Beating the system

Find out who's the best systems and electronics undergrad of the year

Xavier Bourret Sicotte, a student at Imperial College London, has been named the Systems and Electronics Undergraduate of the Year at the first TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year awards. The award, run in association with aerospace and defence firm Thales UK, was launched to find Britain’s most promising systems and electronics undergraduate and attracted entries from over 130 talented undergraduates.

Xavier, 19, an electrical engineering undergraduate in his penultimate year, impressed the judges with his academic success and extracurricular activities, such as being a member of the music technology society at Imperial College. 

He was chosen following a number of phased assessments, including online personality questionnaires and bespoke situational competency tests devised by Thales UK and assessment specialist SHL. This was followed by a telephone interview to discuss his experience in more detail and test his technical and personal skills. As well as receiving the impressive accolade, he has also won £3,000 and a visit to a Thales full-flight simulator.

On winning the award, Xavier said: “I am surprised but really happy to have won, particularly because all the finalists were really strong candidates. Thales is a great company to be associated with and I hope the award will help me to stand out from the crowd when I graduate.”

Victor Chavez, Deputy CEO, Thales UK, said: “All the finalists were extremely talented but Xavier stood out because of his academic ability, personal skills and ambition. At Thales, we are always looking for the most talented graduates and this award has been a fantastic way of identifying the systems and electronics leaders of the future.”

Xavier battled it out with nine other finalists from the University of Plymouth, the University of Manchester, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Surrey, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Hull, the University of Sheffield, Coventry University and the University of Cambridge, all well recognised for their systems and electronics departments. A range of systems and electronics courses were represented, including informatics, aerospace systems engineering, and robotics and automated systems.

The winners were announced at an awards night on 16 April at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, London. The gala event attracted an audience of 200 and the awards were presented by former MP Michael Portillo.  

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