National Physical Laboratory

Apprentices win Best Learner Award for race car engineering victory

Two engineering apprentices from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Kingston College have been awarded Best Learners in a ceremony at the House of Lords.

The Committee of South London Principals held its annual Best Learner Awards in May and the winner of the award for Kingston College was Tiro Racing, a team of six engineering apprentices who have made it through to the 2017 F1 in Schools World Finals in Kuala Lumpur. The team were presented with their award by Lord Tope in a ceremony at the House of Lords.

Apprentices win Best Learner Award for race car engineering victory
Left to right: Toby Thomson (NPL), Joshua Schofield (NPL),
Alisha Read, George Lawlor, Matthew Watkins, Hugh Barker.
Courtesy of Kingston College.

The team members, all of whom are jointly trained at Kingston College, are:

  • Joshua Schofield, NPL – Team Manager
  • Toby Thomson, NPL – CAD and Graphic Designer
  • Matthew Watkins, Imperial College London – Senior Manufacturing and Testing Engineer
  • George Lawlor, GlaxoSmithKline – Manufacturing Engineer
  • Alisha Read, Siemens – Branding and Team Image Co-ordinator
  • Hugh Barker, Rolls-Royce – Public Relations Manager

Over 20 million students from 50 different countries take part in the F1 in Schools competition, which challenges students to design, manufacture, test and race a model gas-powered, 25:1 scale Formula 1 car. Teams are judged on their enterprise, marketing and team identity, as well the engineering gone into the car.

After two days of tough competition from the best 30 teams around the country, Tiro Racing placed second overall at the UK Final at Silverstone in March and were crowned England National Champions, as well as winning the Best Engineered Car award. They will represent England and attempt to be crowned World Champions at the 2017 World Finals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September 2017, as the first ever apprentice team to reach this stage of the competition.

NPL welcomed seven new engineering apprentices last September, the first to embark on the four-year training programme run in partnership with Kingston College. The Engineering Apprentices develop practical skills across the mechanical, electrical and electronic disciplines, while also studying for BTEC qualifications.

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Last Updated: 13 Jun 2017
Created: 13 Jun 2017


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