The young engineer student of the year in Wales is Daniel Clarke, from Cardiff.
The 17-year-old pupil of Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, Cardiff beat over 500 sixth-form rivals from across Wales entered in the EESW competition in memory of Dr Tom Parry Jones, entrepreneur and inventor, and trustee for over 20 years.
They had to work on a project and convince judges of its viability and there were six students from north Wales and seven in the south who reached the final judging round.
The finalists were invited to attend this year’s awards ceremony, which took place at the Welsh Automotive Forum’s annual networking dinner at the Vale Resort Hotel last night, where their places at the dinner were sponsored by Dr Raj Jones and BPU Accountants.
This year’s winner of the £800 prize, Daniel Clarke, worked with Jacobs on a project to solve overheating in transformers, and he intends to study physics at university.
Accepting his award, which he said would always be very special to him, Daniel told the 480-strong audience, “Taking part in this competition improved a number of my skills, particularly reasoning, team-work, computing and literacy and I was fortunate enough to be awarded an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship as well. I am very grateful for the opportunities I was given by EESW and I enjoyed the experience very much.”
The worthy runners-up, Elin Mair Evans from Ysgol Glan Clwyd who worked with Knitmesh Technologies and Neve Parker from Hawarden High School who worked with Raytheon UK, each received £400 towards their future studies.
The networking dinner was attended by members and guests of the Welsh Automotive Forum, customers and clients from all over the UK. Special guest was Alun Cairns MP, Secretary of State for Wales and the guest speaker was motoring presenter Quentin Wilson, ex-Top Gear and Fifth Gear broadcaster, who is an avid fan of electric and classic cars.
Mr Cairns said he would ensure Wales has its fair share of opportunities for new projects and investments as they become available in future because of the importance of the automotive sector in Wales.
“I have an ambition for a “battery valley” to be created in Wales or for another specialist sector to be developed in this area and we are focussing our attention on this,” he explained and paid tribute to the automotive suppliers and manufacturers, adding, “The Government wants to play its part to support you.”
WAF chairman Richard Parry-Jones thanked the Secretary of State for his words and support for the industry and also paid tribute to the close working relationship between Welsh Government and the companies in the sector.
He said that while the industry will have to change to meet new challenges there is always going to be a need for cars and commercial vehicles.