We have a long history of working with Universities through collaborations, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and providing work placements for students to spend their year in industry with us. Our recent student- Shane Hopkins from Harper Adams University blogs about his experience with us.
As part of my degree course at Harper Adams University I am required to do a year’s placement with an engineering company to get to grips with how a business works and how I can apply my course to the real world.
Even though my degree specialises in off-road vehicles, I liked the challenge of ARM and the scope of experience it could provide.
As the UK’s leading specialists in natural wastewater systems, I certainly took the plunge into the unknown but it has given me much needed experience.
My main role is in the research and development (R&D) department working on a method for cutting costs associated with the refurbishment of reed beds. This has been extremely rewarding as I am helping pioneer new techniques and processes.
A main part of the research has involved exploring various methods of liquefying sludge, speaking to various companies for help in selection of equipment and how to best use it, putting together a method for judging whether a site is suitable for liquefying, and how to carry out the operation and processing anything left over.
Once fully developed, ARM will be able to make significant savings for clients who usually send sludge to landfill.
In addition to R&D, my year in industry has provided me with experience working in all areas of the business, including design, construction and out in the field with the maintenance team. Using CAD modelling software for rendering projects and drawing site plans, as well as ensuring a project site continues to operate and meet environmental consent has been part of the learning curve.
Although at university you are responsible for seeing your projects through from start to finish, it is different in the working environment and being able to tap into the team’s experience has enabled me to improve my project management skills and learn how to juggle multiple demands.
Working on my own project whilst helping on others has also improved my time management skills!
The variety of work I have been exposed to has provided insight into how a company works and what it is like to be involved in all the individual areas of a business. This has helped me to understand what is being asked and what is needed.
As an insight into industry, I believe this experience will be invaluable and when complete, I will have developed a skill-set which can be easily transferred to my first step into full employment.
If you are interested in working at ARM as part of your Year in Industry, or working on one of our research projects as part of your Masters dissertation or PhD, please contact us.