Daniel Holt - Research Intern within Urban Robotics at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea

During his internship, Daniel was working as part of a team building a Rotary Steerable System Drill for shale gas. The drill was designed to move sideways as well as downwards, and if the project is successful (it is currently in manufacture), it will be the world’s most flexible drill. Daniel looked at the dynamics of the drill and used CAD software to print designs and components on a 3D printer. 

‘My greatest achievement occurred in the final week where I gave a seminar presenting the methods I used to calculate the dynamics of the drill. I presented my results from a report I had produced analysing the effect of the drill mechanics on the lateral force. During this seminar I also derived key relations that would be used in the sensory algorithms on the white board. Filling up a whiteboard with equations made me feel like a real physicist!’

‘The main skill I developed would definitely be communication which allowed me to be better understood by the members of my team. Frequently I needed to attend brainstorming meetings or meet my team leader to better understand my tasks. It was vital for me to have a clear idea about the task I was undertaking particularly about the geometry of the drill and its degree of freedom to move.’

In the brainstorming sessions I developed my ability to work in a team, listen, contribute ideas and then develop ideas with others.

‘Another experience which was a dream come true for me was the chance to meet and volunteer with migrants from North Korea. I came into contact with a teacher at a school for North Korean children and I helped out at one of his lessons for two of the advanced students.’

‘When I was on this internship I realised that a career in Academia particularly appealed to me and so after I finish my MSci degree programme I have started thinking about doing a PhD. The experiences I gained have definitely helped me come to this decision especially as I worked in a post graduate environment where I could talk to my friends in the lab about their Masters and PhD courses. I now have a far clearer idea of what I would like my future career to be.’