High-flyer wins engineering scholarship

Nottingham Girls’ High School pupil has won the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship, identifying her as a future leader in engineering

The Nottingham Girls’ High School is celebrating the achievement of Olivia Dadge, who beat over 1000 other candidates to win a coveted Arkwright Engineering Scholarship. 

The Scholarship provides students with a £600 financial award to enhance their A level studies and a range of activities to develop their understanding and experience of engineering. 

The Scholarships are respected by leading universities and companies and are supported by top engineering employers and organisations such as Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, National Grid, Balfour Beatty, Microsoft Research, Thales, The Royal Air Force, The Royal Navy and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. 

Dr Martin Thomas, chief executive of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust. said: “I am delighted to see Olivia secure this prestigious accolade. Clearly, there is considerable technical talent in the Nottinghamshire area. With the competition for rewarding jobs becoming ever-more fierce, the receipt of an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship can help dynamic young people at the start of their journey to be the country’s future leaders in engineering and technical design.”

Olivia had to successfully complete a rigorous selection process consisting of a detailed application form, a two-hour aptitude exam and an interview hosted at a top engineering university. Out of 1,380 UK applicants, only 653 candidates reached the final interview stage, with 380 Engineering Scholarships awarded in total.

The aptitude exam tested candidates’ flair and originality in solving engineering design problems. At the in-depth interview, candidates were asked about their career aspirations and had to discuss an engineering project they had conducted. During the interview day the candidates took part in a team exercise to solve a hands-on engineering problem working with students they had never met before. Candidates and their parents also toured the engineering facilities at the host university and explored the diversity of engineering and related design careers and their importance to the UK economy.

Sue Gorham, Head of Nottingham Girls’ High School, commented: “What Olivia’s achievement showcases is not only her outstanding ability but her potential to continue to excel in the field. Better still, she sets a precedent for talented female engineers in what has long been a male-dominated industry.”

Olivia was equally delighted: “I’m so pleased that I had enough confidence in my abilities to just go for it. It was a really tough selection process, so I’m happy that they saw something in me which impressed them! Engineering is something that I feel passionate about, and the Scholarship will really help me to pursue it.” 

Olivia was formally presented with the Arkwright Scholarship on 31st October at a ceremony in London supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology. Dr. Stephen M. Payne OBE, Principal Consultant, Naval Architect and Royal Designer for Industry, PFJ-Maritime Consulting Ltd presented the scholarships. 



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