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Arkwright Scholar Kat has backing for career ambition to take off

UTC Norfolk sixth form student Kat Woodburn has taken a big step towards realising her ambition to work in aircraft engineering after securing an Arkwright Trust Scholarship, with sponsorship and support from the RAF, complemented by a work placement with KLM UK Engineering.

The 16-year-old from Blofield has been interested in aviation ever since, as a young girl, she accompanied her father to watch various air shows.

After completing her GCSEs at Notre Dame High School, Kat joined UTC Norfolk, the county’s only specialist science and engineering school where students can combine academic study (GCSEs and A Levels) with a practical engineering qualification.

Kat’s successful application for the prestigious and highly competitive Arkwright engineering scholarship has seen her paired with the RAF as her sponsor.

Thanks to this scholarship, Kat can look forward to taking part in two fully-funded residential visits, to RAF Coningsby and RAF Brize Norton, where she will learn more about the operations of the RAF and the role of its aviation engineers.  The residential includes a leadership course for would-be RAF Engineer Officers.

Kat will also receive tailored mentoring, advice and support from a locally-based Officer from RAF Marham, which has been arranged for her by UTCN. 

Complementing these fantastic learning opportunities, UTC Norfolk has also arranged for Kat to gain additional work experience through a fortnightly placement with KLM UK Engineering at their Norwich International Airport base.

Kat is one of two UTC Norfolk students to have been awarded an Arkwright engineering scholarship this year, an honour that is shared by Lucie Gresham-Hill who is being sponsored by construction firm R G Carter.  Kat and Lucie were both recently presented with certificates by their sponsors at an Arkwright Scholarship event in London.           

UTC Norfolk student Kat Woodburn commented:

“I was very happy and excited to have been awarded an Arkwright Scholarship and I can’t wait to see where it leads me in the future.  I am also very excited about the link that has been set up for me with KLM.  I would eventually like to become an engineering officer, with the RAF or the Royal Navy, or to work in the design of commercial aircraft.”

Alex Hayes, Principal, UTC Norfolk, said:

“We are incredibly proud to have two Arkwright scholars at UTC Norfolk, Kat Woodburn and Lucie Gresham-Hill, who will both benefit from the support of their sponsors.  This is in addition to the many other excellent opportunities that all UTCN students are given to work alongside leading employers in engineering and related sectors.  Providing our students with experiences of work and links to employers, matched to their individual career aspirations, has been key to the outstanding progression of UTCN students on to leading Apprenticeships and engineering degree courses.”

Pictured: Kat Woodburn being presented with her Arkwright Scholarship certificate by Flight Sergeant Alex MacDonald from RAF College Cranwell (Picture: ARKWRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP TRUST).