Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Jamie Stewart - Summer STEM Work Placement - Weekly Reports

The STEM placement students are sending us weekly blogs all about their experience in the world of work! 

Work experience is great and it provides students with many benefits whilst gaining skills and helping choose the right future career path for pupils. Having work experience on a Curriculum Vitae will make a person stand out to employers as they will notice they have motivation and a real passion for work. It will also help to boost a students confidence in themselves!

See how Jamie is getting on with his STEM placement!

Week One

"After spending Monday on induction activities, we started properly on Tuesday. In the first four days of research, we've been introduced to a vast number of computer programs and various machines. We've also used computer programs to run calculations and spent some time in the cleanroom, being covered from head to toe. 

I've learnt how important it is to be flexible with your plans as it seems as though they constantly have to adapt as a machine is not available. I've also learnt an awful lot of new acronyms, and the importance of keeping clear, detailed notes." 

Week Two 

"The aim of my research project, put as simply as possible, is to investigate ways to create a repeated 'fin' shape pattern on a silicon wafer. This is useful for my supervisor who works with computer models for these patterns and would like to be able to produce small samples of fins for testing.

The reason why this fin shape is important is because it is used in industry to create a component called a FinFET which is essentially a 3D transistor. The fin shape has a higher surface area than a traditional planar 2D transistor and so a FinFET can be made smaller than a 2D transistor whilst still doing the same job. This enables more transistors to be fitted onto a single chip, increasing the speed of the computer."

Week Three 

"We've had some minor delays due to a software issue on a machine but for the most part we have been making good progress this week. We haven't actually been creating anything new but when working with nanostructures, a large proportion of time is spent just trying to figure out what you have created.

We spent a lot of time huddled around a whiteboard trying to understand some of the results that we've obtained but we think we have a reasonable idea of what is happening and will soon be running a computer model which should hopefully confirm our hypothesis. Going into the final week of research, we're aiming to combine everything we've learnt so far into a final attempt to make fins to a specific dimension."

Week Four 

"This week was the last week where we properly focused on research. We stayed for a fifth week which we were able to use to finish the last part of our results section however we saved that primarily for writing the report. Our last set of experiments was essentially the same as the first set of experiments, but with one key change to the process which had been causing problems for us. It took us 3 weeks to complete the first set of experiments but just 1 week to complete the second set because we were far more efficient when we knew what we were doing."

- Jamie Stewart 

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