Two students from Central College Nottingham were named winners in the 2015 Made in the Midlands Young Inventor Award at the IET Birmingham: Austin Court on 28 October. Chris Cahill and Matt Smith were selected by the experienced awards judging panel as joint winners for their innovative engineering designs.
Three budding engineers were selected as finalists from Central College Nottingham, as Matt, Chris and Bailey Parker-Shand battled it out for the prestigious award in front of a crowd of Directors from some of the largest manufacturers in the Midlands.
The three students have completed a Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Engineering at Central’s Highfields Centre. Their projects included a robotic vehicle, a safety device for the use of a child car seat and a new interpretation on a BMX sprocket.
These ideas were pitched before a group of Managing Directors from the Made in the Midlands manufacturing and engineering peer group. The Young Inventor Award has been running for the past four years, to address one of the largest issues in the industry of an ageing workforce and a distinct lack of interest amongst young people. It aims to inspire young people by showcasing exciting engineering projects.
John Wright, Engineering Lecturer at Central, put the young engineers forward for the award. He said:
“We are always impressed with our Engineering students’ inventive final projects, but Matt, Chris and Bailey really excelled themselves with the level of work put in and the end result. Congratulations to them all.”
Chris designed and built the moving robot, with a sensor that allows it to sense and avoid obstacles, that could have a variety of uses.
Matt, 19, lives in Eastwood. He designed the car seat belt safety device for his project at Central. The idea behind the device was to stop children from undoing their seat belt when it wasn’t safe to do so.
“It was quite a shock to hear my name being read out, but I was also really pleased as I had a lot of family wanting me to win the award! My father went with me to the awards and he is very proud of me.
“I was so pleased because Made in the Midlands is no small thing – the Young Inventor is a pretty heavyweight award and will help me out when looking for jobs in the future I’m sure.”
Made in the Midlands Chief Operations Officer Charles Addison said:
“In recent years, as we have seen signs of engineering bouncing back, we are now entering a new age of engineering, full of variety – led by quality and design not cutting prices. To keep this going we need to encourage our students to come back, and to bring their bright minds with them.
“All three candidates for the Young Inventor Award will hopefully maintain their passion and desire to succeed within a career in engineering. As manufacturing and engineering companies in the Midlands continue to search for the next generation, these young engineers have innovative ideas that will guarantee their future success.”
For more information on Engineering courses at Central call 0115 914 6414.
Pictured: L-R Emma Clewes from sponsor MHA Macintyre Hudson; John Wright, Engineering Lecturer at Central; Matt Smith; Guest speaker Professor Kevin Morley, honorary Head of Business at the University of Warwick