Top awards for Northern Regional College engineering students

Owen McAuley receiving the Dayle Smyth Endeavour Award from Geoff Smyth.
Owen McAuley receiving the Dayle Smyth Endeavour Award from Geoff Smyth.

The Department of Engineering and Built Environment at Northern Regional College recognised the best performing students on their Further and Higher Education programmes at the recent annual award ceremony.

The Concorde Cup was presented by Oliver Reid, former Head of School for Engineering, to Gregory Hewitt for Best Student Achievement on BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering.

Oliver Reid presenting the Concorde to Gregory Hewitt for Best Student Achievement on BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering at Northern Regional College.

Oliver Reid presenting the Concorde to Gregory Hewitt for Best Student Achievement on BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering at Northern Regional College.

Karla Kosch, course coordinator of Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering programme, said: “Gregory Hewitt had completed BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering with an impressing overall D*D*D* grade profile achieving Distinction in all 18 subjects studied over the two years.

“Gregory, a former student of Parkhall Integrated College in Antrim decided to follow his career in engineering with an outstanding commitment and dedication from the first day in the College.

“His dedication, performance and attitude towards an engineering career was also illustrated in the extra-curricular activities he was involved in - Formula 1 competition and Career Ready programme.

“Gregory’s participation in Formula 1 project over 2 years contributed highly in rewarding the team with 2nd place in Northern Ireland in 2015 and a well-deserved 1st place in 2016. The Career Ready programme offered Gregory great employability skills. As well as a 6 weeks work placement in Hutchinson Aerotech Antrim, where he was highly appreciated for his work ethic and engagement, he continued his employment on a part-time basis during his 2nd year of studies.

“His final year project of designing and building a remote controlled stunt aircraft highlighted Gregory’s passion in aerospace engineering.

“He will continue to progress his studies in engineering with Queen’s University in Aerospace Engineering course. Having the privilege to teach Gregory, a brilliant student and a modest, altruist and excellent person, I wish him great results and achievements in his engineering career hopefully designing supersonic aeroplanes with even better performances than Concorde airliner.”

The Higher Education award was presented in the memory of an outstanding former student, Dayle Smyth, who tragically died as a result of a road traffic accident in July 2014.

Dayle was employed by RLC (UK) Ltd at Langford Lodge and studied for five years at Northern Regional College, starting with Level 3 and completing Level 5 HND in Manufacturing Engineering.

The Dayle Smyth Endeavour award was conferred by Geoff Smyth, Dayle’s uncle, on behalf of the family, to another exceptional student Owen McAuley.

Bill Watson, co-ordinator of Foundation Degree Engineering full-time course, said: “Owen has completed the Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with overall grade averaging 87%.

“During his course at Northern College he completed 2 industrial Work Based Learning projects with Randox Laboratories in both Antrim and Donegal. Owen now intends to complete an Engineering Degree in Letterkenny Institute of Technology.”

All lecturers in engineering wish best achievements to Gregory and Owen in their engineering career.

The award ceremony was concluded by Gordon Kane, Assistant Head of Department and Course Director Foundation Degree in Engineering, who commented: “It’s great to formally recognise the achievements of the students at the end of their programme.

“This year’s further education students were particularly good and all deserve recognition for their achievements, some of these students are progressing to Queen’s University, Belfast, others to the Ulster University, some returning to continue on our Foundation Degree programmes and others are entering the world of employment.

“This also is the first year for students to complete our new Foundation Degree programmes. Owen is a very worthy winner of the Dayle Smyth endeavour award and he continually demonstrated ability and commitment throughout the two year programme and obtained remarkable grades in all modules. I wish all the students every success in their future endeavours.”