Teenage engineer from Faversham wins £3,000 scholarship
A FAVERSHAM teenager has been named as one of the most promising young engineers in the country after winning a prestigious scholarship.
Former Queen Elizabeth Grammar School student Thomas Pearce, 18, won the James Clayton Undergraduate Scholarship from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The scholarship is worth £1,000 a year while Thomas is studying for a mechanical engineering degree at Bath University.
Thomas, who lives in Graveney Road, had to write an essay about three influential engineers before being shortlisted and invited to London for an interview.
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The selection panel also considered the work he had done on an engineering placement at the University of Kent.
He said: "I was really pleased to find out I had won the scholarship, particularly with the cost of increased tuition fees. I had calculated there was a £3,000 gap between my student loan and my living expenses so I would have needed a part-time job or ask my parents for money.
"I studied physics, chemistry and maths at college and the placement gave me a practical grasp of engineering. Now I have started at Bath I have a placement lined up at BAE Systems. I am hoping to get a job in engineering at the end of it."
The scholarship was awarded to just 21 of Britain's top engineering students at a ceremony at the Institution's London headquarters on Wednesday.
Professor Isobel Pollock, president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: "Thomas is one of the most promising young engineers in the UK. I hope this scholarship can help him on his way to a hugely successful engineering career.
"The country, and indeed the world's future, depends on the ingenuity of the next generation of engineers like Thomas.
"Engineers are vital in fields as varied as aerospace, energy and food manufacturing. It is engineers who will be integral to solving major world issues like climate change."