Durham students win top awards
(5 September 2006)
Durham University students Craig Holder and Eliza Cousins have both been named top Shell Step students in their local areas.
Craig, who is a member of St John’s College, has won three awards in the programme despite suffering from dyslexia. The engineering student, who lives in Chester-le-Street, took part in the scheme alongside 17 other undergraduates. Students in the scheme had to complete valuable projects for local businesses. Craig won the award for most enterprising Shell Step student in County Durham which won him £550 and a place in the regional final to be held in Newcastle on September 12. He also won the prize for best presentation. However, it was winning the best written report award that delighted him most. The 21 year old was diagnosed with dyslexia when he went to university. He said: “My dyslexia was not actually diagnosed until I started university and it has always caused me difficulties and has always involved quite a lot of extra work. Reading has always been difficult and that led to problems with spelling and vocabulary. I read very slowly and just cannot cover the volume of material that other students do.” Craig’s placement was with Nicholson’s Sealing Technologies, of Stanley, who design and manufacture seals and gaskets for major companies in the aerospace and automotive industry. He designed and implemented a ventilation system to control the metal dust that is emitted from a polishing process. Tony Clements, the company’s business systems manager, said: “Craig not only achieved all the objectives of the project, which was very important because of the health and safety aspects, but also did some additional work and identified improvements in working practices that could mean savings for the company.” Eliza, of Walpole St Peter, was named top Shell Step student for Norfolk. The 21 year old economics student is spending 13 weeks with KMP Crusader of King’s Lynn helping the company to increase efficiency through the re-manufacturing of used ink cartridges. Eliza, who is a member of Van Mildert College, told judges at Shell Step’s Norfolk finals that about 65 million ink jet cartridges were sold in the UK in 2003 and only 10% of these were recycled. She convinced theme of the marketability of recycling ink cartridges after showing them results from analysts that say that they can be reused up to seven times. Eliza is due to submit a final report, at the end of September, to KMP Crusader who asked her to look at manufacturing methods with a view to making cost savings. She said: “It’s been a very interesting project and I’ve enjoyed being able to apply some of the things I’ve learned at university. Shell Step is a really worthwhile scheme and I would recommend it to any student who’s looking to work during the summer break.”