Young engineers rewarded for dedication and creativity with awards from High Sheriff at ceremony in Thame

Winners of the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Young Engineer Awards with High Sheriff Richard Venables
Winners of the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Young Engineer Awards with High Sheriff Richard Venables

The winners of this year’s High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Young Engineer Awards have been announced at a ceremony held in Thame.

The awards were made at a ceremony at the offices of Lucy Electric in the town and were presented by High Sheriff Richard Venables, on Wednesday, June 27.

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.

>> 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. >>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.

>>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.

>> 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 September 19.

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.

John Griffiths, chief executive officer of Lucy Electric, said: “Lucy Electric has been supporting and recognising the talents of young engineers in Oxfordshire through the High Sheriff Young Engineer Awards which was introduced by Richard Dick, chairman of the Lucy Group during his tenure as High Sheriff in 2009.

“The initiative is aimed at inspiring young people to consider a career in engineering and we work in partnership with schools and local companies across Oxfordshire to encourage an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.”