Award-winning Alex pumps up successes

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SIXTH form student Alex Smith has won a series of awards and an offer of support from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre for a new take on an idea developed by Sir James Dyson.

The Forge Valley Community School student impressed judges from leading manufacturers including Sheffield Forgemasters and Sandvik with his designs for a bladeless pump which could be used on boats instead of a propeller or to remove flood water quickly.

The pump works on similar principles to Dyson’s bladeless fan and secured Alex the award for Best Post 16 Cad Cam and Overall Cad Cam Design in addition to securing second place in the contest for Best Use of Engineering Technology in the BiG Bang Engineering/Manufacturing Competition.

What’s more, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre wants to link Alex up with specialists who could help him develop his pump and other ideas.

Alex said: “I’m very pleased with the response from the judges and that they believed in my product. They also said kind words about my aptitude and character and I look forward to discussing my ideas further and taking up their offer of support.”

Forge Valley Community School teacher Ian Leigh said: “The innovation and creativity has been exceptional. Alex is one of a group of students who have worked hard and deserve to do well in their future work.”

Alison Bettac, director of training at the AMRC Training Centre, added “It’s individuals such as Alex that will enable the engineering and manufacturing sector to realise potential that has not yet been considered.”z