Record year for Arkwright Scholarships

Posted on 1 Nov 2013 by The Manufacturer

The Arkwright Scholarships Trust has presented a record 371 awards to the UK’s brightest sixth form students with engineering ambition.

The number of scholarships awarded this year is the highest that the Arkwright Scholarships Trust has presented in any single year in its history.

The majority of scholarships were awarded to sixth form students from around the UK who have demonstrated both academic ability and a passion for engineering.

A small selection of additional scholarships were awarded to undergraduate engineering students.

The main Arkwright scholarships support students through their A levels or Scottish Highers, opening doors into industry for work experience and encouraging them to go on to study engineering at university or via a higher apprenticeship.

This year sponsors and scholars from Northern Ireland were included for the first time and SayOne Media, publisher of The Manufacturer magazine joined the ranks of sponsors for the scholarships.

SayOne Media, is sponsoring Samuel Whaley, a talented young student from Dorset.

Mr Whaley is among a high calibre cohort. Many scholarship recipients this year achieved 11 or more A* grades at GCSE as well as accumulating an impressive array of extracurricular interests from Grade 8 piano, cello and violin players to distinguished sportsmen and women, linguists and chess champions.

Scholars were accompanied at the presentation by their teachers and parents. Dr Gary Vanstone, chairman of Trustees at the Arkwright Scholarships Trust thanked and congratulated them for supporting and inspiring the youngsters to develop their talents.

The scholars were further inspired at the presentation ceremony by presentations from practicing engineers.

Yewande Akinola, an engineer at diversified engineering firm Arup, who won the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award Earlier this year, lent her insight into the exciting global experiences she has discovered in her early career.

Jonathan Firth, director of operations and projects at Virgin Galactic, gave his insight into the most important qualities for engineers to develop including what he called engineering judgement. “This is not about discerning between right and wrong,” he said. “It is about making scientific, social and economic decisions in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the project at hand.”

Mr Firth encouraged calculated risk taking and urged budding engineers to “keep making stuff” while they refined their abilities.

The final visiting speaker to offer support and advice to the new scholars was Chris Bellamy product development engineer, body engineering at Jaguar Land Rover who is himself an ex-Arkwright scholar.

He urged the 2013 cohort not to forget to keep the pleasure and reward they gain from their engineering careers to themselves but to make sure they too engage with the next generation.