Success for Anna, Cheng and Kyle in BrightSparks Awards

PhD student Kyle Walker (left), recent graduate Anna Hart (centre) and MEng student Cheng Hao Lim (right) have each won a BrightSparks award
PhD student Kyle Walker (left), recent graduate Anna Hart (centre) and MEng student Cheng Hao Lim (right) have each won a BrightSparks award
Two students and a recent graduate from our School have each won an Electronics Weekly BrightSparks Award, in recognition of their place among the brightest young electronics engineers in the UK today.

Fourth year Electronics and Electrical Engineering student Cheng Hao Lim, recent graduate Anna Hart (MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering, 2018), and PhD student Kyle Walker were selected to receive the prestigious award from a field of candidates across the country.

Kyle Walker

Kyle completed his MEng in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in June 2019, including a year abroad in Hong Kong, and went on to join the Soft Systems Group at the University of Edinburgh for his PhD in autumn 2019. 

Kyle’s research focuses on robotics, and for his MEng project at Strathclyde, developed a prosthetic hand operated through electrical signals in the user’s arm. Kyle’s PhD studies focus on the control of remotely operated underwater vehicles, and he recently won a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Summer Program fellowship to travel to Tohoku University in Japan and conduct robotics research at Professor Satoshi Tadokoro’s Disaster Robotics Laboratory.

Kyle was recently invited to the Houses of Parliament to present a poster on his work as part of the Annual STEM for Britain competition, which seeks to recognise early career researchers performing cutting-edge research in the UK. Alongside his research activities, Kyle is involved in regular outreach activities in schools to inspire the next generation about STEM subjects. 

Reacting to the award, Kyle said: “I was quite surprised as I know there was a lot of applicants this year, so it’s a good feeling to know my work is recognised by those on the panel who have extensive experience in industry. I’m looking forward to meeting the other recipients at the awards dinner and seeing the diversity of work being done across the field.”

Kyle’s supervisor, Dr Francesco Giorgio-Serchi said: “Kyle is currently involved in a very ambitious project with remarkable economic and societal potential: the development of new techniques to enable underwater vehicles to operate in harsh weather conditions. Kyle has also been very proactive in pursuing outreach activities, which has earned him the BrightSpark award.”

Anna Hart

After graduating in summer 2018, Anna Hart took a year out before starting a role with engineering multinational Leonardo in their antenna team within the radar division at the company’s Edinburgh site.

Anna explains: “I am working on a project alongside principal and lead engineers to redesign a current radar product, using electro-magnetic simulation models to optimise various parameters of the antenna design. I’m constantly updating models to ensure they meet all the requirements: from mechanical aspects of the design to performance.”

Alongside her work on antenna, Anna is also a Leonardo Graduate Representative supporting other graduate recruits at the company’s Edinburgh site, and a STEM Ambassador working with children in local schools. 

Anna has delivered several primary school projects, including an activity to inspire Primary 7 students about space science. “Seeing the children becoming excited about science was amazing. They especially loved the finale of a bottle rocket launch in the playground with their brave teddy ‘astronauts’ strapped to the bottles disappearing into the vastness of ‘space’!”

Cheng Hao Lim

Cheng Hao Lim, who is in the fourth year of an MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering, also impressed the BrightSparks judging panel with a host of academic and extracurricular achievements.

Since joining the School in 2017, Cheng has worked with student society HYPED as Head of Electronics and Project Manager, to develop ‘hyperloop’ – a future mode of rail transport which is based on Hyperloop ‘pods’ travelling through vacuum tubes at speeds comparable to aircraft.

Cheng is currently Lead Electronics Engineering with space tech student society Asteria, and President of the University’s Electronics and Electrical Engineering Society, roles he will leave when he begins an MEng placement in June.

Reacting to the award, Cheng said: "Much of what I have achieved would not have been possible without the support from University academic staff, technicians, and my many talented teammates. I am very honoured to have won such a prestigious award and excited for the prospect of contributing towards real-world engineering problems through electronics."

Dr James Hopgood, Director of the Electronics and Electrical Engineering discipline, said: "We are delighted to hear this news about very talented students and an MEng graduate from our School. Anna had a School of Engineering Industrial Scholarship upon entry to her first year and this ultimately led to her taking up a job with Leonardo as one of the sponsoring companies.

"Cheng has taken a lead with several innovative Electronics and Electrical Engineering activities in our School, and has impressed us with his outstanding academic record. We wish all recipients continued success in their endeavours."

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