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Case study

"Each day presented us with real tasks and objectives that gave us an insight into the many facets of engineering. I could not have asked for a more enjoyable and enlightening week."

David Year 10 student

Organisation: Leonardo

Location: Luton

Scheme title: Electronics, Defence and Security Systems

Duration: One Week

Age groups involved: GCSE and A-Level students

Introduction to the company 

Leonardo is the largest inward investor in the UK defence sector, the largest Italian inward investor in the UK, and one of the biggest suppliers of defence equipment to the MoD. 

How does the scheme work?

Our approach to work experience is one of a series of inter-linked projects that challenge students to design, build and test an electronic product to meet a set of customer requirements. This allows students to experience the processes involved in engineering, tailored to suit their current level of study and resulting in the creation of a product that they can take home.

These projects cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of five different engineering disciplines and include PCB (Printed Circuit Board) design, materials analysis and programming. These are all activities which are carried out by our engineers on a daily basis. Although each of these activities focuses on a different engineering discipline, the week as a whole shows how they are all vital contributors to creating an end product; requiring a common skillset extending from technical expertise to team working and communication. 

How do you collaborate with universities or schools?

Over the academic year we take students from a number of schools in the local Luton area for work experience placements. 

How do students benefit?

We’ve found that placements such as these are a great way to help schools and colleges promote the exciting opportunities within engineering and to encourage students to take STEM subjects for A-level, pursue an apprenticeship, or read an engineering degree at university. 

How does the organisation benefit?

From a company perspective, our work experience allows us to build partnerships with academia within our local community and provide young inspiring engineers with the opportunity to see the exciting varied career choices within our business first-hand.


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Alistair McNie

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Strathclyde University

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