A STUDENT from Bewdley has won a prestigious prize from Loughborough University.

William Rowlands, 22, who has just completed a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering, received the award for best undergraduate research project in ceramics.

A certificate and a cheque for £250 were presented by Dr Chris Hampson, senior scientist from Morgan Advanced Materials, a global firm with a manufacturing site in Stourport, where Mr Rowlands worked during his summer holidays.

Mr Rowlands said: “Winning the award feels quite amazing really.

“To complete my undergraduate degree I had to put in a many months of hard work so it is really good that the hard work has been recognised.

“It did come as a slight surprise to me as all the previous winners have all worked in plastics or metals, not many in ceramics.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity that was given to me by Morgan, who introduced me to working with ceramics, as well as the support of my supervising professors.”

While at the East Midlands university, Mr Rowlands was researching the newly discovered flash sintering technique, which involves using electricity to create better quality ceramics.

The research he carried out has an application in nanotechnology, which includes creating non-degradable hip joints and other body parts, which will never need replacing.

He will be returning to Loughborough in October to begin a four-year PhD in nanoceramics.

The former Bewdley School pupil added: “Rather than my undergraduate studies, which were more student based, the PhD will be more like a nine-to-five job.

“I don’t want to stop doing the student side of things that I enjoy doing, such as being part of the photography society and the hot air balloon society.

“As much as I have enjoyed the student life, I can’t wait to get my PhD done so I can settle down into the job market.”