targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2024

Congratulations to Simeon Cromarty, winner of the AI & Robotics targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award 2024.

The Undergraduate of the Year Awards is a national competition which aims to find the best students in the UK. Students nominate themselves and then go through at least three rounds of an application process, including essay questions, online tests provided by a partner of the awards, SHL, and an in-person assessment with the award partner. This is the 15th year the awards have been hosted, across 12 different categories, with a record number of over 5000 applications.

Simeon, currently in his last year of studying Mechatronics and Robotics MEng, BEng at Leeds, was named winner of the AI & Robotics category, at the award ceremony on Friday 26 April at the Pelligon in Canary Wharf. His standout project was his contribution to his Master’s group project: the development of an automated pick and pack cell, focusing on machine vision and robot arm manipulation, showcasing his knowledge and passion for deep learning in a real-world scenario.

A photograph of the targetjobs, Undergraduate of the Year Award 2024 award ceremony.


Talking to the University of Leeds about the award, he explained “I was responsible for robot arm manipulation and machine vision using deep learning for object detection and robot-guided grasping. This aligned really well with what Ocado do, so I think that was a contributing factor to winning.” During his time at Leeds, Simeon completed an undergraduate placement at Jaguar Land Rover, where he furthered his practical experience, and explored various engineering roles from systems and software to electric drive unit testing.

Reflecting on his choice of studying at Leeds, he said “I chose Leeds because of the Mechatronics and Robotics course; it was a great alternative to traditional mechanical engineering with a more future-facing curriculum. It’s also a great city and I've loved my time here.”

Alongside his studies, Simeon is a committed sportsman, playing for both the university football and futsal teams, and has served as the social secretary for the futsal club. He also works part-time as an online GCSE maths and science tutor, helping younger students achieve their full potential.

He concluded, “The award means a lot. It’s a great title to have but I had no idea I'd win, I'm just very grateful for the opportunity and would encourage everyone to apply next year.”

Each award is partnered by a prominent employer who provides a fantastic prize for the winner, Simeon’s is a 10-week internship which he will be starting in July at Ocado.

The University of Leeds also celebrated as Jasmine Fournier, Biology, and Joshua Searson, Electronics and Computer Engineering, were named Finalists for the Undergraduate of the Year Award for celebrating Neurodiverse Talent with BNY Mellon.

Dr Craig Evans, Director of Student Education for the School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, said: “This award is a fantastic accolade for Simeon and a testament to the hard work and dedication that he has put into his studies since he has been here. As soon as he arrived it was clear that he was extremely focused on his studies and was extremely keen to learn as much as possible. He coped with the challenges of the pandemic very admirably and didn’t let the move to online learning get in the way of his learning. I also met his Line Manager during his placement at JLR who was extremely impressed with his knowledge, skills and professionalism and said he was performing way above expectations for a placement student. This has continued during his Master’s level study and it’s clear that he’ll go on to have a brilliant career. Well done Sim; you’re a fantastic ambassador for the School and a role model to other students.”

Undergraduates from all UK universities are eligible – if you meet the entry criteria – and past winners have come from over 50 different universities. Find out more about how to apply on the targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year website.

A group photo of the award winners on stage at the targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2024 ceremony.


Top image: Steve Dunkley, Ocado Group, Simeon Cromarty, Sue Perkins.
Images: targetjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2024. Image courtesy of Group GTI.