A Chingford student, Amaru Araya-Williams, who has spent his gap year undertaking ‘The Year in Industry’ placement with The Technology Partnership plc (TTP) has the chance of a top national award because of the positive impact his efforts have within TTP. 

Amaru has been working with TTP, a technology and product development company, based in Melbourn, near Royston in Hertfordshire. He was tasked to investigate the possibility of entering a new market area for the company by developing new anti-reflection coating technology. His success in the project has lead to him being nominated as a finalist in the annual ‘The Year in Industry’ awards in which the top category recognises students who have made the most significant contribution to the businesses with which they have been working. The prestigious awards take place at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London on Thursday 19th September.

Amaru is enthusiastic about the year he has spent working in industry before going on to study Engineering at Cambridge University;

“Initially, I had come across The Year in Industry as a back-up plan, as I had decided to swap course midway through the university application process and I was worried I’d be told to reapply for the next academic year. However, once I’d read more about The Year in Industry, I thought it was worth taking a gap year for it anyway. The main things that swung it for me were being able to; 1, get a year’s work experience (which is 3x more likely to land you a graduate job vs. someone who hasn’t done a year in industry); 2, make sure engineering was definitely what I wanted to do; 3, a year in industry can count towards becoming a Chartered Engineer which is what I aim to be. All while earning a fair salary.

I definitely enjoyed my placement at TTP and have found it extremely fulfilling. I’ve made new friends and the experience will put me in good stead when it comes to finding a job after university as it seems like a year’s experience is almost as important to a company as a 1st in a degree. I’d definitely recommend trying to get a placement as it’s probably been the best decision of my life so far!”

Amaru experimentally investigated the effect of changing different process variables in the new anti-reflective coating technology and had to interpret his data in a way that showed any improvements, and present it in a brief and informative manner to colleagues. Amaru also took the initiative of getting himself involved with developing business for the company in this area by conducting in-depth market and technology research. Amaru helped to develop a process that replicates the coating onto any choice of substrate and demonstrated the ability to reduce the reflectivity of glass by as much as 95%. The samples produced have helped TTP to win new business worth over £100k.

“TTP understands the value of helping to build the engineers of the future and being involved in The Year in Industry programme over the years has allowed us to help shape the career of many budding engineers. The value that Amaru, and his other Year in Industry colleagues, have brought to the business should not be underestimated. We hope to continue to encourage and foster the next generation of engineers, introducing them to the culture of TTP that allows them to nurture ideas whilst giving them the facilities, the training and – most importantly – the freedom to find innovative solutions to make their ideas work”. Sam Hyde, Managing Director, TTP

“Amaru has made a significant contribution to the early stages of technology development at TTP with his work on anti-reflective coatings and also in a number of other areas. These activities are important to TTP as they help to provide proof of principle and build confidence in new technologies to the point where TTP can establish larger programmes with commercial development partners. During his time at TTP, Amaru has gained experience in a wide variety of laboratory activities and has developed a high level of capability and independence in his work. He has also carried out valuable desk-based research to investigate new markets and technologies being explored at TTP” Justin Buckland, Consultant, at TTP

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