Herman L.

Graduate CMOS Image Sensor Design Engineer
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Herman L.
Electronics
Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology
Undergraduate
Halifax
2019
Norway

My employment

Graduate CMOS Image Sensor Design Engineer
Science & Technology Facilities Council
United Kingdom
Science and research
Large business (250+ employees)
2020

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A day in the life of a Graduate CMOS Image Sensor Design Engineer in the United Kingdom

Throughout my degree I was very unsure when it came to narrowing down options for later work, and if possible I kept options open for a wider range of opportunities later.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I work within the STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council) and UKRI (UK Research & Innovation). Within the Technology division, I work in the CMOS Image Sensor Design Group, where we produce high-end image sensors for scientific and specialist commercial use.

What do you do?

I design image sensors utilising both analogue and digital design flows and tools for design, simulation, verification and testing. Centered around electronic engineering work, there is a lot of problem-solving and interaction with problems and information that does not come under the "electronics" umbrella. This makes the job all the more interesting and allows me to explore, branch out in new areas, and continue learning. Part of the job is also to manage the projects and to communicate with customers throughout, to keep them informed and to maintain our relationship.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

My entire education and choices throughout led me to choose this graduate position.
I focussed all my efforts in my master's project during my last year at university, and came out unemployed for 6 months for not having found the right graduate scheme or job yet. Then, this opportunity with STFC and CMOS image sensor design came by.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Throughout my degree I was very unsure when it came to narrowing down options for later work, and if possible I kept options open for a wider range of opportunities later. Nevertheless, I specialised in Nanotechnology for a reason and pursued this in my career search as well, leading to my current job which is spot on what I was expecting.

Describe your most memorable day at work

I have not been working here long enough to be here from start to finish in one project, seen as they span several years. Whilst my most memorable day so far really isn't very memorable, I look forward to seeing all the hard work and effort put into a project culminate in a working chip and sensor a year or so down the line.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Due to the projects quite extensive time span, maintaining motivation and pushing forward for that amount of time can be difficult when coming from a University environment with projects lasting only a few weeks (or a few months, with the final project..). I'm still overcoming this today, by making sure to break project achievements into smaller blocks that are satisfying in their own right to complete.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I did a range of extracurricular activities throughout university, and am very happy that I partook in such activities in a range of settings. In the department, I was a course representative for the cohort for the 3/4 years, and also the Department representative for one year. I gained both professionalism and experience in proceedings in a larger company from this.

I also partook in several societies, including kayaking, which allowed me to enjoy weekends socialising, relaxing, and exploring rivers and locations around the UK. This also required stricter time management and prioritisation throughout the week. A significant amount of communication and leadership skills emerged from these activities.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

If you haven't already done one or more work placements, try to make this happen! It is an amazing opportunity to explore what could potentially be your career, with two benefits. For one, you can see if your career plan suits you by trying out the work,. Secondly, it's a foot in the door - having contacts is very useful when you are searching for that career starting job later! It will also help you build important skills and knowledge not necessarily developed at university.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, it will give you practice in applying for jobs, being interviewed, and the process that you will want to be familiar with once you have graduated and are looking for work. If you have time in your final year, start applying as soon as the first term starts (or before), as applications are out this early!

Next steps...

If you like the look of Herman’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Herman a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Herman to be your mentor.

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