Year 11 UTCN student Lucie Gresham-Hill is celebrating after being awarded a highly sought-after engineering scholarship from the Arkwright Scholarships Trust.
The scholarship, which includes a package of financial sponsorship, mentoring and work experience with an employer in her chosen industry of construction, is richly deserved recognition for 15-year-old Lucie’s dedication to engineering.
The exceptionally hardworking and able student makes a 50-mile round trip each day to attend UTCN. Lucie’s hugely supportive mum drives double this mileage as she makes the twice daily return trips to take her daughter to and from UTCN.
Lucie, who has just completed her GCSEs, has a clear idea of her future career direction. She wants to contribute to humanitarian work, and make a real difference to people’s lives, by working as an engineer on reconstruction projects in parts of the world that have been devastated by natural disasters and conflict.
To reach this goal, Lucie’s next step will see her study A Levels and an engineering diploma in the sixth form at UTCN, which will provide her with a route into a high quality Apprenticeship with a construction company where she can develop her expertise in structural engineering, quantity surveying or design. She would then like to travel the world and apply these skills in humanitarian situations where they are most needed.
Lucie’s success in being awarded the engineering scholarship will undoubtedly help with her ambitious career plans, as the aim of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust is to inspire and nurture school-age students to become future leaders of the engineering profession.
To win the scholarship, Lucie had to first complete an aptitude exam, which was followed by an interview at the University of Cambridge, for which she had to present a practical project. Lucie’s project was on a machine that converts vegetable oil into biodiesel.
Lucie said of the process of applying for and eventually finding out she had won the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship:
“It was quite a long process. I had to prepare for the interview whilst I was revising for my GCSEs, so it was quite hard work to balance it all, but I got there in the end. I really didn’t expect to get the scholarship, so when I did it was crazy, it took ages to sink in, I couldn’t believe it.”
In following her chosen career path, Lucie hopes that she can play a part in breaking down outdated gender stereotypes:
“I think it just makes me work harder and prove that engineering and construction aren’t careers that are just for boys. There’s rising numbers of women engineers and I just want to break the stereotype and show girls that you can do it.”
Alex Hayes, principal, UTC Norfolk, added:
“We are all delighted for Lucie. She thoroughly deserves this accolade. Lucie will shortly receive confirmation of her local employer sponsor. The fantastic support provided by the employer sponsor and Arkwright Scholarships Trust is an outstanding opportunity for Lucie to further develop her talents and support her progress towards a highly promising future career in engineering.”
For more information about the Arkwright Scholarships Trust visit http://www.arkwright.org.uk/