Sarah Chappell-Smith

Sarah Chappell-Smith at TechHUb Exhibition

Sarah Chappell-Smith
Perkin Elmer
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering - MEng | BEng

UWTSD student Sarah Chappell-Smith already has an impressive CV - because she is working for an American multi-national corporation whilst completing the final year of her BEng Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Degree.

Sarah was initially offered a summer placement by Perkin Elmer, the world’s largest manufacturer of analytical scientific equipment for medical diagnosis, scientific analysis and product integrities during her second year, but bosses were so impressed with her work, they extended the part-time placement to cover her final year and now they have offered Sarah a permanent position while studing for her Masters degree. 

Sarah, a former Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive pupil, who was awarded UWTSD Student of the Year in 2016, said:

I’m Sarah Chappell-Smith. I go to UWTSD and I study BEng (Hons) Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. I did my major project with a company in Llantrisant called PerkinElmer.

I was working in the optics department where we designed different mirrors and things like that.The main one I worked on was a mirror that goes in an AA machine, and my whole project was based around altering the coating to make it work better, perform better so that we could get the optimum out of it. 

Perkin Elmer is a life science plant, they make a variety of life science machines that are used in hospitals, for diagnostics and things like that. I’m going to be working for Perkin Elmer full-time, then coming back to UWTSD part-time to do my MSc. 

I’m in the middle of moving departments, I was in Manufacturing but they’re actually transferring me into Product Life Cycle Engineering now.  I’ll still be optics-based, but I’ll also be working on other projects.

I’ve had loads of help from all the lecturers, not just the ones who were helping me with my project.  Arnaud, Graham, Richard and Perkin Elmer have given me loads of support.

Andrew Thorn helped me a lot.  He knows people in industry and managed to set up a meeting for me, and from there I started off on a ten week internship, which turned into a year’s internship, which has turned into a job.

Working with a multi-national company has been an amazing experience. I never dreamed that I would have such a great opportunity whilst studying for my degree. 

The support I have had from lecturers here at UWTSD and the staff at Perkin Elmer has been tremendous. I have learnt such a lot.

In my work at Perkin Elmer, I deal with overseas clients from places like Singapore. It has taught me skills that will undoubtedly help me after I graduate. It has been such a unique experience and I am so proud of what I have achieved so far."