British electronics company Sondrel, is sponsoring a teaching fellow and providing scholarships to nine students on a unique engineering course at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.
Sondrel designs integrated circuits (IC) for the semiconductor industry. A subset of electrical and computer engineering, integrated circuits are crucial in the manufacture of digital devices such as computers and mobile phones.
Training the designers of the future
In 2013, in the first partnership of its kind, Sondrel launched a programme at University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), to train the integrated circuit designers of the future in China. The course is also supported by Sondrel's partner company, Mentor Graphics, which provided the electronic design automation software that the students use.
The programme at the University’s Ningbo campus was created after Sondrel identified a lack of IC designers in China with the skills the company needs to continue its rapid expansion. The aim of the programme is to plug the talent gap and improve China’s ability to compete globally in the IC design market. To date, nearly 100 students have taken part in the programme and gone on to take up positions in Sondrel operations around the world.
The University will work with Sondrel in the UK and China to support the recruitment of students onto the course which will also include a Sondrel/UNNC online testing centre in the UK. In addition, the University’s Global Careers team and the International Office will also work with Sondrel to share networks and contacts to help support student recruitment.
The student scholarships will be means tested and awarded to students based on a number of criteria including academic achievement and income.
The University of Nottingham and Sondrel are also both members of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), an organisation which helps UK companies to grow and develop their business in China. Lord Sassoon, Chairman of the CBBC, said: “It is tremendous to see partnerships like this being developed between CBBC members in China. The way that the University of Nottingham Ningbo China and Sondrel are working together for mutual benefit is reinforced by their CBBC membership. I am sure that this latest collaboration will be as successful as their other joint initiatives.”
An international career
Graham Curren, CEO of Sondrel, commented: “We firmly believe in developing our new graduate talent and specifically wanted to find and train more young people for an international career in our offices around the world. Our working environment is multi-cultural and excellent communication skills coupled with cross-cultural awareness are vital for conducting business in global markets including China. These IC designers are set for an exciting career working in partnership with our clients in Europe, the US and China.”
Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement at The University of Nottingham, added: “I am delighted that Sondrel has agreed to provide a scholarship fund to support integrated circuit design students and a teaching fellow at UNNC. We have an excellent relationship with Sondrel and have worked together with them very successfully over the last couple of years on the programme at our Ningbo campus.
"This scholarship demonstrates their commitment to build on the success of the course and we look forward to working closely with them over the years ahead to train the next generation of integrated circuit designers.”
For more details about The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/china
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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