industry as part of the Civil Engineering Practice module, which introduces students to the range of issues related to the content and role of the civil engineering profession.

Colin Toovey and Ian Denis from Royal Haskoning DHV, a global consulting engineering company were kind enough to come along and share some of their valuable insight with our students. They gave a sustainability presentation on ‘Nature-based solutions in Practice, Water, River and coastal focus’. We are working to organise some site visits with Royal Haskoning DHV later this year, and really look forward to working with them more!

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European Space Agency logo

European Space Agency collaborative projects

Deploy! Project

The DEPLOY! Project is a collaboration between the universities of Pisa, Parma, and Brighton, as well as the European Space Agency (ESA) sponsored PETRI student project, with additional funding received from the UK Space Agency.

The project focuses on the dynamic deployment of a novel satellite radiator panel thermal interface using a flexible Pulsating Heat Pipe. This research aligns with the ongoing work on Pulsating Heat Pipes at the universities of Brighton and Pisa. The project team, consisting of five Masters’ students and one PhD student, has been mentored by experts from the partner universities, who have provided access to their expertise and key experimental equipment. The DEPLOY! team, led by Erin Saltmarsh from the University of Brighton, has been spearheading the manufacturing and mechanical design aspects of the project.

The flight campaign for the DEPLOY! Project is scheduled to start on November 20th in Bordeaux, France. To learn more about this exciting project, visit their website.

Gell-P (Gravitational Effects of Lower Limb Perfusion)

Gell-P is a collaborative project between the School of Health Sciences and the School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering. The project aims to investigate the effects of gravity on foot perfusion to support a wider demographic of astronauts and mitigate injuries. By evaluating foot vascular flow under varying gravity conditions, the project seeks to understand lower limb injury healing for long-term astronaut missions.

The collaboration involves a team of podiatrists from the School of Health Sciences, led by project PI Rachel Forss, along with support from a team of engineers from the School of Architecture, Technology, and Engineering.

The experiment, designed and built at the AEB, will be tested during the 83rd European Space Agency parabolic flight campaign starting on November 20th. Read this post to learn more about this fascinating project.

European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA)

Dr Nicolas Miche has been selected as a mentor for the first European Low Gravity Research Association mentoring scheme. ELGRA is a nonprofit international society that promotes European research in microgravity, simulated microgravity, and hypergravity conditions. It serves as a platform for scientists interested in life and physical sciences in space.

The goals of ELGRA include representing and strengthening the scientific community of altered gravity research and involving young people in research through educational programmes.

ELGRA achieves these goals by organising scientific symposia and courses, cooperating with institutions and agencies to organise scientific events, spreading information about opportunities and new platforms, and supporting students and young scientists through grants and educational programmes from ESA.

Students Max,James and Alex pictured in company building of Paxon Access

Brighton students land scholarships with global technology firm

Students from Brighton have been awarded two of three annual scholarships offered by a leading Brighton-based global technology company, Paxton Access.

This is the sixth year that Paxton has offered engineering scholarships to students studying STEM courses at University of Brighton and University of Sussex. Successful applicants receive £10,000 each towards their final year university fees, and a three-month paid work placement within Paxton’s experienced Development department.

This year, the scholarships are awarded to Alex Moreton and Max Lewandowski from University of Brighton, and James Napp from University of Sussex. The scholars have been working at Paxton for more than a month and have found the placement beneficial for building new skill sets that will be useful in their future career.

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Female civil engineering student looking through total station

Need civil engineering career advice? We offer one-to-one meetings with industry experts

Civil engineering students studying at University of Brighton are given the opportunity to take part in 1-1 ‘surgery’ meetings with professionals that form our Industrial Advisory Board.

Look out for the weekly email with details on how to arrange one, and take advantage of their expertise!

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Students working in architecture studio

How to become an architect

At Brighton, we offer the qualifications required for every stage in becoming a fully-fledged architect. Here, Ben Sweeting, Architecture BA(Hons), explains out how to get there. Spoiler alert: it’s not seven full years at uni!

How long will it take me to become an architect?

Qualifying to be an architect usually involves five years at university (three years of undergraduate study and two years of postgraduate study) and two years’ practical experience.

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Three students with their model rocket car

Getting motivated through competition and seeing projects come to life

In the third and final blog in this series about the Engineering Practice module, Cristian, one of our Electrical Engineering students from Group 17, shares his thoughts on researching, workshops, cooperation, competition, and public speaking as part of this module.

Read about Theodore, Connor and Will’s experiences of the Engineering Practice module here

Read about Jake, Valentin, Edward, Connor and Isabel’s experience here

Engineering Without Borders

Since our objective was to help a region of the UK with relatively low life expectancy, we chose to go with a sustainable and overall cheaper way for the consumer to motivate them into exercising more frequently. Using our field in electrical engineering we opted to lower membership prices and have a reward system integrated by connecting electricity generating attachments to gym equipment. What made us the proudest was finishing a full-fledged project with complete research and being able to present in such a way that would be appealing to regional infrastructure developers and investors underlining the importance of physical exercise with some niche improvements on sustainability.

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Four students with their rocket car

Engineering projects for future careers

In the second blog in this series about the Engineering Practice module, Mechanical Engineering students Jake, Valentin, Edward, Connor and Isabel from Group 15 tell us about their experience, and how they developed and enhanced their skills individually and as a group which will now help them in their professional futures.

Read about Theodore, Connor and Will’s experiences of the Engineering Practice module here

Read about Electrical Engineering student Cristian’s experience here

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Alex Witty

Brighton allowed me to be extremely creative and just pretty weird

We spoke to Alex Witty, who graduated in 2022 with a Product Design BSc(Hons), and is the Founder of The Piezo Project, to find out about his Brighton Effect story.

Q: How did your experience at Brighton bring you to where you are now personally or professionally?

Brighton enabled me to think freely and really explore my true interests and passions, which enabled me to grow in confidence and start my own business off the back of my final year project. Brighton allowed me to be extremely creative and frankly, just pretty weird which allowed me to explore my passions without any judgment but instead, support and backing. I can say for sure that without being at the University of Brighton I would not be doing my dream job right now in running my own business.

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Group of students standing outside a lab

Experience: summer internship in Sustainable Technology & Engineering Projects lab

Majeed, one of the recent summer interns at the STEP Lab, reflects on his invaluable experience so far of the Sustainable Technology & Engineering Projects (STEP) lab.

Majeed’s intern experience

I was aware that in the engineering industry experience is essential, so when I saw the STEP Lab opportunity I had to take it. I saw the STEP Lab as my summer work and treated it as such, attending 3-5 days a week to ensure I could learn and make as much progress as possible.  

Although I did not get a traditional industrial placement, I can now look back on my time with the STEP Lab as a blessing in disguise. Now when I apply to placements this academic year, I will be a lot more equipped as I would not only have had work experience but I will have an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of what I have done throughout the summer which will make my future interviews even better. My time with the STEP Lab will show future employers that even when I didn’t get a placement I stayed resilient and still found engineering experience.  

One of the first things that we did at a STEP Lab was sit together and get to know each other, and I ended up meeting new people, from lower years and higher years and even people that were on my course that I had never met! I find it hard to socialise, so having the STEP Lab group really helped me, and I have now cultivated some friendships with people on my course and other aspiring engineers.  

I can easily say that working with the STEP Lab has been the most challenging but enjoyable engineering work I have done at the university, as my year 2 was completely affected by COVID-19 and we were only able to do one practical unit (the robot wars group project).

Many of the projects within the STEP Lab overlap so I got my first taste of what it is like when your work and someone else’s work affect each other. An example of this is when me and another student had to collaborate as I was in charge of the mechanical commissioning of the ORC rig and he was in charge of the electrical commissioning of the ORC rig. We decided to have bi-weekly meetings to inform each other about various applications and any varying aspects of the rig. In the STEP Lab you are working with excited and like-minded engineers. 

I am the type of person that learns better with hands-on practical applications. That style was heavily used with my Diploma when I was at 6th form. Working with the STEP Lab, I saw some of the amazing projects currently happening and received amazing help and mentoring from the professors, PhD students and technicians.  

I believe that the STEP Lab has improved my engineering confidence by a great deal. Especially as I was in charge of mechanical commissioning, and I learned many new things and greatly improved engineering skills I already had. It has improved my confidence to such a degree that now I when walk around in my day-to-day life, I’m a lot more aware of what actually had to happen in various engineering applications, this summer internship with the STEP Lab has reignited my passion for being an engineer.  

Also working throughout the summer alleviates the issue of becoming lazy throughout summer. Having worked all summer long with the STEP Lab, I feel more prepared and excited for my year 3 journey than I would have if I did not join them.  

Working with the rest of the STEP Lab and helping them or learning about their various projects was also a highlight of my experience. An example of me helping another student was when another student was dealing with the mechanical arrangements for his rig. I would periodically help him as that was an avenue that the STEP Lab has taught me well enough until I was then able to assist a fellow student with his project.

Another amazing benefit of working with the STEP Lab is the student driven community. Working with first year students, students graduating from Bachelors and Masters courses, students in the same year as me, students going into masters and international students. This environment showed me the importance of networking, as all of these students including myself are to be future engineers. And it also demonstrates the positive effect that a community like environment can have on young people.

All in all, the STEP Lab has been an amazing experience, through all the things I have learned and all the people I have met. I can say with confidence that I would love to have this opportunity again and I will definitely be suggesting it to any new students I encounter that want more from their engineering experience at the University of Brighton.  

Students working together round a table

Sustainable Technology and Engineering Projects lab helped engineering graduates gain jobs

Alice and Emmanuel tell us about their experience of the Sustainable Technology and Engineering Projects (STEP) lab and how it helped them get jobs before graduating.

The STEP lab was launched in 2020, as a platform for all engineering students to gain additional experience of working in multi-disciplinary real-world environment. 

Alice’s experience

I joined the STEP Lab as a third-year mechanical engineering student for my final year project. I found the experience un-paralleled in how useful it was at providing insight into what being part of a working engineering environment can look like.  

Within the STEP Lab there are ample opportunities for both individual and team-working, allowing the skillsets required for both to be developed during a project’s duration. The fact that the STEP Lab is multidisciplinary in terms of both students involved and the projects being run within the Lab, this allowed me to explore what aspects of engineering best suited me and what areas I was most interested in.  

Working within the Lab gave me ownership and responsibility of my own work and effort which really encouraged my focus and commitment to the project. The online shared OneDrive folder was invaluable throughout my project, the wealth of useful knowledge and support resources specified to my project, along with general resources used to learn about other projects.  

I’d say one of the most beneficial aspects of the Lab is the sense of community between the students and lecturers. A combination of regular meetings and social events encourages conversations within the Lab discussing the different projects which is helpful for developing knowledge and feeling supported throughout.  

Emmanuel’s experience

For me, the STEP Lab came at the perfect time. During the third year of my degree, I found out about the STEP Lab initiative, and this led to me transferring from a BEng to an MEng program. I was fortunate to benefit from the paid placement over the summer which meant I could learn and gain financial support at the same time.  

The students lead activities which means all members of the team take up responsibility early into the project. Working as a team regardless of the year of study means all members are exposed to different disciplines. All individuals are valued for the skills they offer or the willingness to learn. This prepares us for work in industry.  

The STEP Lab prepared me for my masters and exposed me to a range of equipment and software I hadn’t used during my studies. Because of the additional skills and knowledge obtained from the lab, I was accepted to the first graduate job I applied for in Research and Development prior to the completion of my degree.  

Today I reflect on this unforgettable experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity. It motivates me to carry on and present new opportunities such as job openings to students who are currently going through the same process I did less than a year ago.