A Scholar's Perspective

18 September 2019

What were the awards like?
There were so many students and sponsors at the award ceremony in London I felt a little overwhelmed at first! Before the awards, there was a networking opportunity to meet my sponsor. I was happy to be matched with a company that seemed to have a close-knit feel and very much enjoyed hearing all about their business. During the awards presentation, each student was given a short introduction - it was fascinating (and a little nerve-wracking) to hear how accomplished everyone was, not only in academics but in sports, music and other fields too!

What have you put your funding towards?
The funding enabled me to buy circuit boards and a GPS module which I used in my project for the SatelLife Competition, a nationwide competition run by the UK Space Agency for students to propose ways to use satellite data to benefit life on earth. I won the top individual prize which I couldn't have done without being able to buy the equipment to test my idea. I was able to experiment and try out pieces of equipment I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to use.

What is your mentor like?
My sponsor is Stannah, a company which designs and manufactures stairlifts, lifts and escalators. I was lucky to get a week of work experience at their main site at the start of the summer. During the week I worked in various departments including hardware, software and testing. I spent most of my time designing an ergonomic toothbrush handle to help people with arthritis. What was great about working in the Concepts Department was getting their input and continued support during the design process, which helped make my design better overall.

Which Connect Days have you attended?
I’ve attended several different events. Early on, I went to a training day with UKLA, to learn about oils and lubricants. Recently, I was thrilled to get a place visiting the Dyson Institute of Technology. I also gained a place on the 4-day Nuclear Engineering Summer School at the University of Manchester. I had never really thought about the possibility of working in nuclear engineering, so that week was useful in gaining an insight into an area I was unfamiliar with.

Has the Scholarship opened any doors for you?
Having an Arkwright Scholarship opens so many doors, not just because of mentoring and financial aid, but also in terms of opportunities. Attending Connect Days lets you learn about different industries and areas for work, and the residential events give a deeper insight into studying engineering at University. The Arkwright Scholarship is invaluable if you are applying for an engineering course or apprenticeship, as it not only demonstrates an interest in the field but also gives you background about the subject you couldn’t gain anywhere else. I got to see many more applications of engineering I wouldn’t previously have been aware of!