Our new MSc industry projects programme
Posted: 19 Jun 2014 | 16:08
While EPCC has always encouraged its MSc students to undertake real-world industry projects, we’ve never actually had a formal industry projects programme in place. Well, that’s all changed!
Thanks to an award from the Scottish Funding Council, EPCC now offers all its MSc students the opportunity to undertake their dissertation projects with a local company if they so choose. The company benefits from having a highly-motivated and trained student to explore a particular topic that is of interest to them. The student benefits by being able to tackle a real-world industry project which will help to increase their employability - and will look good on their CV! EPCC benefits by building and establishing relationships with a wide range of local companies, thereby increasing our network of companies that we engage with. Plus there is always the possibility that the company may want to hire the student at the end of their project. Students also have the opportunity to win the Summer Industry Project Prize - more good CV material. So, overall industry projects are a win-win for us, the students and the companies.
To help the students prepare, there is a project preparation phase at the start of the second semester which allows the students to substantiate and scope the projects that they will be undertaking over the summer. This is normally done in-house. Projects start at the end of May and run until late August. Although there is no formal requirement for a student to be located full-time at the company during their project, this is encouraged so the student gets the most benefit from their experiences. Their University supervisor will meet with them about once a week and they will have a company employee who effectively acts as their company supervisor and mentors them while they are hosted by the company.
The formal industry projects programme within the School of Physics & Astronomy incorporates the MSc in High Performance Computing (HPC) that EPCC offers together with the MSc in Mathematical Physics and the MSc in Theoretical Physics offered by the School. This year 25 industrial projects were offered by 13 companies, many of which were taken up by students. The projects are going well so far and we shall, in a future blog article, let you know how they all got on. For 2014-15, the programme will incorporate projects for the new MSc in HPC with Data Science that EPCC offers.
This is a brilliant opportunity for local companies to benefit from the HPC expertise that can be provided by EPCC and our postgraduate students. Some effort is required - a suitably scoped project has to be generated, a student needs to be hosted for a period of up to couple of months, and supervision needs to be provided. Regardless, I think this is worth the potential returns.
Mario Antonioletti, EPCC