We like to show off the fantastic achievements of our current students and graduates and we’re incredibly proud that the skills and experiences they’ve gained at Coventry University have contributed in some part towards their success. 94% of our graduates are employed or in further study 6 months after graduating. We encourage our students to further their employability whilst they study and that’s why many of them are involved in their own exciting developments whilst being a student.
Only a week after graduating from her transport design degree, Coventry University graduate, Nicole Agba has been awarded with the Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award 2014. The prestigious award was presented at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) annual dinner in London.
The award aims to provide aspiring designers with the experience and support to forge a career in the automotive industry. The winner receives £7,500 and five months of work experience shared between the competition’s well-known sponsors, Jaguar Land Rover, Peugeot, McLaren, Skoda and Toyota.
Nicole, who is 23 and hails from Rainham in Kent, designed a biometric steering wheel, which monitors a driver’s heart and respiration rate. She used a smart fabric which uses sensors to monitor them. Therefore her design would make it possible to detect factors which impact on heart and respiration, such as nervousness, fatigue, anger and even underlying causes such as alcohol – which in turn would create the potential to bring the car to a stop if the driver is over the limit.
The steering-wheel design impressed the judging panel which included Autocar magazine editor-in-chief, Steve Cropley:
“Once again we have been bowled over by the calibre of the entries received for this year’s competition, making Nicole an all the more deserved winner. It just goes to show that you do not have to be studying for a degree as a technician to produce a creative idea with real gravitas and commercial appeal.”
The Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award started six years ago and was won in 2009 by Coventry University graduate Mohsin Basharmal, therefore Coventry have been the most successful university to date in the competition. Nicole elaborated on her involvement:
“It’s been a fantastic experience taking part in the Autocar - Courland awards and I’m so thrilled to have won. The work experience that I’ll be getting as a prize is sure to open some amazing doors for me in the automotive industry, and help me pursue my career ambitions in the field of automotive and transport design. I hope that my story will inspire people to go out and achieve their goals with hard work, passion and dedication.”