Engineering student strives for the top in sustainability as school shortlisted for renewables award

A Year 13 engineering student has played a key role in Ron Dearing UTC being shortlisted for a prestigious renewables award.

Natalie Bamforth, 17, is among the students who completed an industry-standard project set by Ørsted, a renewable energy company which constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe and one of the school’s Major Partners.

Many of the school’s employer partners help to shape the curriculum, setting projects specific to their sector and equipping students with the knowledge and skills they will look for in their future employees.

The Ørsted project focused on engineering and the environment, aiming to give students a greater understanding of the challenges linked to climate change. They had to research infinite materials, different types of renewable energy and low carbon production while evaluating the UK’s energy outputs and suggesting what changes they would make to achieve net zero carbon targets.

Year 13 student Natalie Bamforth


Now, Natalie’s work has contributed towards the employer-led school being shortlisted for a Humber Renewables Awards accolade.

The awards recognise and celebrate success in the renewables industry across both banks of the Humber and Ron Dearing UTC is one of three shortlisted entries in the Renewables Education category, alongside Marketing Humber and the Smart Energy Greater Lincolnshire programme.

Natalie said: “I loved working on this project and it’s nice to know my work has played a part in our school being shortlisted for an award.

“Projects set by the employer partners help us to understand more about their businesses and how they work, and we can learn with them as they continue to develop. They prepare us really well for our next steps in life.

“I think I’m part of the last generation that can make a real difference to the environment and I want to inspire people to be as motivated as I am in the fight against climate change. I’ve found out ways I can make a difference as an individual and we can all work together to play our part.

“I would like to go onto an apprenticeship in engineering when I leave Ron Dearing UTC and bring my passion for sustainability into that role.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said employer-led projects are a vital part of the school curriculum as they prepare students for the future.

He said: “All of our sixth form engineering students undertake this project as Ron Dearing UTC and Ørsted believe having a sustainable mindset is the key to future engineers.

“The way Natalie approached the subject has driven her to take that passion for sustainability forward, potentially into an apprenticeship with one of our Major Partners when she leaves sixth form later this year.

“Her work has helped towards the school being shortlisted for the Renewable Education award and she is a great ambassador for this sector.

“We’re delighted to be shortlisted. Having Employer Partners set industry-led projects like this helps to change the mindset of engineers of the future and encourage them be more sustainable while promoting sustainable practices.

“Engineers with a sustainable mindset should mean the future will become greener and educating them on the mistakes of the past helps them to look at the potential in the future.”

The Humber Renewables Awards, which include nine categories, were due to take place last year but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will now take place virtually on March 4.

Ørsted teams and individuals have also been shortlisted in four categories, while the University of Hull, Ron Dearing UTC’s leading education partner, is shortlisted in two categories.

For more information about the awards, visit