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Jon rides into his dream career

John Hawkins in simulator

Jon Hawkins placement experience

BEng Mechanical Engineering student Jon Hawkins was able to complete a one-week placement with two companies that specialise in high quality themed entertainment attractions with help from the Futures Fund.

The final year student travelled to the Midlands where the two companies are based to be able to see first-hand how they build and develop the attractions.

Jon spent the first four days with Simworx, a simulator and media based ride design company, where he helped with a product that simulates a parachuting experience.

The 26-year-old said: “The Paradrop unit uses user input (via tethered handles) and VR glasses to simulate a parachuting experience. Before shipping, a safety checklist must be carried out and test runs completed. I was lucky enough to be a guinea pig for a number of these tests.”

He added: “I met with many of the department leaders and had long discussions with them about their role and where I would fit in within the company should I join them. I also had discussions with many of the more junior staff and get a more direct vision of their role and how they work.”                               

The second company Jon visited was Severn Lamb – they specialise in transport engineering targeted at the entertainment and tourism sector.

“While at Severn Lamb I was able to see a very busy workshop at various stages of multiple projects, including two electrically powered train shells and four trams destined for a new city project in Egypt,” he said.

“This placement helped me develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the amount of work that goes in at each stage and to see first-hand some of the problems that can arise.”

Jon concluded: “I had an amazing time at both companies and now have multiple job offers for these companies and others.

“I would like to thanks the Development Office and panel for their generosity in awarding me the Opportunity Scholarship which has got me into the best possible position to start the career that I have always dreamed of”.

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