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Published: 08 January 2019

Mechanical Engineering student triumphs in Nova awards

Lucy Rushbrook, who is in the final year of her BEng Mechanical Engineering degree, has won a highly competitive Nova Prize for her exceptional work developing a solar powered car at Ardingly College while on placement.

Lucy Rushbrook with solar powered car
Lucy with the solar powered car.

Sponsored by EY London, the Nova Prize is awarded to just six female students a year across the UK in recognition of their outstanding early contributions to promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.

"I think it’s great that this award has been established to celebrate women’s achievement in STEM, and I look forward to seeing future competitors in years to come."

Lucy Rushbrook

Beating off stiff competition to win the Engineering category, Lucy’s award recognises work she began during her Professional Training placement at Ardingly College. She was awarded her prize of £1,000 at a special ceremony on 7 November at EY London’s headquarters.

During her placement, Lucy designed and built a solar powered car which has since taken part in the iLumen European Solar Challenge in Belgium – a 24-hour race for solar powered cars. She also taught and mentored around 50 of the College’s students who helped on the project.

Lucy explains: “The main challenges we faced were the need to design bespoke parts for the car such as the steering system, due to the shape of the car not being typical, and also getting the car ready for the European Solar Challenge in such a short time span.”

Ardingly College’s car came 10th out of 17 entrants in the Challenge which, for a first race by the only school team to compete (against university-level teams), was an amazing achievement. The car’s next challenge will be to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a 3,000km race across Australia, in 2019.

Lucy says: “I’m so grateful to have received this prize, especially considering the impressive competition I was up against. I think it’s great that this award has been established to celebrate women’s achievement in STEM, and I look forward to seeing future competitors in years to come.”

 

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