Newtownabbey firm welcomes international student Thiago

Thiago Parreiras de Sousa pictured with Canyon Europe's Managing Director, Hugh Ross. INNT 35-819CON
Thiago Parreiras de Sousa pictured with Canyon Europe's Managing Director, Hugh Ross. INNT 35-819CON

A manufacturing company based in Mallusk has welcomed an international student who will be working with them for a year.

Canyon Europe Limited has taken on Brazilian engineering student Thiago Parreiras de Sousa, who will spend the year working on computational fluid dynamics.

He is here through IAESTE, (the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience), a programme managed by the British Council, which this year sees 22 international STEM students work in Northern Ireland throughout the summer and beyond to gain technical experience overseas.

In exchange, 16 students from Northern Ireland will travel to 16 countries worldwide, including China, Hungary and Switzerland.

This is the first year Canyon Europe Limited, has taken part in the global STEM scheme and is one of 16 employers in this year’s programme.

Hugh Ross, the managing director of Canyon Europe, believes that the scheme is very beneficial.

“Canyon Europe is always striving to bring new people and ideas into the organisation and with a programme like IAESTE, you can make use of international talent from across the world.

“If you need set skills for specific projects they can provide that, giving a fresh approach on how to do business and tackle difficult issues,” he said.

Although Thiago has only been with the company for a short time, he has already made a valuable contribution.

“Thiago has only been here for two months, but so far has proved an asset to the team.

“His work is very high-level, and something our technical team have very little experience in, so it’s been really beneficial to us. So much so, we would love to offer him a full time position once his contract ends,” Mr Ross added.

Director of British Council Northern Ireland, David Alderdice explained how worthwhile the scheme is for local businesses and students.

“Through programmes such as IAESTE, local employers and universities are able to benefit from the international experience of high calibre trainees and set the foundations for future partnerships, links and networks.

“At the same time the programme helps to prepare our local undergraduates for working in a global economy through the experience they obtain from their international placements,” he said.

The IAESTE programme runs in more than 80 member countries, with over 4000 traineeships exchanged each year and is the largest organisation of its kind in the world.

Northern Ireland students or businesses interested in learning more about the programme can find out more by visiting

Applications for IAESTE 2016 will open in early autumn.