Year 12 students from West Lakes Academy have won an outstanding achievement award for their involvement in a national engineering scheme.

The Engineering Education Scheme in England is a programme which links teams of four Year 12 students and their teacher with local companies to work on real scientific, engineering and technological problems. The scheme provides the students with an in-depth experience of STEM subjects that will enable them to make informed decisions about their future studies and career.

During a six month programme students gain experience working on a project set by a local company. The project enables them to take part in a site visit, work with professional and graduate engineers and take part in a three day university based workshop.

The West Lakes Academy team (Keiron Hodgson, Sam Nugent, Faris Redza and Amber Whyte) have worked with Ian Wills and Nick Kennovin from the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) on a project entitled ‘Container Grout Curing Process’.

The team competed against over 30 teams from across Cumbria and the North East to present their project and final solution in a formal presentation and written technical report to a panel of senior professional engineers. The team were delighted to find out that they had been awarded the Nissan Trophy for the best overall performance at the celebration and assessment day held at Newcastle University.

West Lakes Academy science teacher, Dr Sandie Dixon commented: “The students have worked diligently on this project for the last six months, coping with both their school work and the demands of the project after school. They have impressed me, the LLWR engineers and the Newcastle University technicians with their enthusiasm and professionalism. Our team went on to win the Nissan Cup for the best overall performance at the Celebration and Assessment Day at Newcastle University, in competition with over 30 teams from Cumbria and the North East. This is a tremendous and well deserved achievement. I am so proud of the students as the standard of project work on display at Newcastle University was incredibly high.  Their success reflects the extraordinarily high standards of their verbal and written presentation skills as well as their science and engineering abilities.”

Ian Wills, head of nuclear safety cases at LLWR said: “It was a pleasure to work with the students from West Lakes Academy, their team spirit and hard work paid dividends and they were very worthy winners. Over the course of the project they visited the LLWR site and looked at various ways of investigating how reactive metals are affected by encapsulation. By carrying out a number of experiments they were able to transfer the theoretical learning into practical solutions.”