Engineering success – with the help of 2,500 wine corks

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Victoria College student Charlie Cadin (16) has become an Arkwright Trust Associate following a selection process that took place alongside his GCSEs.

He is now waiting to finalise the details of a scholarship that will support him through his A-level studies at the college.

Charlie, who from September will be studying for A-levels in physics, design technology, maths and further maths, will be given additional engineering enrichment opportunities and will be linked with a professional engineering company.

Previous Arkwright Scholarship winners from the school have gone on to work in a range of fields. One became a jet pilot, another a nuclear physicist and one winner went on to become an aerodynamics engineer for the McLaren Formula One team.

Charlie, who built a surfboard out of 2,500 wine corks donated by local businesses for his GCSE design technology exam, said: ‘After university I’ll hopefully have a career in marine engineering, working with composites, fibreglass and carbon fibre – so the scholarship will be a great help. I am really pleased and so are my family.’

Charlie is also a keen sailor, who regularly races at St Catherine’s Sailing Club. And when someone was giving away a 17-foot yacht in poor condition for free on a local selling site, he decided to take on the challenge, spending a year restoring the boat, which should be ready to sail in the next few weeks.

Teacher Gabrielle Armstrong, head of design technology at Victoria College, said: ‘Charlie is a self-starter with a genuine interest in all things engineering and this is a fantastic achievement. It was an extremely tough application process which he did, as well as taking ten

‘This scholarship is designed to encourage people of the highest calibre to go into engineering and it is a golden ticket for students who want to study this area at university.’

Headmaster Alun Watkins, meanwhile, added: ‘Congratulations to Charlie on this great news. He is the 12th Victoria College student to win this scholarship and it means he has an extremely bright future ahead in engineering.’

The Arkwright Engineering scholarships programme describes itself as the most prestigious scholarship scheme of its type in the UK, with more than 5,000 awarded to date.

The scholarships are awarded to high-calibre 16-year-old students following a selection process and remain in place for two years. Each scholarship differs according to the company, association or organisation that has sponsored it and can include work experience, personal mentors and help with career planning.

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