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Students encouraged by IBM mentors

The Innovation prize was presented to Ciaran Synnott and Nishaat Hussain [with Michael Biggs, Umer Khokhar and Yu Yip]
Students in the School of Engineering & Applied Science have been rewarded for their innovation and teamwork during an informal presentation by IBM held last week. Two teams of second year Computer Science students were presented with trophies (plus certificates and Amazon vouchers!) for ‘Innovation’ and ‘Teamwork’ as part of their Blue Compass group projects.


The awards were presented by Bharat Bhushan, a Technical Specialist at IBM and an IBM Ambassador to Aston University. For the last three years, IBM have provided mentors to help and support second year Computer Science students. To date, IBM has helped Aston students in two ways: a successful guest lecture series has been established and IBM Ambassadors help students with their group projects, focusing on developing effective problem-solving, team-working and innovation skills.

The award for teamwork was presented to Ridwan Mulla [with Leena Lad and Scott Peters].

Bharat spoke to the students present about the importance of group work. He explained how vital excellent teamwork is to the success of the individual, to the team, to the company and ultimately to the success of the customer. The essence of successful teamwork, he explained, is to be able to work with individuals from different backgrounds in a variety of stressful situations. Bharat talked about the importance of innovation and his belief that to be truly innovative is to work with what you have already but in a more effective way.

The Innovation prize was presented to Ciaran Synnott and Nishaat Hussain [with Michael Biggs, Umer Khokhar and Yu Yip] and the award for teamwork went to Ridwan Mulla [with Leena Lad and Scott Peters].

On his visit to Aston, Bharat commented: "The facilities at Aston are impressive and the students, I got a chance to speak to, were bright and ambitious. They have been given an environment where they can express themselves and develop skills that are very much current and in the demand. Aston is most certainly brewing great talent for the future and, companies like IBM would benefit from it. Thank you for the opportunity to come and present the awards and to interact with the students. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Words by Louise Russell

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