Four Year 13 students have won a prestigious award at the Sellafield Excellence Awards. Gemma Lewthwaite, Abigail Pullin, Joshua Hamand and Harry Richardson were nominated for an award for social impact and were confirmed as winners during the recent awards ceremony held at Energus.

The award follows on from the innovative work the students completed during the Engineering Education Scheme that started last year and culminated in a third place overall in the northern section of the competition. The EES links teams of Year 12 students and their teacher with local companies, to work on real scientific, engineering and technological problems. The subject of their project was ‘Solid Identification in Sludge’ and involved designing a system to work in the legacy ponds.

The sixth form students took part in the national scheme last year, and were mentored by Sellafield legacy ponds engineer, Marcus Coupe, who said, ‘I was impressed by how confident they were to describe their project to the people that they met, and explain what they had done.’

The students worked in their own time for over six months to complete the project including trips to Sellafield and a residential trip to Teesside University. In a second trip to Teesside University the students were required to present to a panel of high profile industrial experts who in turn questioned the students about their designs.

In a review of the students’ work the panel commented:

‘The presentation and Q&A showed that the team were working together positively to achieve a successful conclusion.’

‘We particularly liked the risk analysis of potential hazards; especially when the focus is the nuclear industry.’

‘We predict great careers ahead for all team members.’

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