A student in the University of Birmingham's Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering has won a Whitworth Senior Scholarship Award.

Karl Dearn, 26 and a postgraduate student, won the award for pursuing a vocational course whilst displaying academic and practical excellence.

Karl gained a masters degree from Birmingham in 2005 and is now studying for a PhD. Prior to this he served an engineering apprenticeship with Yale Security Products Ltd. His PhD research concentrates on increasing the market penetration of plastic gears through the augmentation of power density, where he investigates a variety of performance criteria including thermal behaviour, contact mechanics and wear.

Karl says ‘It is a great honour being chosen as one of only three Whitworth Senior Scholarship award holders in the country. I hope now that I am able to justify my selection through the quality of my research and in turn become a senior Whitworth Scholar, a title that has been held by a select number of great engineers.’

All recipients of the award are members of the Whitworth Society which was founded in 1923. Sir Joseph Whitworth is thought of by many as Britain's best mechanical engineer, world famous for the standard screw thread named after him, revolutionary machine tools and hexagonally rifled guns. His legacy is an awards scheme dating back to 1868, which aimed to bring science, engineering and industry closer together and now works to encourage and support young engineers.

The Senior Whitworth Award is offered to three engineers in the UK in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Department for Education and Skills to outstanding engineers under the age of 31.

For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel 07789 921164.