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Oakham designers keep making a 'big bang'

Published Tuesday 15th of April 2014 01:23:41 PM

For the 5th year running a student from Oakham School has taken part in UK Final of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition.

Talented design student, Thomas Neate, won his place after presenting his A Level Design Technology project to a panel of judges at the regional final held at Westminster Kingsway College, London. Fellow pupil, Fred Warburton, who was judged to be one of the top 5 engineers in the country at least year's event, also won a place in the national final, but was unfortunately unable to attend. During the regional final, both students were delighted to receive their prize from Ortis Deley, the presenter of Channel 5's 'Gadget Show'.

Thomas spent several days at the national final, showcasing his design idea of an adjustable height desk. His ingenious design allows users to choose between standing and sitting to work. As well as talking to the general public and the judges, Thomas also spoke with the Science Museum's Inventor in Residence Mark Champkins. 'He was really interested in the desk,' says Thomas. 'He thought it was a good design, so he asked for my contact details and said he'd be in touch! I'm looking forward to speaking to him again and I'm honoured that he was really interested in what I'd produced.'

This is yet another design achievement for Thomas. In 2011 he became the 15th student from Oakham School to have won a much-coveted Arkwright Scholarship. This prestigious award offers up-and-coming engineers work experience at the UK's leading engineering companies. He also went on to beat hundreds of applicants from across the country to win a highly sought-after Higher Apprenticeship at Rolls Royce. Thomas began his four-year apprenticeship in September, which he is undertaking alongside studying part-time for a degree in Engineering.

'Thomas has an exceptional eye for design and a great understanding of engineering,' says Head of Design Technology Tim Weston. 'It is a real honour to win a place at the National Final of this event and a great opportunity for him to showcase his work on a national stage." He also added "it is a testimony to the quality of the Design Department at Oakham School to have pupils reach the final every year for the last five years. It really does show the level of opportunities available for students to thrive and succeed in both design and engineering here at Oakham."
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