As the academic year draws to a close, we look ahead to the next generation who will take up the challenge of designing and building a solar powered car to cross the Australian Outback. We have seen some very promising students join the team this year, from first year undergraduates all the way through to PhD candidates, which is very exciting for the future of CUER.
Two sessions of three hours on consecutive afternoons sounds like an intense software workshop by most people’s standards, particularly in the middle of a Cambridge term. Yet this picture is a far cry from the experience of the SolidWorks workshop run in week 4. We all had a thoroughly enjoyable and enriching experience.
When it comes to looking after people on the team, what you need to put first is yourself. I learnt this the hard way by trying to help everyone else, no matter the expense to myself, and it almost lead to me leaving the team. Luckily this was a while ago, and I knew when I took over the team that if I was not able to look after myself I would not be able to help others. This does not mean you should leave other people hanging or not help anyone, but when it comes down to it you should not compromise your own health and basic needs. This sounds obvious but it can be very easy to justify just one more late night to help reduce someone’s workload and keep doing this every day.
In the long-term, it is important to present a fixed plan. With so many people working on different personal schedules in the team and being able to commit different amounts of time through the year, it is best to present a few very clear external deadlines well in advance and then break this down into more manageable internal deadlines.