A budding 17-year old student from Walsall has fought off huge competition and been awarded the prestigious Millennium Point Scholarship for 2018.

The Millennium Point Scholarship awards one student each year with a free STEM degree at Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment. The scholarship is part of Millennium Point’s commitment to growing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) talent in the West Midlands.

Huge competition

A panel of esteemed judges selected Ryan Dowell, a student from Walsall Academy, as the winner following a three-stage process. With more than 120 applications, six finalists were selected to compete for the scholarship, taking part in challenges designed to test their teamwork skills, a practical test and finally the presentation round.

The live final took place in front of a live audience in Millennium Point's PLATFORM

The judging panel included Mark Hipwell, Design Coordinator at LM JV, Kathryn Lennon-Johnson, Founder, Founder of Built Environment Skills in Schools, Emma Parry, Lead Engineer at Midland Metro Alliance and Millennium Point Finance Director, Abbie Vlahakis.

Ryan was chosen following a passionate presentation about developing sustainability and green energy for Birmingham, alongside his ideas on how to address the region’s housing crisis and how a civil engineering degree at BCU could support this.

Walsall Academy student Ryan Dowell is this
year's recipient of the Millennium Point Scholarship

The judges said: “Ryan gave a fantastic presentation and showed a real passion for the subject. He had thought through the application of the degree which was great to see. Ryan had a good balance of practical STEM skills and presentation skills, and we’re confident Ryan will take the opportunity given to him and translate it into the real world.”

Ryan comments, “It was nerve-wracking getting up on stage at first, but once I started talking I got into the flow of it and it came quite naturally. Out of everything, I particularly enjoyed the teamwork challenge where we got to work together to solve a problem – that was really fun.”

“Champion STEM”

Judith Armstrong, CEO of Millennium Point, said, “Millennium Point exists to serve and champion STEM through grants, projects and initiatives like the Millennium Point Scholarship. This is part of our programme of opening up opportunities to STEM careers and bridging the skills gaps between businesses and future generations. Well done to Ryan - we wish him all the best in his future studies and look forward to seeing his career unfold”.

Expressions of interest for Millennium Point Scholarship 2019 are now open.