NUIG works with high-tech companies to offer longer work-placements to increase student employability

In a significant development for engineering education and 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 EngineeringandMechanical 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 placements, 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 more than 20 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.

Speaking about the announcement Professor Gerry Lyons, dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway said; “This is a very significant and positive development for engineering education at NUI Galway that 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.”

DrJohnO’Dea,presidentof Engineers Ireland and former chairman 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 BiomedicalandMechanical 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.”

The announcement was made at the Get SET (Science, Enterprise & Technology ) Expo organised by the Career Development Centre, which took place on March 4 in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway.

Companies interested in finding out more information in relation to the PEP for Mechanical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering can contact Tom Fitzgerald, placement officer at the Career Development Centre on (091 ) 492909 or [email protected].

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