A sixth form student has been recognised after winning a highly-acclaimed scholarship for her engineering project.

Lydia Reid, who studies at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls in Elstree, has won an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship for her technology, design, and innovation entry.

Lydia is currently working on a year-long project and has created a sustainable light which could be used for a variety of purposes, including lighting for children with special educational needs or disabilities.

The student submitted an online application for her sustainable light, before completing an aptitude exam and a virtual interview to assess key life skills such as leadership ability and creative thinking.

Coming third place overall, Lydia was tasked with coming up with her own design concept for a new product, explaining its application and producing a video to demonstrate how and why her invention would benefit users.

She said: "My aim was to create a light with the principle of circular design, to be as sustainable as possible. There are no permanent joints in the product, and I chose not to use PVA glue as this is made of plastic, instead I created de-constructable dowels.

"In the iteration of the design, I made as few models as possible and much of the design was created with computer-aided design and via laser cut models using card and masking tape, to reduce wastage."

Habs Girls’ School has recently invested £11 million in a new state-of-the-art STEM building. The building contains 15 labs.

Habs Girls’ School has recently invested £11 million in a new state-of-the-art STEM building. The building contains 15 labs.

The copper lining on the inside of the light increases the range and fall of the light source, creating a warm glow. It is held together with removable nails.

Thinking about conservation of energy in the generation of electricity, the light source is LED (low energy), and for more individuality, the light colours can be changed by means of a slider, which generates amazing varieties of light.

This is made possible by a hidden circuit board created by Lydia which is secreted in the back of the light. The base also has an adjustable angle, to help the user choose the direction of the light, and a storage box underneath.

The scholarship award means Lydia will gain extra hands-on experience, professional mentorship and careers guidance throughout her A-levels.

Headmistress at Habs Girls’ School, Rose Hardy, said: "We are very proud of Lydia’s hard work and well deserved achievement. As a school we are passionate about encouraging more girls to excel in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and are seeing an increasing number of girls choosing sciences.

"With women currently accounting for just 22 per cent of the STEM workforce, we welcome any opportunities for our students to experience first-hand, the positive impact that engineering can have on society."