PUPILS at a Rocester academy have received an engineering accolade to be proud of, presented personally by the Duke of York.
The team of budding engineers from the JCB Academy in Rocester wowed industry specialists at the Duke of York award for technical education.
Tom Bather, Callum Edge and Georgia Turner, sixth formers at the JCB Academy, were presented with their awards by the duke himself at Buckingham Palace.
took part in the Toyota challenge, where teams were given the task of fitting a set amount of valves to an engine head in a certain amount of time.
The pupils were given a variety of criteria and only two weeks to develop their ideas and present them.
The main focus of this task is to follow industry methods such as Kaizen to develop understanding and efficiency.
The three were part of the winning team who developed a jig to help fit the valves in a super-quick time – all 16 in just under 3.5 minutes.
The deputy managing director of Toyota UK - who was judging the competition - was so impressed with the design that he asked his staff to investigate the solution further with the view to incorporating the design into the Toyota system.
A spokesman for the JCB Academy said: “We are waiting to see whether Toyota will use the student’s design in practice as they were so impressed with it.
“It is testament to the ingenuity of the students that they have produced a solution that Toyota, who are synonymous with lean production methods, believe it is worthy of their consideration.”
Jim Wade, principal of the JCB Academy said: “The Duke of York Awards are an excellent way to recognise excellence in technical education.
“This award pulls together the key features that set students on the road to a technical career and provides an added incentive for students to undertake technical based learning and to develop those skills so essential in the workplace.”
HRH the Duke of York, presenting the Awards, told the students: “I wish you all every success.
“All of you should recognise in yourselves your outstanding achievement and what you have achieved in these awards.
“If we can marry up your knowledge, your training and your experience with the business world, we are going to be in a better place in the future.”
This new award highlights the talent and excellence of the many young people who have chosen technical education.
As well as publicly acknowledging the success of young people choosing technical education, the awards aim to encourage wider support from parents, businesses and other stakeholders.
Lord Baker, Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust said: “It is wonderful to celebrate the achievements of so many young people who have chosen technical education as a route into work, further or higher education.
“These students are first class and I have no doubt that they all have very bright futures ahead of them.”