Fast learner: Pranay’s insight into high-speed communications

Year 13 student Pranay Shah is among a select group of Sixth-Formers nationwide to have benefited from a new course on high-speed communications at Aston University.

Only 28 students were accepted on to the course, during which Pranay participated in a number of testing classroom and laboratory sessions, working alongside experts in the field. Over three days, he developed his knowledge of the components and systems that make up the global communications network by competing in a team challenge which involved transmitting sound from an MP3 player to an audio amp using optical fibre.

He also enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with simulation software as well as learning about life at university and receiving advice on career paths and opportunities.

Pranay, who is studying A-level Physics, Maths, Further Maths and French, is applying for General Engineering and Electrical Engineering university courses.

“High speed communications are essential for delivering healthcare, industrial development, transport, financial and other services that help every country flourish and develop economically and socially,” said Dr Kate Sugden, of Aston University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. “The course offered students a fascinating insight into the world of lasers, optical fibres, transmitters and receivers through practical workshops and master classes.”

The course was organised by the university and The Smallpeice Trust, an independent charitable organisation which promotes engineering as a career to young people aged 12-18.