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The Corporation

Posted: 04/07/16

Abi’s got first class talent

A university-level student from Mansfield is rejoicing at her national competition win and earning a first-class honours degree.

Abi Wetton receives her innovation award from McLaren's Patrick Bermingham and Rachel Riley

Twenty-one-year-old West Nottinghamshire College student Abigayle Wetton recently entered the Daily Telegraph’s UK STEM Awards 2016 and won the innovation category, sponsored by McLaren, with her ground-breaking idea to improve the health and safety of transport.

Abi, from Mansfield, celebrated her innovation category win at London’s Heron Tower on 16 June and was presented with her award by Patrick Bermingham, HR director at McLaren and Rachel Riley from Channel 4’s Countdown.

Along with her award, she won a bespoke mentoring programme, after presenting her ‘world-changing’ idea to improve the health and safety of transport to industry movers and shakers earlier this year.

She was given the brief of: 'We challenge you to propose solutions to manage potential distractions from new information sources and thought processes in order to maintain or improve transportation safety'.

Her idea to introduce a solar-powered visual alert system for the tramlines has impressed bosses at McLaren – one of the sponsors of the awards. McLaren shortlisted her winning entry earlier this year and she has already secured work experience at the company’s technology headquarters in Woking, Surrey.

Abi, who has just discovered she has achieved a first class honours degree in her BA (Hons) in Business and Management from the college, was delighted with winning the innovation award.

She said: “As soon as the lift doors opened on the 39th floor of the Heron Tower where the awards event was, I saw my face on the wall of fame – that was surreal!

“Even though I didn’t win the overall main prize, I am so thrilled to have won the innovation category and to have presented to some major players in the industry. I’m looking forward to my work placement at McLaren and they’ve said how well put-together my idea was.

“To have my work recognised in this way is amazing and I am proof that work and studying together can be done.”