Ashfield teen named Made in the Midlands Young Inventor of the Year

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An Ashfield teenager has been named Young Inventor of the Year by Made in the Midlands after impressing judges with his robotic vehicle.

Central College student Brightson Xaviour Kalavilasam, who is from Sutton-in-Ashfield, received his award at a special ceremony in front of respected directors and representatives of the Midlands manufacturing sector.

He said: “It really was an amazing feeling, walking up on the stage you get nervous, but it was an overwhelming feeling that you have actually accomplished something great.

“Especially with all of the people from the industry out there, after looking at the companies as well, it was an honour to win the award.”

The young inventor is chosen through a series of panelled presentations in colleges across the Midlands. At these events, students aged 16-19 have the chance to present a project they have been working on at college. The judges (manufacturing managing directors from industry) then provide constructive feedback.

Brightson and runner-up Joseph Fitch, also a Central College student, delivered speeches in front of over 100 representatives of manufacturing and engineering firms in the Midlands at the ceremony.

They have both recently completed the BTEC Diploma in Engineering at Central, which is where they entered the competition, and they were judged on innovation, originality and design.

Brightson recognised the potential impact the award may have on his career and said: “Getting the exposure in front of these influential people and being able to say I won the Young Inventor Award from Made in the Midlands sets me above the competition.”

Gavin Varley, head of school for technology at Central College added: “Getting involved in competitions like Made in the Midlands provides a great opportunity for our students to not only meet industry experts, but also to practise skills they will need in industry.

“They’ve had to keep to time schedules on the projects, work independently and present their ideas to real company directors. We’re very proud of all the students who took part.”