A SCHOLARSHIP of £36,000 has been awarded to a Malmesbury teenager to pay for her university tuition fees.

Abigail Morgan, 17, applied to study civil engineering at several top UK universities and was delighted to learn that the James Dyson Foundation had chosen her as the recipient of its scholarship, paying for up to four years of her engineering degree.

Abigail had to fight off stiff competition from 16 other Malmesbury School students to win the scholarship. Students applying for the fund were asked to explain what inspired them about the degree they had chosen, as well as writing 300 words about their favourite invention.

She said: “My granddad was a civil engineer, and I was always interested in his work. I loved the idea of being able to understand the physical and human aspects of what made an engineering project work.

“The James Dyson Foundation scholarship will let me pursue my ambition of becoming a civil engineer myself – without the distraction of financial worries.”

Sir James Dyson said: “Abigail’s favourite invention was an unusual choice – Alfredo Moser’s zero electricity light, which uses the natural phenomenon of refraction to provide illumination.

“It’s clear Abigail has a real interest in engineering and the problems it can solve, and I’m sure she will become an excellent engineer.”

The award given to Abigail this year is awarded to a student from Malmesbury School planning to study science, technology, engineering, product design or maths at university.

Tim Gilson, Malmesbury School’s head teacher, says: “As a specialist maths and science school we understand the importance of these subjects as the foundation for challenging careers in science and engineering – but getting students to share our enthusiasm isn’t always easy.

“Our relationship with the James Dyson Foundation is invaluable; raising the profile of STEM subjects and helping to bring engineering to life.”

As well as the scholarship the James Dyson Foundation supports six Malmesbury School students studying Design and Technology A-level with bursaries of £1,000 and mentoring from Dyson engineers.

The James Dyson Foundation also recently donated state-of-the-art D&T equipment including a 3D printer and laser cutter to the school to let students to try professional design engineering methods in the classroom.