Thursday 11 October 2018
A group of students from across the Media Technology programme visited NEP UK today for their annual Student Open Day. The day is a technological extravaganza best summed up by the audible gasp from the students as they entered NEP’s warehouse. NEP had certainly put their tech on show with a substantial PA system, lighting, large LED panels and systems cameras covering two large stages. The stages held talks and panels led by senior engineers from prominent broadcasters such as the BBC, Sky and AELTC. We heard case studies on large events such as the Winter Olympics and Love Island as well as panel discussions on tech trends and diversity within the industry.
NEP’s focus was on showcasing the exciting and rewarding opportunities that the sector has to offer to budding engineers – they ran workshops with practical advice on training and applying for jobs as well as sessions to help students understand the roles available. They had one of their extending articulated Outside Broadcast vehicles setup with the live feeds from around the venue so that students were able to get hands on with all aspects of production including racking, vision mixing, graphics, EVS and sound. During the breaks there was also a live band as a subject for the students to put their productions skills to the test. Sky had setup a studio with a virtual studio generated from within one of their production vans. It was interesting to understand how the cameras tracked and aggregated their movement and zoom settings to feed back to a real-time graphics engine.
As well as the main programme there were stands from equipment manufacturers and systems integrators such as EVS, Creative Technologies, Ross and Grass Valley to name but a few. We were able to see some of their latest technologies and speak to engineers about how their products work and are implemented. As always, it was nice to bump into several Media Technology graduates and catch up with other contacts from across the industry. Several of the companies have employed graduates from the programme so it’s nice to hear what they’ve been up to.
The key message from the day was that the broadcast sector is a dynamic and exciting place in which to apply engineering talent within a wide range of roles. Marketing Manager Kayte Burns asserted that there are roles for you whether you are “a Sheldon Cooper or a Steven Spielberg” and the BBC’s Peter Taylor added that whilst engineering can initially seem quite dry, the problem solving aspect is very creative and there’s a real buzz to be had from delivering exciting content in new ways.
There was a great vibe to the whole day with incredible enthusiasm from all those present including over 450 students. Many thanks to NEP for hosting their biggest open day yet - we look forward to next year and seeing some of companies for guest lectures and industry visits.