Sunderland sixth former elbows her way to engineering success

Jennifer Olsen won the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls with her project to produce for cost-effect prosthetic limbs.

Jennifer Olsen won the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls with her project to produce for cost-effect prosthetic limbs.

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A sixth former from Sunderland has won a national award in an engineering competition aimed specifically at girls.

Jennifer Olsen, from Ryhope, elbowed her way to success in the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls with her project to develop cost-effective ways of producing 3D printed prosthetic limbs.

The 17-year-old, who studies A-level maths, biology and chemistry at Newcastle Sixth Form College, beat off stiff competition from students at schools and colleges across the country.

Run by the National Centre for Universities and Business, Talent 2030 is an ambitious campaign to bring female talent into engineering and manufacturing industries.

The competition, sponsored by Rolls-Royce, EDF Energy, PepsiCo and Centrica, asks girls to explore engineering solutions to 21st century problems.

The 2015 Annual Dashboard of Statistics shows a downward trend in female uptake of engineering education which will lead to a shortage of 10,000 engineering and technology undergraduates by 2030.

Jenny said: “I feel really happy to have won this award.success

"I'm so grateful for Talent 2030 running the competition, as I would never have had this amazing opportunity to exhibit my project at the Big Bang Fair."

The judges were Lindsay Dobson, research and development manager for global functions at PepsiCo and Carol Monaghan, the MP for Glasgow Northwest.

Jenny added: "I felt honoured that they found my project interesting and selected me as the winner.”

As well as a £1,000 prize, Jenny was given a mentor and the chance to exhibit her idea at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham on March 19, where she will receive a certificate and prize.

Newcastle Sixth Form College will also receive £500 towards purchasing new science equipment, which it is matching to purchase a new 3D digital printer.

College principal Gerard Garvey said he hopes Jenny’s success will help inspire other students to follow in her footsteps:

“I want to congratulate Jenny on her fantastic achievement in the in the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition.

"To win such a prestigious national award is testament to the hard work Jenny puts into everything she does.

"Her teachers and I are thrilled with her success and I hope that our current and future students will be inspired by her achievements.”