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Former Derby College Student Wins Engineering Bursary

Melissa ChimutandaFormer Derby College Engineering student Melissa Chimutanda has won a £1,000 bursary from a leading industry body to support her future studies.

Melissa (21) is now studying Mechanical Engineering at Leicester De Montfort University and applied for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Engineering Horizons Bursary which includes membership of the professional body.

Melissa, who is a former pupil at Merrill Academy and lives in Allenton. She studied a level 3 Engineering programme and was hailed Derby College’s Student of the Year and won the Engineering Excellence Award at the annual Peak Awards in 2015.

She said: “The bursary will be invaluable to support my studies including books and a computer that is able to run engineering software.

“Membership of the IET as part of the bursary is particularly good as it will enable me to meet with a wide range of people in the professional in all sorts of different engineering industries.

“I am thoroughly enjoying my university course but it was my time at Derby College which really opened my eyes to the career possibilities in engineering – particularly after completing various work placements.

“I am doing a number of work placements both here and abroad during my degree but my ultimate goal is to be the first female engineer to have designed the next Rolls-Royce engine.”

Derby College Group Chief Executive Mandie Stravino added: “Melissa was a shining star at the College and we are delighted that she is progressing well through higher education and further developing her passion for engineering.

“As the first female member of her family to go to university, winning the IET Engineering Horizons Bursary will provide her with financial support and open many more doors for her as she approaches the next stage of her academic and working life.”

The IET bursaries are awarded to students and apprentices who are passionate about engineering and have taken up a place on an engineering or technology degree course which has been accredited by the IET or have taken up a place on an apprenticeship scheme which has been approved by the IET.

In this second year of the scheme, 75 bursaries have been awarded to students and apprentices. The scheme helps students entering an apprenticeship or an engineering degree programme, who have qualifications such as a BTEC, HND, Access to Higher Education Diploma or other vocational qualification, as well as those in challenging circumstances.

Nick Winser, IET President commented: “We’re thrilled to have been able to support talented apprentices and undergraduate students who have overcome obstacles and personal challenges to pursue an engineering education and career for the second year in a row.

“We hope that the scheme will continue to grow and we will build the number of our bursary winners, who have a passion for engineering and are keen to promote engineering to others.”

The investment is being made in collaboration with Exilarch’s Foundation, The Engineers Trust (Worshipful Company of Engineers), The Manly Trust, Nigel and Ruth Fine, Mr & Mrs Tubbs, National Grid and  Siemens.

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