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Irma Houmadi

Irma Houmadi

Graduate Engineer, Energy Innovation

Irma Houmadi, Graduate Engineer, Energy Innovation.What attracted you to the scheme? 

I was attracted to the scheme because it offers different placements that will give me experience in areas I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to access, in either academia or industry – it is the perfect mix of both! I was interested in Battery research after finishing my MSc Chemistry degree and I was impressed to learn about how WMG is involved in cutting edge research.

Typical day as a Graduate Engineer

On a normal day I will often attend meetings with managers and research staff in the mornings, I will then carry out my own research on Battery Safety and start to collate new findings into a report to share with my colleagues and other key stakeholders. Following this I will often attend IMechE events or seminars and plan for any outreach or volunteering activities that are coming up in the next few weeks.

What projects have you worked on?

I have worked within the Battery Characterisation team providing recommendations and carrying our experiments on how to optimise their facilities. Following this, I worked in the Cell Instrumentation team to find ways to integrate technology that is normally used in Geological applications into battery technology to improve safety. My third placement gave me a vastly different opportunity to work with a client and examine why cells were catching on fire! My current placement has allowed me to network with professionals both inside and outside of WMG and produces results and documentation that will inform and educate both industry and academia professionals.

Why should someone apply?

  • Huge opportunities for career development such as the Project Management APM qualifications and studying for the Postgraduate Qualification in Sustainable Automotive Engineering – this has benefitted me hugely within my work and increased my confidence.
  • Gaining experience in Public Engagement and delivering Outreach activities to the local community. This is important to me as it’s important to encourage students to be interested in STEM subjects and it’s really enjoyable!
  • Great support network – Graduate mentor and buddy who will advise you and listen to any problems you may have. Peer support from other Graduate Engineers and plenty of opportunities to play sports and have other social events. (In the past we have organised nights out in Coventry and Leamington, played Laser Tag and gone Trampolining!

What are the best parts of the scheme?

The first year of the programme has flown by and I love how there is always something new and cutting edge going on around the department. Everyone in WMG is willing to help you and share knowledge. As an employee of the University of Warwick, I have enjoyed all the perks that there is to offer such as using my learning account to take up Arabic lessons. Most importantly, through the placements I’m doing now and the experiences I’m gaining, either in the laboratory or working with industry professionals, I am way more confident than I was before and I have an idea of what I would like to do in the future.