Two students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have won national bursaries for being so passionate about engineering.
Melissa Chimutanda and Annie Jones beat off tough competition to be awarded long-term financial support from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Both first-year Mechanical Engineering students will get annual awards of £1,000 for the duration of their degrees.
The IET whittled down hundreds of applications to choose just 75 engineering students and apprentices from across the UK for the Engineering Horizons Bursaries.
Melissa, 21, said an engineering degree appealed to her, as she has always been interested in fixing things and working out how they work.
She said: “I’m so proud that I’m the first female in my family to reach this stage in education.
“I’m grateful that Student Finance helps a lot of paying my fees and rent, but I still find myself having to work a part-time job, which can be difficult with my university timetable.
“Therefore this bursary will help me in terms of buying books and a computer to run engineering software that I need for my course.”
Melissa from Derby said she was inspired to study at DMU after hearing the Steve Jobs quotation, ‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like, design is how it works.’
As part of her degree, Melissa has already done work experience at Pentaxia, a composite company manufacturing Formula 1 moulds, where she won an excellence award sponsored by Rolls Royce.
She is now excited to learn more about course topics such as mechanical principles, mathematics, computer-aided design and principles of design and electronics.
Melissa also has big plans for her future career, as her ambition is to be the first female engineer to design a Rolls Royce engineer.
Meanwhile, Annie, 20, is delighted she has won the bursary as she hopes to follow her father’s example and become an engineer.
She said: “The bursary means I can strive to be the best I can be without worry of financial costs.
“It will go towards the cost of my accommodation as well as resources that I will need for the course, such as textbooks or components needed on practical projects.
“The bursary also gives me connections into the industry through the IET, so hopefully I will be able to find placement work and work experience in an area that I would enjoy.”
Annie first became interested in engineering when she joined her school’s Amateur Radio Club and learned how to construct circuits and talk to people all over the world.
She explained that she was impressed with DMU’s high-quality engineering facilities and is hoping to do a year in industry to gain ‘experience in a real environment.’
Annie from Lincoln said: “I really like my course, I am particularly enjoying design and manufacture as well as CAD modules.
“I would like to be a designer, or possibly go into management as in group projects I tend to be leading the group and organising what everyone is doing.”
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It is the second year of the bursary scheme, which also sees winners benefitting from IET mentoring and work placements. They are also entitled to free membership of the IET and the chance to become an ambassador for the IET and the engineering profession.
Nick Winser, IET president, said “We’re thrilled to have been able to support talented apprentices and undergraduate students who have overcome obstacles and personal challenges to pursue an engineering education and career for the second year in a row.
“We hope that the scheme will continue to grow and we will build the number of our bursary winners, who have a passion for engineering and are keen to promote engineering to others.”
First-year student Edward Reynolds, 18, who also studies Mechanical Engineering at DMU, was also recently awarded the IET Engineering Horizons Bursary. For further information, read the DMU news story.
Posted on Monday 26th February 2018