TWO students are engineering bright futures after securing prestigious scholarships to help them further their studies and meet a global demand for talented professionals.

Barnard Castle School students Nicholas Mackay and Matthew Sellars have both been awarded the coveted Arkwright Scholarship.

Scholars are chosen for their potential as future leaders in engineering following a rigorous selection process comprising an assessed application form with teacher’s reference, a two- hour aptitude exam and a university-based interview.

Matthew managed to wow judges with his designs for a ‘carwash’ for a children’s ball-pit while Nicholas came up with a tent coolant system.

The scholarships will support the students through their sixth form studies at Barnard Castle School and encourage them into top universities or higher apprenticeship schemes.

An annual financial award to each student and the school, the scheme also provides a range of enrichment activities, such as mentoring and industry visits, designed to enhance their experiences of engineering in a real-world context.

Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are also highly regarded by universities and industry and help to provide the profession with a steady stream of fresh talent.

The scholarships are supported by an expanding group of companies, universities, professional institutions, trade associations, the armed services, charitable trusts and personal donors.

Nicholas, 16, of Barnard Castle, is being mentored by New-York- based King Baudouin Foundation US. Matthew, 16, of Hutton Magna, is being mentored by Newcastle University.

Nicholas, who is studying A Levels in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry, said:

“The whole process was very challenging and all-consuming for a little while. The interview certainly will prepare me for university and career applications and the scheme has been a great experience.”

Matthew, who is studying physics, maths, computing and design technology, added: “I hope to work in robotics some day and the scheme will help me use my studies in a productive way.”

Head of DT Alan Beaty said: “There is a huge shortfall globally in talented engineers and the fact two of our students have been awarded such a prestigious scholarship reflects how seriously we take the need to meet this burgeoning demand.

“Both students thoroughly deserve what also amounts to recognition of their commitment and efforts. Their recent GCSE coursework also proved they have considerable flair for design and engineering which allows them to apply practically what they learn academically.”