Royce Supports Students Through Summer Internship Scheme

Each summer, The Henry Royce Institute (Royce) Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme gives students the opportunity to engage in paid materials science research at their university of study alongside an academic tutor.

Applications for this year’s scheme were open to all UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), with any researcher, fellow, staff scientist, lecturer or principal investigator working in a materials science discipline eligible to apply and support students.

Explaining the value of the scheme, George Miller, Royce Student Engagement Manager said:

“Royce’s Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme provides students from materials science departments across the UK with the chance to experience life as a researcher and work on a project with academics at the cutting-edge of their discipline. This taste of post-graduate work helps them to make better informed decisions about their future and appreciate career opportunities that they may not have previously considered.”

The Royce Internship Scheme for 2022 has funded 42 students across 15 different UK HEI’s to undertake research projects, placing talented undergraduates from across the UK on the path to careers in academia and innovation. The scheme will help students to network beyond their immediate course and lecturers, and get involved in real-world scientific research.

A further 3 internships have been funded as part of Royce’s collaboration with In2ScienceUK. The organisation’s new programme In2Research provides stipends for work experience in research settings across leading universities in the UK, opening the door for people from low socioeconomic backgrounds to research careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Projects cover a variety of materials science disciplines, with each of the Royce Research Areas being championed through the programme across a wider network of HEIs. Many students are undertaking research projects which will help to address Royce’s National Materials Challenge areas such as Materials 4.0 and Materials for End-to-End Hydrogen.

We caught up with some of the Royce Interns to learn about their projects and early experiences in their internships.

Casilda Serrano Villalobos, a third year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Warwick is undertaking the project ‘Sustainable composites manufacturing using reclaimed prepreg manufacturing waste’, supervised by Dr Connie Qian Assistant Professor in Polymer and Composite Engineering at the University of Warwick.

Casilda said:

“My internship has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in a research environment and pursue more sustainable practices through work with reclaimed prepreg materials in an effort to reduce waste. I’m very excited for the next ten weeks where I’ll be learning and challenging myself daily.”

Amina Hussain, a second year student at Sheffield Hallam University studying Aerospace Engineering has undertaken a project titled ‘Microstructure of hipped steels with variable pre-treatment to predict Continuous Cooling Transformation Diagrams for steel alloys at high atmospheric pressure’ which is supervised by Dr Vahid Nekouie, Lecturer in Manufacturing Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University.

Amina said:

“I applied for the Royce Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme as I was keen to gain experience in Aerospace Engineering, I aim to have a career within manufacturing, so undertaking a materials specific internship was something that greatly interested me.”

At the University of Oxford, Fabian Bordeax, a second year MEng Mateirals Science Student is working alongside supervisor Professor Robert Weatherup, on the project ‘Automated deposition of size-selected nano particles for electrochemical hydrogen production’.

Fabien said:

“In my internship, I’m exploring an area of materials science of particular interest to me: Nanomaterials. This internship will allow me to put into practice techniques and skills I’ve learned over the last 2 years, furthering both my academic and professional career.”

Fourth year MCHEM Chemistry Student at the University of Liverpool, Emily Cunliffe, is undertaking the project ‘Using machine learning and high throughput analysis to understand and reduce the effect of contamination in recycled plastics’ under the supervision of Dr Tom McDonald, Reader in Chemistry at the University of Liverpool.

Emily said:

“During my internship, I’ve had the opportunity to expand on the research I started during my masters project, and gained further lab experience with a wider range of equipment and techniques. It’s been particularly interesting to learn how to use the robotic platforms to accelerate my research. I am investigating volatile contaminates found in recycled plastics that often lead to odour. I hope that my work will eventually help lead to improvements in the quality of recycled plastics.”

About the Royce Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme

Each year Royce runs a scheme to enable undergraduate students to participate in paid summer internships to engage in materials science research at their university of study. Researchers are invited to apply for funding to support a student within their research group, department, or school. Research projects normally last 8 to 10 weeks and are run over the summer between June and September.

 To find out more about the Royce Undergraduate Research Internship scheme, contact Royce Student Engagement Manager George Miller: George.miller@royce.ac.uk

Follow the interns twitter to hear more details about funded projects: twitter.co.uk/Royce_interns