Apr 10, 2008

Students Encouraged to Engineer a Career with Seagate

NORTHERN IRELAND - A group of five Foyle & Londonderry College A-Level students have been mentored through an engineering research and development project for the past six months by one of Seagate Technology’s (NYSE: STX) talented engineers.

The project was conducted as part of The Engineering Education Scheme, managed in Northern Ireland by Sentinus, the leading provider of business education partnerships. The Scheme culminated yesterday (Wednesday 9th April) at an assessment and presentation day at the Jordanstown Campus of the University of Ulster, when teams from across Northern Ireland exhibited their projects and presented their work to panels of experts.

The programme annually introduces sixth formers to careers in engineering by getting education and industry to collaborate on projects that will be of benefit to the mentoring company. The aim is to encourage students to take on third level education in engineering related subjects with a view to following a career in the field.

Hugh McNeill, a process engineer at Seagate’s Springtown facility who mentored the team from Foyle and Londonderry College, said, “The future of the engineering profession depends on industry and education working proactively to educate, recruit and retain the most able and motivated young people. I was more than happy to get involved in this excellent programme and do my bit to encourage the next generation to pursue a rewarding career in engineering.”

Seagate specifically tasked the Foyle & Londonderry College students to research and design a real-time weight monitoring system for use in part of the process for manufacturing recording heads, a component of a hard drive.

The objectives of the project were to save man-hours, improve the accuracy of chemical reorder quantities and ensure replenishment of tools before they reach a critical level.

“I’ve really enjoyed working on this project,” said Foyle & Londonderry College student David Graham. “It’s been really helpful to get an insight into some of the day-to-day activities of an engineer’s job. I also learned how to break down a task into manageable parts and reach a solution by conquering each barrier one step at a time.

“We designed, built and demonstrated a system capable of accurately monitoring fluid levels within the individual containers and collected the data generated. It has been a great experience to work on a real life project that will actually make a difference and be put to good use by Seagate.”

Impressed by the range of projects on display this year, Brian Campbell, chief executive of Sentinus said; “I’m delighted with the quality of the work and the commitment of our students – year on year, Northern Ireland compares very favourably with other regions in the U.K. It is the partnership between high calibre, motivated students and experienced engineers from local industries that makes this experience so valuable and unique for both partners.”

About Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives and storage solutions, providing products for a wide-range of applications, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Branded Solutions. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, with the goal of being the time-to-market leader in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at http://www.seagate.com

Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are U.S. registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC.

Seagate has two facilities in Northern Ireland, employing over 2,200 people between them. At the Springtown wafer fabrication facility, the Company develops and manufactures recording heads, which write information onto and read information from the recording disc inside a hard drive product. The Company’s Limavady facility produces nickel-plated aluminium substrates, the core material on which computer hard disc drives read, write and store digital information.

About Sentinus
Sentinus is a not for profit organisation and is one of the largest providers of business/education activity in the United Kingdom. Through the establishment of partnerships between education and industry, the organisation creates an awareness of the exciting opportunities available to young people in science, engineering and technology and assists their development in readiness for the world of work.

As part of a national network of SETPOINTs Sentinus has a strong focus on young people, from 5 to 19 years old, enhancing their life skills through challenging and exciting experiences with an industrial focus.

Sentinus initiatives promote innovation and creativity in science, technology and engineering and give pupils from our schools the opportunity to work with other people, gain real experience of practical problem solving, develop communication skills and make informed career decisions.

The work of Sentinus is supported by many companies and organisations throughout Northern Ireland, providing vital opportunities for young people, nurturing the workforce of tomorrow and making a real impact on society.

Further information can be obtained from Sentinus on Belfast (028) 9262 7755.