STEM students take on second Inmarsat challenge

23 June 2015: Students are getting ready to take part in the second Inmarsat Summer Strategy Challenge, which forms part of the company’s promotion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education.

Commencing on 25 June, the students from London’s City and Islington College’s Sixth Form College and Centre for Applied Sciences will spend six weeks considering this year’s topic: the digital divide in less developed parts of the world and the value of connectivity.


The challenge has been set against the backdrop of Inmarsat’s Digital Frontiers project funded by the UK Space Agency, to bring internet connectivity to local communities in key growth hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Emerging markets

Students will attend weekly workshops at Inmarsat’s City Road, London headquarters, hearing from experts about satellite connectivity and the applications developed for emerging markets, where terrestrial and cellular network coverage is patchy.

At the end of the programme they will have an opportunity to present their findings to an Inmarsat panel.

“It’s great to continue our engagement with City and Islington College into the second year, building on the success of the inaugural programme,” said James Cemmell, Head of Government Affairs at Inmarsat.

Enhancing employability

“We aim to achieve two main goals – enhancing the employability of high calibre STEM students and addressing the critical connectivity challenges facing the world today.”

Students from last year’s intake have already seen the advantage of taking part in the Summer Strategy Challenge, remarking how it has significantly helped them gain places at top tier universities.

Emannuel Egbuniwe, who was involved in last year’s aviation-themed challenge, has accepted an offer to study Biomedical Engineering at University College London. ”Undertaking a placement at Inmarsat has proven to be extremely beneficial for me because I have gained relevant industrial experience and it has enhanced my university application.

University application

“Moreover, the nature of the placement helped to develop my teamwork, management and other interpersonal skills, and made me a well-rounded and attractive applicant for university. I am eternally grateful for this development opportunity. Thank you Inmarsat!”

Alessio Carfora has accepted an offer to study Aerospace Technology at the University of Coventry and said “Undertaking the six week programme has been of great benefit for my university application.

“During the programme, myself and colleagues were involved in research regarding aviation connectivity; it allowed me to broaden my knowledge within the aviation market and made me think of future developments. I thank Inmarsat for giving me this unique opportunity.”

Great opportunity

Another student, Zeynep Yanar, is undertaking a four-year Science and Engineering programme at Queen Mary, University of London. Zeynep added: “The Inmarsat summer internship made me think out of the box and was a very productive six weeks of my life. I gained a deep insight into the other side of engineering.”

Philippa Cooke, City and Islington College Student Services Manager said: “The 2014 challenge presented a great opportunity for the Centre for Applied Science students to meet and work together as a team outside of an education environment and in the work place.

“When they had finished their project they were very proud to show their tutors and mention their experience in their university applications. It has had a positive effect with all the students involved gaining a wide range of offers in engineering.”