The winners of this year’s High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Young Engineer Awards have been announced.
The awards are designed to inspire and recognise the next generation of creative thinkers and problem solvers throughout Oxfordshire, encouraging them to consider a career in engineering.
The awards were presented by High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Richard Venables, at a ceremony held on Wednesday 27 June at the offices of Lucy Electric in Thame, Oxfordshire.
The five category winners were:
Best Student aged 14 – 16
Winner: Alisha Budziszewski – University Technical College (UTC) Oxfordshire
Alisha has a natural aptitude for design and problem solving and has impressed her engineering teacher with her dedication and determination to succeed. Her love of engineering has led her to work with the sculptor Michael Condron on his engineering and science public artwork called ‘Reach’ which is soon to be unveiled in Great Western Park, Didcot.
Alisha has made significant contributions to employer led projects such as designing a new dashboard for a Mini and representing her school on International Women in Engineering day at Williams F1.
Alisha said: “I am very pleased to have won and be recognised for this award, it means a lot to me. The support that I have got from my teachers at UTC Oxfordshire has been amazing. I decided to study at the UTC because I wanted to try something different and challenge myself. There is a big need for people to study engineering, especially girls.”
Best Student aged 16 – 18
Winner: Ryan Donnelly – University Technical College (UTC) Oxfordshire
Since year 11 Ryan has matured into a truly dedicated and talented engineer, excelling in the skills needed to be a successful engineer. He is not only a skilled practical engineer with a talent for CAD and the workshop, but he is also keen to learn the theoretical maths and mechanics needed to back up his practical skills.
Ryan is a strong leader and has led the winning group on four occasions in a diverse range of employer led engineering projects, including designing a glider which was launched from the school roof and building the fastest rocket car in his year with Bloodhound.
Ryan said: “I am delighted with the win, I wasn’t expecting it as I was the youngest person who was nominated, so it was a bit of a shock, but I am so pleased.”
Most Improved student aged 14 – 16
Winner: Arley Watson-Pill – University Technical College (UTC) Oxfordshire
Nominated for his tremendous improvement during year 10 and his commitment to ensure he stays on in sixth form and gains the entry requirements for the level 3 BTEC in Engineering.
Arley has joined in with extra-curricular engineering projects with great enthusiasm such as the glider project and two Mini projects. He has become very good at working with others to solve a design problem and overcome technical difficulties. His teacher considers Arley to have improved more than any other key stage 4 engineering student.
Arley said: “I am really happy to win this award, it is a really great reward for all of the hard work that I have put in over the last few years, so I am delighted to be recognised for this.”
Most Improved student aged 16 – 18
Winner: David Tillin – University Technical College (UTC) Oxfordshire
Studying a very challenging A-level programme at UTC Oxfordshire, taking maths, further maths, physics and product design, David is excelling in his A-level subjects and is working extremely hard to achieve the grades he needs for a university place to study civil engineering.
David showed his mechanical skills through designing an exceptional Vex robot to solve a remote handling challenge with Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. He was also part of the school team which launched a Raspberry Pi computer to the edge of space on a weather balloon, recording physical features such as height, UV radiation, and temperature as well as sending pictures back to school.
David said: “I am delighted to win this award and be recognised for my hard work and efforts in engineering. UTC Oxfordshire has given me so many amazing opportunities and the facilities are first class. I would recommend anyone interested in engineering to study at the UTC”.
Best Apprentice aged 16 – 18
Winner: Lewis Burke – University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science
Lewis has been attending ATG Training in Aylesbury since October 2017 studying mechanics standards level 2. He left school in June and then started his apprenticeship with the University of Oxford Department of Engineering Science on the 19th September.
Lewis started at ATG with a 12 week in house block release course studying five days a week. He has completed four weeks of training for hand fitting, basic turning and basic milling. As getting to and from work was a challenge for Lewis, he took the tough decision to stay in a guest house during the week to enable him to concentrate on his studies.
Stuart Askew is the engineering teacher at UTC Oxfordshire and was thrilled to see his students take home the awards: “I am delighted that the hard work that students have put in throughout the year has been rewarded. I am really proud of them.”