Radio Communications Connect Day

Engineering is a diverse discipline and there are many different career options out there for young people. Hosting a Connect Day provides the chance for Arkwright Scholars to explore potential future career paths in an exciting and hands-on way.

Long-time sponsor The Radio Communications Foundation (RCF) and The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) partnered to host a Connect Day at the National Radio Centre in Bletchley Park, once home to Britain’s top secret code-breaking community.

Prior to the Connect Day, Scholars were sent materials provided by RCF to study for an Amateur Radio Foundation Licence which enables students to set up their own amateur radio station.

Upon arrival Scholars were split into small groups and shown the various aspects of setting up a radio station. They were supported by a team of experts. The team arranged for the Scholars to make contact with Bob McLeod, whose amateur radio skills enabled him to be the first to confirm a takeover of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

During the first session, the Scholars looked at what is needed to connect a station, antenna tuning and the basics of Morse code. The high-tech equipment at the centre allowed Scholars to get a real feel for what it takes to work in radio communications.

Informative and educational. The hands-on sessions were very useful in cementing my knowledge and allowing me to apply it.

They were then given a tour of the National Radio Centre. This provided Scholars with an insight into the role of engineers in radio and a wider understanding of the roles available in their industry.

During the afternoon, students were able to quiz the experts on their experiences and get answers to some of their more complex questions before sitting the exam.

It was a brilliant course and I would recommend it to anyone interested in radio.

Scholars left the Radio Communications Connect Day with a qualification to help set them apart when they apply to university. More than that, however, they gained an understanding of the practical applications of engineering and how, like Bob McLeod, they could have a real impact on the world.

The day was really enjoyable and an eye-opener to the world of radio as a whole.

Arkwright Engineering Scholar