Lequesha Gonsalves

I have always loved making things, it may have stemmed from helping my dad fix household items or maybe just my keen interest in the way things worked.

I was assisting at an open day event at my school and was actively encouraged, by my DT teacher, to apply for The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship. It was possibly one of the best decisions I could have made and my teacher was definitely one of my biggest supporters!

How did you use your Scholarship funding? 

I used the £600 scholarship fund to attend a multitude of summer schools where I first learned about degree apprenticeships. It was a thrilling opportunity to uncover the variety of engineering sectors that were available such as: Aerospace, Nuclear and Chemical.

As a predominantly maths student, I always struggled with comprehension and reading text quickly, so I enrolled onto a speed-reading course which helped me achieve reading up to 700wpm. This has been very useful when scanning over large documents to find the relevant information. 

What did you gain from your Arkwright Scholarship? (Any stand-out experiences? Did it open any doors for you?)

The scholarship led me to taking the route of degree apprenticeships. It is by far the best decision I have made! I have been to events with members of parliament, sat in meetings with leaders of companies, and absorbed knowledge from CEO’s.

Where are you studying now, what subject, and how you are finding it so far?

Currently, I work alongside the TBF team at Rolls-Royce who run specific coating capability introduction projects such as: CMAS resistant coatings, better abrasive tip coatings, sudation protective coatings and general new coatings to support modern turbine and fan blades of engines.

I work in close proximity to senior and chief manufacturing engineers in meetings and reviews, from this I get to visit a variety of casting, machining and coating sites. I write reports, talk, and get to see top secret new design concepts that I can help alter and improve; alongside this my course, at Sheffield University - where I study fluid dynamics and the importance of materials as well as CAD and maths- is fully funded.

I absolutely love what I do and I always feel super involved by members of my team and very well supported by the university.

Any advice to current Scholars and / or students thinking of applying to Arkwright?

There is no harm in applying! It will open doors you didn’t even know were possible. I encourage everyone to apply for the Arkwright Scholarship because even if it proves unsuccessful, you are left in no worse situation and have all the knowledge and experience of what to do better next time. If you are successful, the scholarship is well known and accredited for and people do recognise you as a mini engineer in the making.

What are your plans for the future? What career path are you hoping to pursue?

I hope to be a manager in manufacturing engineering and continue to guide young keen individuals in pursuing their dreams through STEM. Maybe one day with all the knowledge and information I have gathered, I might be able to start my own business. It is always good to have big dreams and large goals because I truly believe it makes you work harder!

Arkwright Scholar 2019 - 2021

Cardiff University

Maths, Further Maths, Physics

Manufacturing Engineering, University of Sheffield

Student, University of Sheffield