Homemade lab engineer wins top accolade

editorial image

A student from Brighouse has impressed judges to be named the National Science and Engineering Competition Young Engineer of the Year 2013.

Fred Turner, of High Street, went through two gruelling days of judging and interviews but came out on top thanks to the high standard of his project. He was presented with his title at the bigbangfair held at the ExCel centre in London, where it was judged by 10 celebrity judges including Professor Brian Cox.

“It is a very prestigious award and it is amazing to be recognised for it,” said the Crossley Heath School pupil. “All the judges were really nice and approachable.”

Since the award, the 17-year-old has appeared on BBC News, Channel 4’s Something for the Weekend and visited the Houses of Parliament.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and I have been rushing around quite a bit,” added Fred.

“Over the next few months I will be concentrating on my A level exams where I hope to study biochemistry at Oxford University.”

His engineering project involved him creating a home made lab and building PCR machine for testing genes.

It amplifies segments of DNA and the machines can cost up to £3,000, but Fred managed to build one from scratch in his cellar at home for around £250.

He’s also hoping to use the design of his machine as a kit, so others can build their own PCR machines without having to work through the problems he faced during his project.