A multiple award-winning former Coleg Menai student is returning to the college as an engineering lecturer.
Eva Voma will start teaching at the Llangefni campus in November - and will also represent the college in the WorldSkills UK final the same month.
The 21-year-old from Bangor started the Level 3 Diploma in Engineering at Coleg Menai back in 2018, and was fast-tracked to the Higher National Certificate after impressing lecturers with her aptitude and hard work.
She gained an apprenticeship with International Safety Components (ISC), a global provider of height safety equipment based in Llandygai, near Bangor.
After progressing to a degree apprenticeship with the manufacturing company, Eva graduated this summer with a 1st class BEng in Applied Mechanical Systems, awarded by Bangor University.
Now, her focus is passing on her knowledge and inspiring the next generation of engineers in north west Wales.
“It’s a very full circle moment because this is where I started, so I feel like I’m giving something back,” said Eva.
“I enjoyed the course when I was here. It was very broad and covered what you would need, especially with knowing the terminology you’d need in the workplace - that was a big help.
“I started doing the Level 3 in engineering and got very interested in Computer-Aided Design (CAD). I got into Wales skills, and in 2019 ended up in the national finals, so I’ve had some great opportunities.”
Among those opportunities was the chance to work as an apprentice manufacturing engineer for ISC, which ultimately led to her gaining a degree without having to pay tuition fees.
“I started in development doing some design work, then moved more into the production side,” she said. “When I came to the end of that I felt I still had more to learn, so I did a degree apprenticeship, which was Government-funded.
“I would recommend it, because you gain a free qualification, but you also get to have a job and get paid for it, and get a foot in the door in the industry.”
Eva was named Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Apprentice of the Year for 2021, and won a silver medal in UK Skills for CAD.
She will have the chance to add to her array of awards when she competes in the Additive Manufacturing category in the WorldSkills national final in Manchester, where a squad will be selected to represent the UK in Lyon next year.
Eva will have to scan a physical part and use associated software to create a true-to-life, 3D model. She will also have to measure a real-life part physically and model it using CAD software.
Asked for her advice to anyone studying engineering, Eva said: “Take every opportunity that comes your way, because you don’t know where it will lead you.
“I would also keep an open mind about engineering - it’s not just cars! When I tell people I’m an engineer they always think I work with cars, but it’s so broad. It could be a plane, a rocket, a hospital, pharmaceuticals - it could be anything.”
For more information on engineering courses at Grwp Llandrillo Menai, click here. Applications open in November for September 2024 entry. Open evenings will be held at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s campuses during November - for more information, click here.