NUI Galway offers longer placements to increase student employability
14 March 2014
In a significant development for engineering education, following extensive consultation with industry partners, the NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that the duration of the Professional Experience Programme (PEP) for third-year biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering students will be extended to eight months in duration.
Students will now undertake work-placement in leading local, national and international high-technology companies, including medical device companies, from January to August, starting in 2015.
The NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programmes have very strong links with industry, both nationally and internationally, and the decision to extend the duration of PEP was made in response to the growing demand from industry for longer work-placement, providing students with a broader range of industry-relevant skills and dramatically increasing their employability upon graduation.
The demand was strongest from the medical device industry which is one of the cornerstones of the local and national Irish economy, and which employs large numbers of NUI Galway biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering graduates. The PEP work-placement has been an integral part of these degree programmes for over twenty years. Commonly, upon completion of the PEP work-placement, students will continue to collaborate with their PEP employer through the industry-led research performed in their fourth year project.
Dr John O’Dea, president of Engineers Ireland and former chair of the Irish Medical Devices Association commented, “This is a very welcome development that is strongly supported by Engineers Ireland. This new industry-focused enhancement of the biomedical and mechanical engineering degree programmes at NUI Galway will have far reaching positive implications in terms of graduate employability and continued development of the Irish high-tech engineering sector.” Engineers Ireland is the national professional body for engineers and engineering degree accreditation.
Speaking about the announcement Prof Gerry Lyons, dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said this was a significant development for engineering education at NUI Galway.”It will further increase the employability of our graduates, equipping them with critical industry-focused skills and experience so that they can make an immediate impact in the high-tech sector upon graduation,” he added.
The announcement was made at the Get SET (Science, Enterprise & Technology) Expo organised by the Career Development, which took place on March 4 in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. Companies that are interested in finding out more information in relation to the PEP for mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering can contact Tom Fitzgerald, placement officer, Career Development Centre on 091 492909 or firstname.lastname@example.org.