London students graduate from Inmarsat placement scheme

summer students

11 August 2014: Top science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students from one of London’s leading schools, City and Islington College, have successfully completed Inmarsat’s inaugural Summer Strategy Challenge.

A selection of 11 high-performing Sixth Form College and Applied Science students were tasked at the beginning of July to consider where the future of aviation connectivity lay and present their findings at the final seminar.

The six-week programme included weekly workshops at Inmarsat’s City Road headquarters in London, enabling students to gain invaluable knowledge from experts within the field of satellite communications and also to research their ideas.

Inflight connectivity

Students presented their thoughts on where they saw inflight connectivity in 2034 to key Inmarsat people, including Miranda Mills, Vice President of Aviation, and Chris McLaughlin, Senior Vice President External Affairs and Marketing. Teresa Esen, Director for Employability and Employer Engagement at City and Islington College, also attended.

Black box streaming, greater data capabilities, better fuel efficiency and more socially connected flights were just some of the ideas that were discussed, as well as upgradeable satellites to cater for the ever growing connectivity demand of aviation customers today.

“The students showed dedication, sacrificing time during their summer break to tackle one of the most interesting and challenging areas of our business, aided by expert staff from across the business, who supported the programme on their own initiative,” said James Cemmell, Head of Government Affairs and project coordinator.

Challenging area

“This is not the end of the engagement with City & Islington. In the coming weeks we’ll host their Deputy Director for a week long ‘reverse internship’ and look forward to learning a great deal from him during his time here,” added James.

“The government has made it crystal clear that STEM education represents the future of the UK economy and that everyone should play their part – this represents just one area where Inmarsat has contributed.

“We first met City & Islington exactly a year ago and it’s great to see that we’ve delivered exactly what we set out to do – and have been recognised for it.”

Doppler analysis

In addition to the weekly seminars, students had the opportunity to meet Mark Dickinson, Inmarsat Vice President, Satellite Operations, to learn more about the physics employed to position Malaysia Airlines MH370, and how the Doppler analysis was undertaken.

They were also given a behind-the-scenes tour, visiting the satellite control centre and network operations centre at City Road.

Teresa Esan, Director of Employability and Employer Engagement at City and Islington College, said: “To visit a company at the forefront of satellite communications, and who are undertaking pioneering work, has been a fantastic opportunity for our students.

Incredible insight’

“People across the world are learning about the impact Inmarsat is making and 11 of our students have gained an incredible insight in to the company and sector this summer.

“For every student involved, this experience will look exceptional on their CVs and university applications and we want to thank Inmarsat for the opportunity they have provided and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Certificates were presented to each of the students at the final session and Inmarsat would like to extend its congratulations and best wishes to the UK’s future scientists, aerospace engineers and application providers.