At the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Vision Awards, held at the institution's Birdcage Walk headquarters, the Spen King Sustainability Award has been presented to Sophie Wakeford by Jaguar Land Rover. Sophie is an undergraduate undertaking her degree in Mechanical Engineering at Oxford University.
The Spen King Scholarship was developed in memory of Charles Spencer King , the mechanical engineer behind the Range Rover and is designed to both inspire and encourage the next generation of engineers.
An initial 37 undergraduates applied for the award, completing a formal interview, a short essay on the topic, 'What do you see as the future of global personal mobility?' and an in-depth Q&A session focusing on the engineering problems surrounding the hypothetical issue of raising the Titanic. Sophie stood out by demonstrating excellent technical engineering understanding as well as being the only applicant to address the moral issues associated with the hypothetical challenge.
Jo Lopes, Head of Technical Excellence, Jaguar Land Rover said, "At Jaguar Land Rover we firmly believe that our future success lies in innovation and engineering. We work with a number of academic institutions in the pursuit of new scientific and technological solutions to improve the performance and efficiency of our cars and manufacturing processes."
"It is critical that the UK maintains a strong focus on the teaching and nurturing of Engineering. The world over, Engineers are looking for solutions to make mobility more sustainable and the UK needs to be at the centre of that work. I have great pleasure in presenting the first Spen King Sustainability Award to Sophie and believe that she will be a great Ambassador for the scholarship. The Vision Awards are all about the people that drive change and innovation, and this ethos is echoed at JLR."
Sophie will receive £1000 a year as a part of her scholarship whilst reading her degree and a summer workplace at Jaguar Land Rover in her area of interest, hybrids and environmentally sustainable transport.
Sophie said, "I am delighted to receive this award from Jaguar Land Rover. I am looking forward to working with them throughout my time at university and I feel privileged to be given this opportunity. I am keen to use my engineering qualifications in an industry facing great change. Working with Jaguar Land Rover will be an excellent opportunity to achieve this whilst continuing the involvement I have already had with environmentally sustainable transport."
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