9 August 2017

Loughborough College students completing the country’s only post-16 Space Engineering course have been honoured at a glittering ceremony marking their achievements, held at the National Space Centre.

Loughborough College has established a unique programme, in association with the National Space Academy, pioneering space engineering for 16 to 18 year olds with previous graduates from the two-year course including Jessica Bains, who received a full scholarship to study for a Masters degree at the University of South Florida and Nigel Grainger, who won a place with top aerospace company Airbus.

Dr Zoe Washington, Loughborough College Space Engineering course leader, said:

“Our annual awards evening was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our students’ achievements and reflect on the amazing experiences they have had this year, including meeting astronauts Tim Peake and Chris Hadfield, having an exclusive tour of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory national space research facility and hearing from the Principal of NASA’s Kepler exoplanets mission”

Ahead of trophies for outstanding commitment and academic achievement, nominees Lucy Ogunsakin, Alex Biddle-Clarke, David Thomson and Richard Jones lined up for the Space Engineering Ambassador Award.

Paying tribute, Zoe Washington said winner Richard Jones had been, “quite simply outstanding”, was always first to volunteer and that whether speaking live to astronaut Tim Peake on Sky TV News or to parents of future students his enthusiasm “simply cannot be quelled.”

Nominees for the Outstanding Commitment to Study Award were Alistair Adams, Richard Jones and David Thomson, with Alistair declared the winner by STEM Ambassador Liaison Lead Dr Sarah Myers for his “boundless energy for space technology” and extensive knowledge of space missions which had seen him “shine”. Alistair was, she said, “a natural engineer” who was set to go far.

Presenting the coveted George Fraser Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, John Holt from the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre highlighted nominees Oliver Talbot, Alex Biddle-Clarke and David Thomson before announcing David as the winner for his “mastery of the topics and a real love of learning and explaining physics and technical subjects” who was set apart by his desire “to look beyond purely getting the correct answer” and was always willing to help others in the class.

Speaking after the awards evening, hosted by Loughborough College in partnership with the National Space Academy, College Director of Business Development Gemma Knott said:

“The evening brilliantly showcased the privileged access to amazing extra-curricular activities available to our students with the sheer number reinforcing just how strong our links our to the Space sector.

“In addition to celebrating the wonderful achievements of our students, it was great to see the passion of lecturers, course leaders and tutors – particularly the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment demonstrated by Andy McMurray, Head of Teaching and Learning at the National Space Academy. “

Pictured: (left to right) Loughborough College Space Engineers David Thomson, Ashley Parker, Oliver Talbot, Lucy Ogunsakin, Robert Forward, Alex Biddle-Clarke, Richard Jones

For more information contact Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant, Loughborough College on 07515 852690 or elizabethudall1@gmail.com

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