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Behind the scenes: interns share experiences and aspirations

The 2023 – 2024 industrial placement internship programme is underway at the Centre for Modelling and Simulation (CFMS). During their year in industry, our six interns are gaining hands-on experience in a variety of digital engineering technologies, from learning advanced simulation techniques, mastering mathematical modelling and exploring robotics to developing new technologies for industrial innovation.

After completing their one-month training programme, our interns have been applying their theoretical practice and diving into real-world complex engineering projects. As a research organisation, CFMS matures and develops new disruptive technologies through digital engineering research. Our expertise and agility between research and industry offer our interns a unique opportunity to gain exposure to next generation tools and technologies to be applied for industrial innovation.

As we reach the end of 2023, our interns reflect on their time so far at CFMS and are looking ahead at what skills they would like to develop during the remainder of their internship.

What is the current project you are working on?

Grace: I am currently working on the Smarter Testing project, which focuses on acoustic emissions, a non destructive testing method. When a material is under stress and sustains damage it emits stress waves, which are detectable by sensors to pinpoint and identify the source of damage. My objective is to simulate the process of material cracking and examine the consequent production and propagation of stress waves.

Matas: I am currently working on the DAWN project. My focus is developing software to generate a varied set of synthetic data, including images, segmentation masks, bounding boxes, metadata, etc. The generated data is used to train machine learning (ML) models to visually inspect wings at various stages of the manufacturing process.

Laila: Within my team, I am involved in the National Gas Collaborative Visual Digital Twin project, which includes creating a digital prototype of a National Gas test site. My role focuses on developing the front end of the web application. The project objective is to provide seamless access to the data collected from on-site sensors and systems. Through a user interface, we aim to allow users to gain valuable insights and analyse the information effectively.

Cameron: Within the COLIBRI project, I am working on the development of the SimOps platform. I am developing a tool that provides a user-friendly interface for clients to run jobs on our hardware. This tool allows simulation container images to be registered with the platform. Subsequently, end users can request simulations to be run whilst monitoring and interacting with this process using a web-based interface.

What is the best skill you have learned so far at CFMS?

Rebecca: The best skill I have learnt so far is object oriented programming. Before my internship at CFMS, I had limited knowledge of the programming style and its applications within engineering. Since joining, I have developed my ability to use object oriented programming by using it for data analysis and modelling within the COSINC project.

Marlo: Over the past four months, I have already learned a lot of programming, research, and problem-solving skills. So far, the most valuable skills are my presentation skills, specifically my ability to articulate complex concepts effectively and select the level of detail for the listener. Additionally, I’ve improved my communication confidence, allowing me to convey information more concisely.

Matas: Working at CFMS has pushed me out of my comfort zone by exposing me to new projects and tools. This exposure has boosted my confidence as a developer by teaching me how to apply my existing knowledge in new areas. Moreover, it has refined my ability to find information more efficiently, whether with a third party tool or a colleague’s work within CFMS.

Grace: The most valuable skill I have learned at CFMS is communication. Thanks to the training project and the weekly team meetings, I have gained experience with presenting my work and ideas to a larger audience. This exposure has helped develop my confidence and is a skill with several applications that I look forward to building on.

What are you most looking forward to learning in 2024?

Marlo: In the coming year, I look forward to learning more about programming languages such as C++ and discovering more about the extent to which projects could go within the industry.

Laila: In 2024, I am looking forward to learning more about backend development. I have been working a lot on frontend development, which is my passion and comfort zone however, I am excited to start pushing myself out of that comfort zone and take on more full-stack responsibilities.

Rebecca: I would like to learn more about finite element modelling as it has a variety of use cases within the engineering industry. Therefore, I feel it is a useful skill to learn that will help me both within my work at CFMS and my final year at university.

Cameron: In 2024, I am looking forward to learning the process of deploying an application and how to use CFMS’ software defined compute infrastructure.

CFMS is a recognised, commercially secure data centre provider with an established reputation for developing cutting-edge digital technologies for industrial innovation.

For more information on our digital engineering capabilities, contact us. For any other enquiries contact, info@cfms.org.uk.

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