This year Cubik Innovation have taken on four Work Experience students, between the ages of 14-17 from local schools and colleges. By engaging fully with local education we hope to build the experience and ambitions of local kids who might want to begin their career in the engineering world, specifically Electronics. There’s no fetching of tartan paint or long waits in sight, a week at Cubik is all about learning about how things work, how we code, prototype, manufacture and design.
This summer we have been busy with work experience placements taking on three students within the past three weeks, Will Graham, Nathan Dolan and Luke Staniland from Mangotsfield school, Downend school and St Bernard Lovell’s School. The boys got stuck into learning about the entire electronic product lifecycle, having a bit of fun along the way with Intern Dan Morgan and learning all the important facts from MD Paul Mullen.
Here’s Nathan and Will’s Work Experience diary, with Luke’s short account of his week following.
We split up and worked with various members of this fantastic team. I (Will) started off the day by watching Dan debug some code whilst learning all the ‘ins and outs’ of what this sort of job would entail. Nathan, on the other hand, spent the morning with Giles and they worked through a PCB layout design talking fervently about what Giles does in his day to day life (at work, of course). After our lunch break, we swapped places and spent the afternoon learning more.
Began explosively as we were set the task of designing a fully functional circuit involving 10 LEDs, resistors to go with them and some AA batteries. We had to learn some basic electronics first though so we spent about half an hour with Paul doing that. We spent the rest of the morning working out what strength of resistor we needed to go with the LEDs we had chosen. We also had to work out how many batteries we would need and how long they would last. After we had worked all that out, we spent the afternoon using the company’s fantabulous (it’s a word, trust me) 3D printer and looking at the sort of things it could do.
We began by building the circuit we had designed the day before, which involved us being taught by Sam how to solder and the basic principles of electronic construction. This took up a large part of our day but was definitely worth it as it was very enjoyable. We spent the last little bit of our day continuing our work with the 3D printer.
Probably our favourite day as we got the amazing chance to make and code (sort of) one of the esteemed Cubik Innovation business cards. We got to learn how to use solder paste with Dan and got very frustrated by the fiddly nature of hand placing components on to a PCB. Then, with the help of Dan and Chase we tweaked the programming in the business cards so that they played a pattern after you won the game (I know, their business cards are a game, how cool is that!).
We helped out in the production room trying to work the AOI system. In doing so we took apart two computers and installed windows 7 into a computer to try and get the AOI system working.
Overall, this week has been one of the best in our development and understanding of what to work in the adult world feels like. We both feel like we have learned an awful lot about the industry and about work as an adult. This week has also presented us both with a clear perspective of what we want to go into when we are older… Electronics.
Over my week here at Cubik Innovation, I have met everyone in the business and explored almost every aspect of what they do. It has been a great learning experience for me, and I have truly enjoyed it. I was first interviewed last year by Paul, and he told me I had got the placement there and then. Until I got here on Monday, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I would learn something, and I was hoping it would be fun, but I didn’t realise how much effort would be put into making sure I was always involved, and how many different tasks I would be asked to take part in.
Throughout the week, some of the things that I have done include helping out and learning about software, more specifically the coding language C. I have also seen how schematics for electrical circuits are drawn up, and I have also seen how they are made, and how much testing the company put them through to ensure customer satisfaction.
A highlight of my busy week here at Cubik has been the experimentation with the 3D Printer. I was asked to design a plastic case for a circuit-board that would be used for testing purposes. Russell showed me how to use some 3D modelling software that would communicate with the printer to get the final product. This was a learning experience for me, as I had not really used any CAD (Computer Aided Design) Software before. I also managed to get a Cubik logo to print in red plastic, which I was given to take home; it now stands proudly on my desk.
This experience here at Cubik has helped me to realise things about the electronic design and the industry that surrounds it. I think I will probably pursue a career in this, as it is an industry that captures all my interests. My work experience here has definitely helped me to decide.
I would like to thank everyone at Cubik, and everyone I met at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, for being so friendly and helpful during the week. I would especially like to thank Paul for letting me have the placement initially after he interviewed me. Cubik is an amazing company, and the light atmosphere in both the Design and Production departments have ensured that I have enjoyed this thoroughly.
This years’ work experience calendar is unfortunately full, however we are always keen to hear of young engineers looking to gain some experience in electronic design and production, please contact us directly or via our enquiries mailbox to discuss 2016 placements.