Making it big: Sixth Form pair battle through tough process to win prestigious engineering scholarships

Making it big: Sixth Form pair battle through tough process to win prestigious engineering scholarships

Two sixth-formers have been named as Arkwright Scholars after successfully demonstrating their prowess as engineers.

Darren Lee and Yash Patel laboured for months through a gruelling selection process for the scholarships, which will now provide them with financial and mentoring support during their A-level studies.

Head of Technology Michael Noonan said: “My congratulations go to both Yash and Darren: these scholarships are not lightly awarded, and the pair’s success is a reflection of their assiduous approach to the process, of their presentation skills, and, of course, of the excellent standard of their engineering.”

The long-running Arkwright programme is run by the national Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) education charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and aims to inspire future leaders in engineering. This year, only 300 candidates were successful out of 1,423 applicants.

The benefits of the scholarships include a £600 personal financial award, £400 for the scholar’s school, mentoring, industry-based ‘Connect Days’ and invitations to university-based VIP receptions.

Darren and Yash, both of Year 12, were presented with certificates at an awards ceremony held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London.

As part of his application, Darren gave a presentation which covered the design and manufacture of  ‘Overlap’ – a rugby lineout machine that he devised (pictured top). He also featured in his presentation his involvement with VEX Robotics at the School.

The process included an engineering aptitude test and an online interview, during which candidates had both to make a presentation and to respond to technical engineering questions.

He said: “It’s an absolute honour to receive this scholarship, recognising my engineering skills and hours of hard work I’ve put into my technology projects. I’m incredibly proud to call myself an Arkwright Scholar.

“I believe that the networking aspect of this scholarship will prove to be very beneficial. As an Arkwright Scholar, I have access to the MentorNet platform, where I can communicate, discuss and receive feedback from some of the brightest young engineering minds in the country.”

For his part, Yash says that being an Arkwright Scholar will assist him in pursuing interests such as model-making, CAD design and 3D printing out of School and will help him fund a wishlist of projects, including making movie props and designing his own model train set and an electric guitar.

“It means I will be provided with opportunities, such as work experience, Connect Days and bursary offers or further scholarships, which may not be provided to others, as I will stand out to engineering-related organisations,” said Yash. “I have become a more competitive university applicant and can build up a larger network of prominent engineers and leaders in the industry.”