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The First Trust Bank Ulster University Undergraduate Student of the Year Award for 2018 has been awarded to Michael Jennings in recognition of his commitment to local and university life.

Michael Jennings graduates today (Thursday 5th July) with a first class honours degree in Electronic Engineering. He has truly made the most out of his five years at Ulster University honing his engineering skills both at home and abroad. Michael’s studies included a one year work placement and a semester in Germany at the Hochschule Augsburg.

Michael’s passion for engineering is evident in both his personal and university life.

During his first year at Ulster, Michael trained to be a Gliding Instructor in Newtownards, leading him to win the RAF Charitable Trust Award for Flying Excellence and racking up over 50 hours flying time. This led to a fascination with aircraft, allowing him to help build a two-seater light aircraft in a youth-outreach programme, funded by Boeing. The aircraft, a Sting S4, will debut at the UK’s largest military air show in July 2018.

Michael is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) ambassador and has volunteered in the Tutoring in Schools programme, helping pupils from Wellington College through their Technology GCSEs and A-levels.

Most notably, Michael has helped found the Ulster Society of Student Engineers (USSE) with the assistance of fellow students and staff. Michael served as chairperson for the society which won Best New Society and runner-up Best Academic & Careers Society in the UK-wide National Societies Awards 2018. The society has 180 members and ran over 20 events this year including an induction day for 270 students, a formal dinner and a 10-week electronics-prototyping workshop.

Michael said:

“I am absolutely delighted to win this award. I have enjoyed every moment of my time at Ulster University. I have been supported and encouraged in my studies and been given lots of opportunities to try new things and expand my skills. Working with my classmates and lecturers to set up the Ulster Society of Student Engineers was a highlight for me. It was challenging but definitely worth it to create a society that current and future engineering students can be a part of for many years to come.”

Congratulating Michael on the award, Amanda Mooney, Retail Manager at First Trust Bank said:

“We are thrilled to help celebrate the achievements of local students and recognise the fantastic contribution Michael has made to the local community through charity and educational outreach, and to Ulster University as an innovative and creative student.  We have no doubt that he will continue to make an impact as an engineering graduate to Northern Ireland’s academic and business landscape in years to come.”