This year, Electronics Weekly’s Elektra Awards celebrate 20 years of recognising excellence, innovation and expertise in the electronics industry.
Elektra Awards celebrate 20 years: Meet the selection panelAnd today we interview one of the judges to highlight the role in the awards of the Elektra’s judging panel: taking his place on this year’s panel is James Hayman, award-winning electronics engineer at Taylor Hobson.
James, you won the Rising Star of the Year award at Elektra 2017 and have since been selected to join the judging panel for the Elektras 2022. What did winning the award mean to you and why is it so important that the industry recognises young and emerging talent?
Winning the award at Elektra 2017 meant so much to me, to date it is my proudest accomplishment and the award sits pride of place on my desk.
Recognising young talent through awards like these is so important, it is a great way to showcase some of the incredible work younger engineers are capable of. We are also currently facing a large skills gap and through events like this can encourage more young engineers as well as giving them the necessary networking opportunities to further their careers
Did you nominate yourself for the award? If so, can you explain why you made the decision to enter? If someone nominated you, how did you feel when you found out you were a finalist?
I did nominate myself for the award. I was hesitant at first, but after being nominated by a colleague and receiving a BrightSparks award earlier in the year it gave me the confidence to put myself out there.
I remember when the finalists were announced I was excited but nervous if I matched up to the other entrants, fortunately the judges saw something in my entry and entering turned out to be the best decision I ever made
Now in your role as a judge, what will you be looking for in the entries you review? What will it take for an entry to impress you?
What would really impress me is seeing young engineers who are actively giving back to the community. Having been a STEM ambassador for several years I know how important it is reaching out to children and young adults and showing them what electronics has to offer.
I would love to see entrants who share the same mindset.
What advice can you give to entrants thinking of entering this year? Would you recommend entering to others?
I would highly recommend entering, even if you’re unsure. Never doubt your work or accomplishments. It can be tough when you see other young engineers who are talented and think you may not match up, but to someone else you are that talented engineer, and you may be exactly what the judges are looking for.
Going further back, to EW BrightSparks – you were part of the first cohort in 2017. Do you have fond memories of that experience? Looking back now, how did it impact your work at the time?
The EW BrightSparks award was an extremely valuable opportunity. Being able to meet like-minded engineers at the beginning of our careers, sharing our experiences and future plans was really rewarding.
It was a great addition to my portfolio with numerous companies reaching out to contact me off the back of it