Exceptional students receive engineering and technology scholarships

14/12/2012

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Several students from the Department of Engineering have been recognised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as outstanding, and have received a number of awards and scholarships.

"I'd like to thank the IET profusely for their generosity, and encourage any students to apply for the support out there from the IET and other institutions."
— Archie Lodge

The Belling Engineering Scholarship is awarded to Archie Lodge. The scholarship is worth £12,000 (£3,000 per year for four years).

The IET Jubilee Scholarships are awarded to Daniel Eatough, Luke Godfrey, and Daniel Jones. Each Jubilee Scholarship is worth £2,000.

IET FUSE Scholarships are awarded to Seema Kapacee, Edward Phillips, Daisy Prior and Helen Sheehan. Each FUSE scholarship is worth £4,000 (£1,000 per year for four years).

Jakub Sanak was awarded an IET Grant worth £1,000.

Chairman of the Scholarships Committee, Trevor Grimshaw said: "The IET Scholarships Committee is proud to recognise such outstanding talent and I hope these awards help each and every recipient to continue their excellent work. I would like to congratulate the recipients for the contribution they have made, and will make, to improve the lives of those around us and the world in which we live."

Winners formally received their awards and scholarships at the IET Ambition and Achievement Awards, on 22 November at The Brewery, London. Please visit www.theiet.org/ambition for more information.

Archie was interviewed shortly after receiving his scholarship. Below is a transcript:

What made you get into engineering?

When I was young, I wanted to be 'Archie Lodge, inventor' and was constantly designing things (mostly improbable things like perpetual motion machines!) Throughout secondary school, I was keen on designing and making things, and spent time in the school DT department. Although I considered other sciences (mostly because I wasn't very aware of what Engineers do,) Engineering was such an obvious route for me.

Could you please give me a run down of your education/career history to date and what you're currently up to?

I was brought up in Guyana and Zambia, before coming to England at the age of 8. I studied at Winchester College for secondary school and was awarded 5 A*s at A level (or the equivalent: three were 'Distinction 1s for an alternative qualification, the Cambridge Pre-U.) I came top in the country in my Physics Pre-U.

I then spent a year working in the Medical Technology division of Cambridge Consultants, in the Cambridge Science park. This was organised by the Year in Industry, which is an agency run by the Engineering Development Trust, a charity which hopes to encourage young people into Engineering.

I am now studying for a MEng at the University of Cambridge. The course is initially broad, and I will specialise in the last two years.

Could you tell me a little about the IET scholarship/award you've just received? What does this mean to you and how will it help you?

I was awarded the Belling Scholarship, which is worth £3000 pa for the duration of my 4 year course. It has made such a difference to the way I think about my studies: I am no longer counting the cost of academic pursuits, so my bookshelves are groaning with Engineering books relevant and irrelevant to the course. This is really useful for me as I still don't know what I would like to specialise in, so am looking to explore various disciplines. It will also allow me to think about travelling with Engineering, either perhaps to do a year abroad, or to travel to Ecuador with the Eco House project I am working on (See below!)

Have you been involved in any other interesting projects, competitions, travels etc?

I have got very slightly involved with promoting the Year in Industry, as I wasn't as aware of real-world Engineering as I should have been, and the year I spent at Cambridge Consultants was not only really enjoyable but also taught me so much.

I have more recently got involved with Engineering Without Borders at Cambridge, and in particular one of their projects, the Eco House Initiative. We are working with a Latin American NGO called TECHO to design transitional housing for construction in slums. I am coordinating the team redesigning the house in Ecuador. This is addressing all sorts of things, from improving ventilation so it is suitable for jungle regions, to changing the wood sizes used so we can buy cheaper and higher quality 'off-the-shelf' construction materials.

What skills did they teach you?

Both Cambridge Consultants (through YINI) and Eco House have taught me all sorts of practical skills, but in particular an appreciation for Engineering in a wider context. A new inhaler, for example, does not only have to work, but also be easy for the patient to use correctly, must be understood by the prescribing physician, must be able to be manufactured economically in the millions, and must fit in with the marketing and corporate image of the company producing it. In the same way, social acceptance of the housing we design is crucial. For example, bamboo is an excellent structural material but is seen as a 'peasant's' building material and is unpopular with the locals.

What's life like as an engineering student? Was it what you expected?

Extremely busy! The Cambridge course is very varied and interesting. It is difficult to balance the workload with other activities, but very rewarding when it comes together. There is a nice mix of practical and theoretical work, and everything is on a completely different scale from school.

What are your future career plans? - what areas of engineering/tech would you like to get involved in and why?

An excellent question! I chose the Cambridge course partly because it was so broad initially. It is really useful to understand Engineering as a whole, as the teams are so multidisciplinary. For example, if a propulsion engineer designed an aircraft engine without thinking about the structural integrity of the wing, you could end up with enormous engines requiring a heavy structure to support.

I do have an interest in electrical, software and information engineering, but really enjoyed my year working as a mechanical engineer, so we shall have to see! The IET has a broad base of specialisms, with a particular focus on some of the things I enjoy, which is why I applied for a scholarship from them.

What are you most proud of achieving so far?

I feel I really contributed to some helpful work with Cambridge Consultants, including being a key member of the team to produce piOna, an auto-injector concept to ease the trauma for women undergoing fertility treatment. A patent has been applied for and will have my name in the 'inventor' field - my childhood dream has been satisfied!

What are your hobbies?

I was in the Air Cadets and gained a pilot's licence partly through them, as well as taking advantage of the many opportunities with the Army and RAF offered through them. I am now a member of the Cambridge University Air Squadron.

Aside from EWB and Eco House, I also really enjoy theatre and have acted in, stage managed and directed several plays. I hope to get involved with some community work here too with the Cambridge Student Community Action.

What have the benefits of IET membership been for you, and what do you think are the benefits of student membership specifically?

I have only just joined, but I am looking forward to the continued support and network the IET offers, as well as the opportunity to got to talks and get involved with the institute. Over my career, I may study in different places and work for many companies, and a professional institute provides a stable backing to my professional life.

Image from the Department of Engineering: Belling Engineering Scholar Archie Lodge holding an early prototype of the piOna device 

To read more information, click here.

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

The Department of Engineering is the largest department in the University of Cambridge, representing approximately 10% of the University's activities by the majority of common metrics, and is one of Europe's largest integrated engineering departments. It achieves the highest standards in both research and teaching. Its international reputation attracts the best students, academics, sponsors and partners from around the world. 

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