Students design careers have taken off in style

Students design careers have taken off in style

23th July 2014


TWO students’ design careers have taken off in style after winning top honours in a prestigious technology competition.

Northallerton College students Ruth Chapman and Oli Nixon each won their categories in the Big Bang Engineering Inspiration regional contest staged at York Air Museum, at Elvington.

Oli, 17, of Danby Wiske, designed an aerial drone, a remote controlled four rotor flying machine capable of taking video and stills photography.

His invention has a myriad commercial and military uses and Oli has already employed it to capture images of extreme sports including mountain biking and a form of tightrope walking called slack-lining.

“I’m really pleased with the quality of the images because I paid attention to making the drone particularly stable,” said Oli, who hopes to study mechanical engineering or product design at university.

“It uses remote controlled car and mobile phone technology and has the potential to fly above the clouds for up to 20 minutes. I am going to be using it to help my mum, who is an estate agent, take aerial pictures of some of her houses.”

Oli has also been offered works experience by the electricity board in Manchester, after his A2 work is completed, to see how this kind of technology could be used in a modern industrial climate.

For fashion designer Ruth Chapman the win follows a series of successes as her talent is recognised nationally. She has twice made the finals of Clothes Show Live with her designs and hopes one day to work for Burberry and have her own label.

The A Level textile student captured the attention of Big Bang judges in the senior textiles category with a stunning contemporary Grecian wedding dress in sequined satin, lace and netting.

Ruth, 18, of Northallerton, who hopes to study fashion at university, said: “The dress was quite detailed as the sequins and leaf detailing were sewn on by hand. I’m thrilled that my efforts were recognised by judges.”

Head of technology Steve Marshall said: “We have been entering this competition since 2007 and have a great track record having won the top award twice and at least one category every year since.

“This year I am very pleased that the students have again won their categories which reflect their abilities and understanding of commercial product design. This sets them up nicely for a possible future in design and manufacturing and shows what talent there is in the local community and it is brilliant for our talented staff to be part of the development of these students.”

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