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Silver Success for Sheffield Student at European Athletics Championships

This story was originally posted by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Iraitz (far right) with the rest of Team Spain at the European Athletics Championships collecting their silver medals.

An EngD student at the University of Sheffield has returned to the UK with a Silver Team Medal after taking part in the European Athletics Championships earlier this year.


Postgraduate research student, Iraitz Arrospide, trains as a distance runner and had the opportunity to compete as part of Team Spain during the Championships - all whilst studying at the Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Machining Science.


After travelling to Berlin for the event, he competed in the men’s marathon final, contributing to his team’s combined time of 6:42:43 and an overall Silver Team medal.


“I've always practised sports; I was a swimmer up until I started university but later stopped and took up running as a hobby instead,” explains Iraitz. “It wasn't until three years ago that I realised I could be a good runner and decided to commit to training like a professional marathon runner.”


That commitment has now paid off, with Iraitz now part of the Spanish team and receiving an Elite Sports Performance Scheme (ESPS) award from the University of Sheffield too, which aims to help athletes at the university to maintain their sporting success alongside their course.


“It can be the most difficult thing, doing both high level study and high level sport at the same time. Add working for my sponsor company and taking care of my young family, and achieving a balance can be problematic,” adds Iraitz.


“But when that hard work pays off, it is so rewarding and there are so many transferable skills too - such as discipline, planning and time management – as well as similarities between engineering and sports, such as analysing performance.”


The IDC in Machining Science offers talented graduates the opportunity to learn and earn at the cutting edge of manufacturing engineering and is a unique collaboration between the University of Sheffield Faculty of Engineering and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). It also involves a number of academic and technical staff from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


With support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industrial partners, the IDC provides a four-year Engineering Doctorate programme combining taught modules with original research that address real business problems.


As one of its students, Iraitz is part of the next generation of postgraduate researchers in the area of machining science – or the application of engineering theories to improve the machining of metals, alloys and composite materials.


This covers a wide range of operations where material is removed as part of the production process, such as making holes, turning and finishing. It also crosses many engineering disciplines including dynamics, vibration, tribology, materials science, control systems, drive and actuation systems, and robotics.


“I originally came to Sheffield six years ago, as part of the Erasmus+ programme, to complete the final year project of my Industrial Engineering degree.


“Fast-forward and I am now working on achieving my doctorate at the IDC in Machining Science, researching how to improve current IBR (Integrally Bladed Rotor) milling techniques and associated surface integrity.


“It has been great to stay on in Sheffield and be part of the IDC, combining research studies with industrial experience. I am already working for my industry sponsor company and I hope to continue with them after my EngD. And of course, I hope to come home with a few more medals from my running too!”


Following on from his European Athletics Championships success, Iraitz has recently competed in the Valencia Marathon too, shaving three minutes off his personal best time to achieve 2:13:23.


Congratulations Iraitz!

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