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Mintra sponsors RGU prize for top computing student

19 / 07 / 2021

Mintra has once again teamed up with one of the UK’s leading universities to recognise and reward the brightest emerging talent in the field of technology.

The digital learning specialist has sponsored the prize for outstanding achievement by a final year student in the Robert Gordon University BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree, which this year was presented to Ryan McConnel at a virtual graduation ceremony.

It is the second year running that Mintra has partnered with Aberdeen-based RGU to sponsor the academic prize, however it continues a long association between the two organisations.

Ryan was selected for the award by lecturers at the School of Computing for consistently demonstrating excellent academic performance in his honours year studies. He now hopes to go into a career in software development.

“When finding out about being in contention for the award, I was very pleased that the hard effort that I had put into my studies was being recognised,” said Ryan.

“My five years being enrolled at RGU have all been fantastic. The staff in the school of computing have all been very helpful and friendly and have made the course both very educational but also enjoyable at the same time. If I did have to pin down one thing that I enjoyed the most, it would be the opportunity to do an industrial placement as part of my degree, allowing me to gain industry experience whilst also still being in contact with the university.”

Mintra has long been a supporter of academia and has provided valuable placement opportunities to many RGU students, as well as collaborating with the university on several successful projects.

"Learning and education are at the core of what Mintra does."

Chief operations officer Gareth Gilbert presented the prize at the virtual ceremony. He said: “Learning and education are at the core of what Mintra does.

“We are delighted to continue our relationship with both RGU and the technology leaders of tomorrow. We have worked closely with RGU on placements, projects and have hired many graduates over the years - I am happy to include myself in that list too.”

Course leader David Corsar added: “In honours year, students study almost the complete spectrum of software development, from understanding and creating a custom programming language and associated compiler, through to the human side, studying methods for effective visualisation of complex data and principles behind effective and pleasurable human-computer interactions.

“Ryan will also have expanded his knowledge of artificial intelligence, and the machine learning and neural network techniques that are revolutionising how we view and utilise data. All of this has to be done securely, of course, so our fourth years also study ethical hacking gaining an understanding of the advanced techniques used by hackers, so they can develop systems that defend against them.

“Finally, fourth years also have their honours project – a self-directed year-long project during which they investigate a problem and design, develop, and evaluate a solution to it. In Ryan’s case, his he developed a novel way of understanding and interacting with code projects using a 3D virtual environment.”