Aspiring engineers win awards

Aspiring engineers from Furness College who are among of the areas brightest and most committed students have been recognised for their achievements by Barrow and District Association of Engineers.

The association held its annual awards ceremony at the Channelside campus awarding prizes to college and sixth form students who have showed particular promise in their students and are interested in an engineering-related career.

Among the student bursary winners were high achieving A Level students Daniel Jewell and Callum Birnie of Barrow Sixth Form College.

Daniel, who aspires to work in the automotive engineering industry and is taking four A Levels, completed an online virtual work experience designing a rover vehicle during lockdown.

Meanwhile A Level student Callum studied an extra-curricular online course in computer engineering with the University of Manchester and has completed over 1000 extra past paper questions in computer science his own time.

Head of Sixth Form Helen Gibson said: “They are both very hard working, motivated and fantastic Honours students at the sixth form looking to attend Russell Group universities. They have actively sought out opportunities to enhance their studies and skills during the Covid pandemic, alongside achieving top grades in their academic studies, and we are very proud of them.”

Furness College students Kathryn White, who is studying technical engineering, and Tommy Dickinson who is on a mechanical engineering course, both at the Channelside campus, received awards for their achievements and determination to succeed.

Kathryn won for her high level of commitment and aptitude towards her studies and balancing her home life, including a new baby, and full-time employment with progressing her education.

She was nominated by the Head of Area for Technical Engineering Zoe Guest who said she went above and beyond to retain a high academic standard

“Kathryn attended all lessons via Teams as she was unable to come into college, always ensuring she applied herself fully. She always strove to complete assignments and classroom activities to the highest of standards. Her reward was a very high overall mark and distinction in her HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a beautiful son,” said Zoe.

Tommy, who is now studying on an oil and gas technical apprenticeship programme in Falkirk after receiving several knock-backs, was represented by his mum and thanked BDAE for the award in a letter that was read out during the ceremony.

“I’d also like to thank Gaynor Pearson for her nomination and her constant support through my time at Furness College,” he said. “I am happy to prove that hard work and determination really does eventually pay off.”

Gaynor, his craft engineering lecturer. said he was one of the hardest working, polite and upbeat students in the class and she was delighted when he finally secured a well-deserved apprenticeship.

“Tommy was a student who was a pleasure to teach and who, in my opinion, had slipped through the net. He was hardworking, had great rapport with tutors and peers. His work was always done to a very high standard. He didn’t give up even though he saw others gain apprenticeships.”

Denis Lidstone, Chair of the Barrow and District Association of Engineers Bursary Awards Panel, introduced the annual awards evening by describing the bursaries as “Helping Tomorrow’s Engineers, Today”.

“The association has over 150 years of promoting engineering in the Barrow district and has been awarding bursaries to outstanding students for many years. This year the total of the awards given to students and primary schools is over £7000 and it will rise to £9000 next year,” he said.

Steve Timms, the Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, presented the awards in a ceremony, which was attended by around 70 students and family members, tutors, lecturers representatives of Furness Education and Skills Partnership and members of BDAE.

He congratulated the winners and their families and thanked BDAE for encouraging the next generation of engineers and challenged the students to ‘be yourself’ as they progress into employment.

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