Lewis took part in one of our US programmes in 2015 and opened his eyes to the world of studying in the US and a different group of peers.

We caught up with Lewis to hear more about his current career in robotics, and what he remembers of his time on the programme.

How did you hear about the programme?

“I was notified of the programme through school as an opportunity to explore the USA as I had identified it as an option through my love of American football. Once reading about the programme it seemed like the perfect fit and exactly what I needed to understand university in the USA.

Can you tell us about your journey so far?

“I played American football at the University of Leeds Beckett winning the national championship with the team alongside studying for a 4-year integrated masters in Robotics and Automation which I achieved a 1st class honours in. My final master dissertation titled “Fire assistance robot” was published at the UK-RAS 2021 conference where I also was selected to present at the conference.

From the end of year 2 to the end of year 4 in my degree, I was also hired as a system integration analyst at Farnell Electronics where I helped design and implement an automated warehouse management system for their new warehouse. Further to this, I worked with the company on my 3rd Bachelors dissertation and developed a reel counting system to be used in their warehouses.

Outside of academia I have 5 years experience working in rugby data analysis for Opta sports where I work with teams on the international level (I worked the last rugby world cup) down to domestic level teams such as Saracens.”

Did you know what you wanted to do before university, and did the US Programme change that?

“I always knew I had 2 paths, either a sports career in the USA or continue my academic progression in the UK and go onto a PhD. The Sutton trust enabled me to understand that I could achieve both goals simultaneously by putting me in a group of peers that shared similar passions for academics.

I remember the connections made with people in my Cohort and the experience of going to the USA and being immersed in the university experience out there. I keep in touch on a semi regular basis with a couple people from Cohort 5.

One memory that does stand out is the singing and dancing on the coach rides while in the USA (not my finest dancing I must admit).”

What are you up to now?

“I’m a PhD Researcher with the Adaptive systems research group at the university of Hertfordshire – studying the personalisation of companion robotics for long term engagement and use within the home

Robocup member for Boldhearts at the university of Hertfordshire – Robocup soccer is where robots compete in a world cup each year in the game of football (soccer). The goal of robocup soccer is the following – “By the middle of the 21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game, complying with the official rules of FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup.” Link to our teams website – https://boldhearts.gitlab.io/

Just taken part in UKRAS week for a project called Robot Lab Live where we demonstrated how we use the robot house and robots to perform research. Read about our work here – https://robothouse.herts.ac.uk/news/robot-lab-live-2022/

If, like Lewis,you’d like to share your story with us – just get in touch with the alumni team via [email protected].

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