TEENAGER Toby Chamberlain has been announced as this year’s winner of the James Dyson Foundation scholarship after impressing judges with his unusual choice of an engineering product that inspired him.

Each year, as part of the company’s commitment to support and encourage young people to becoming engineers, the James Dyson Foundation offers a scholarship to one A-Level student at Malmesbury School who plans to study a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) subject at university.

Toby had to fight off strong competition from 19 other applicants by writing an essay about his favourite invention.

The 18-year-old chose cats eyes, an everyday item that people take for granted but which has a remarkably unknown feature.

Toby said: “The glass piece inside it compresses when a car drives over which means it cleans itself and so you don’t need someone going out and cleaning it every so often.

"I love it because it’s so simple, it’s just a piece of rubber with glass beads inside.”

He added: “I love maths, its capacity to help us explore the bounds of possibility really excites me.

“The James Dyson Foundation Scholarship means that I’ll be able to dedicate myself to the subject I am passionate about and to making a success of my time at university without the distraction of financial worries.

"I’m absolutely delighted to have won."

James Dyson said: “Toby is a very clever young man with clear passion for his chosen degree.

“He is immensely eloquent when discussing the importance of maths in solving problems and I have no doubt that he will make a great success of his time at university.”

Malmesbury School headteacher Tim Gilson said: “We’re very proud of Toby and really thrilled for him.

“He is an outstanding student and lovely young man.

“We’re very grateful to Dyson for their ongoing support, it’s a fabulously generous donation and helps to encourage students about careers in STEM.

“The Dyson Foundation have always been very generous supporters of the school so we’re grateful to them and pleased to see it continue.”

Toby is the fifth Malmesbury school pupil to benefit from the scholarship that was set up in 2013.

He has applied to study at Oxford University in September and is now working hard to pass his final exams which begin next week.