Education and innovation are key to DefProc’s values. Most of our team come to us as graduates, offering fresh ways of thinking and radical approaches to our work. The rapid evolution of technology means that it’s increasingly important to inspire the next generation of engineers through educational opportunities. Over the past few months, we’ve worked with students to showcase DefProc’s work and the different pathways into engineering.

Work experience

Last month, we welcomed James from Deyes High School to DefProc for his work experience week. James has a keen interest in engineering and was eager for hands-on experience. Providing opportunities like this introduces secondary school students to the professional world, fostering invaluable skills and laying the foundation for future careers. Investing in work experience is investing in the next generation of talent! 

During his week with us, James delved into various areas of engineering including programming, 3D printing, PCB design and assembling and CAD. The team loved having James in the office and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.

BioGrad

In February, DefProc delivered two days of engineering courses via BioGrad to students from Oxford International College and Oxford International College Brighton. Patrick and the newest member of our team, Erandi, introduced the Adafruit Circuit Playground to the students. These beginner-friendly boards are a perfect introduction to programming electronics. Each board has an integrated buzzer, LEDs and sensors to detect light, sound, temperature and touch. Under Patrick and Erandi’s guidance, the students successfully programmed the boards to make the LEDs flash and activate the buzzer.

 

University of Liverpool Dragon’s Den

Jen returned to the University of Liverpool’s Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics as a judge for their Dragon’s Den event. The high calibre of pitches presented this year was remarkable. The complexity and depth of the ideas proposed were a testament to their hard work. 

The pitches ranged from a digital twin solution for the agriculture sector, a LiDAR robot guide dog and an autonomous underwater vehicle to support data transfer. Jen was also pleased to see an increase in female students on the course this year. Seeing their enthusiasm for engineering and their drive to accelerate their careers was inspiring. 

It was a privilege for Jen to be invited again to sit on the Dragon’s Den panel. As a managing director, she brought non-technical insight to the panel to ascertain the viability of the projects and how they fit into the wider market.

BCSWomen 2024 Lovelace Colloquium

The 4th of April saw the BCSWomen 2024 Lovelace Colloquium held at the University of Liverpool. Jen was a guest speaker, sharing DefProc’s experience scaling IoT solutions with intelligent sensors and real-time data utilisation. Alongside keynotes from industry experts, there was a contest for women and non-binary students to present posters on issues from AI’s role in the future of learning to quantum cybersecurity. 

During her keynote, Jen shared her experience as a woman working in the tech sector and the challenges of coming into the industry from a textile design background. Her passion for innovation and technological advancements in the textile industry motivated her to co-found DefProc with her husband, Patrick, in 2013. 

On the topic of IoT, she shared the challenges we encountered scaling Push to Talk across two countries. However, as a result, we took the learnings from the experience into our other IoT projects. We have an excellent understanding of how to successfully scale IoT projects from the beginning, as demonstrated by our latest collaboration with Northern Gas Networks. To conclude, Jen also shared her predictions for the future of the industry. It is an exciting time for people from underrepresented backgrounds and identities to enter the field. Companies understand the value of having different perspectives and voices across their teams, and future innovation relies on better representation. 

What’s next?

We’re always on the lookout for speaker opportunities. If you’d like Patrick or Jen to share their expertise or experiences running an innovation company, get in touch at contact@defproc.co.uk. You can also stay updated with upcoming events via our LinkedIn page