Eastbourne student wins business award

Ana Groom SUS-150918-113027001
Ana Groom SUS-150918-113027001

Eastbourne based gap year student Ana Groom has been identified as a ‘future industry leader’ after developing an innovative new system for Rolls Royce.

Ana won the Institute of Engineering and Technology Award for Innovation when the business and education charity EDT held its Awards at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London on the September 17.

Ana, who attended Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College, has been taking part in the Year in Industry programme in which gap year students are placed for up to a year with top industrial employers to enable them to gain valuable business experience and to work on real commercial projects which benefit their companies.

Ana, who attended Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College, has been taking part in the Year in Industry programme in which gap year students are placed for up to a year with top industrial employers to enable them to gain valuable business experience and to work on real commercial projects which benefit their companies.

As a result of her work with Derby based Rolls-Royce, Ana was been selected as one of nine finalists at the EDT’s national Future Industry Leaders Awards taking place, winning the Innovation Award, one of the three awards for Year in industry Projects presented on the night. Interestingly all three winners were young women students.

Ana’s project involved developing a new capability within Rolls-Royce for programming robots that undertake ‘shot peening’, a process which is used to finish metal parts to prevent fatigue and stress corrosion failures and to prolong product life for the part.

To embed the new capability Ana built program history into the company databases and became proficient in programming and computer modelling. In this way, Ana was able to design different programming methods to test and ascertain the most suitable method for creating Shot Peen programs offline.

Dominic Thornton-Flowers, Chief of Manufacture Systems, Rolls-Royce plc “Ana’s project has been of significant and strategic importance, providing a competitive advantage for Rolls-Royce as a company and the UK as a major aerospace exporter. The project represents a major leap forward in terms of robot programming capability.

Ana, who is going on to study Engineering at Cambridge University says, “The project at Rolls-Royce was very challenging, but it was great having the opportunity to develop an improvement the company will use to become more competitive. I had to learn about different software and production processes very quickly, which I was able to do thanks to the support of others around me, but now the new robotic programming method has been defined it can be implemented to more areas of the business. It was a great experience working in a production environment and being part of a global organisation, understanding how it functions on a daily basis and being able to add my own ideas to this. I am sure that the skills I’ve gained and built upon during this year will be invaluable.”

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