Siemens partners with universities to launch Digital Academy


Siemens has launched a new undergraduate sponsorship programme to encourage the next generation of engineering and tech talent.

The Digital Academy will pay selected students £3,000-a-year from the second year of university, as well as up to 12-weeks' paid summer placement, throughout the duration of their studies within a Siemens business. At the end of their degree, students will be given the chance to join Siemens’ Graduate Scheme.

The programme is a partnership between Siemens, the University of Sheffield and Newcastle University, and a further 15 principal UK universities. It aims to offer undergraduates a practical, collaborative space to explore Industry 4.0 technologies and put what they learn at university into real world use.

Six trailblazing students from EEE (electrical and electronic engineering) and computer science departments have been selected to pilot the programme this summer.

Nikhil Patel and Miles Moran from Newcastle University, Thomas Edwards from the University of Sheffield, Diana Crintea from the University of Southampton, Maryem Khan from the University of Loughborough and Ariana Escobar Chalen from the University of Manchester were unveiled at a launch event at Siemens Digital Factory in Congleton.


The first group of undergraduates were selected from the inaugural Sir William Siemens challenge, a two-day hackathon-style event held at the University of Sheffield which involved 84 promising engineering students from partner universities. The challenge, dubbed ‘Mindsphere Live’, saw students put into 12 hybrid, multidisciplinary teams and asked to invent a unique device powered by data.


One of those taking part in the pilot Digital Academy is Nikhil Patel, an electrical engineering undergraduate from Newcastle University. He said: “I wanted to join the Digital Academy so that I could work with a world leading organisation such as Siemens to enhance my knowledge of new technologies and allow me to work with a range of other people to not only help improve Siemens as a business but also to improve the connectivity of the world we live in.

“Being part of the Digital Academy gives me an insight into how Siemens operates as a business and it also provides me with the means to be able to make a difference. It gives me the opportunity to develop my technical and transferable skills whilst working on real, cutting-edge projects and I think that being a part of this scheme will help to accelerate my career progression and allow me to grow as an individual, with the help of Siemens.”

Brian Holliday, Siemens digital industries managing director, added: “The Digital Academy is another ground-breaking example of how Siemens and our higher education partners are working together to encourage young people to pursue careers in engineering and technology.

“This programme gives undergraduates applied and up-to-date experience to bolster their academic learning.


"By strengthening links between business and our world-leading universities, we can inspire and nurture talent to support the UK’s leading role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

Applications for the next Digital Academy cohort are now being accepted from the following: the University of Sheffield; Newcastle University; the University of Manchester; Oxford University; the University of Cambridge; the University of Lincoln; the University of Southampton; Imperial College London; the University of Strathclyde; the University of Nottingham; the University of Birmingham; Loughborough University; Bournemouth University; the University of Bath; the University of York; the University of Warwick; and Aston University.