UWE alumnus is Airbus Graduate of the Year

Issue date: 07 May 2014

Pictured from left to right are Mark Stewart, Nick Vitale, Ian Boulton and Dave Harvey

A young aerospace engineer who studied at UWE Bristol has been named Graduate of the Year by Airbus at the company's recent Recognition of Learning event.

Nick Vitale from Southville, Bristol was given the accolade of Direct Entry Graduate of the Year in recognition of his achievements and dedication to the business. He gained a first class BEng degree in Aerospace Engineering at UWE Bristol and then went on to do an MSc in Integrated Aerospace Systems Design at Bristol University with distinction.

He joined the Airbus Direct Entry Graduate (DEG) programme in 2011. During his two years on the programme he published research, mentored masters' students, and saved the business over £160,000 on a design project. He also worked with local supplier Atkins Aerospace on a short term placement and was seconded to the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) - an industry-wide programme to keep UK at the forefront of the aerospace industry.

Nick said, “It feels good to be given this honour. I have had a great two years, building a network of people from all over the business and a breadth of experience from working on strategy within the AGP to the A380 final assembly line. I got the most I could out of the DEG programme and I would recommend other DEGs to take every opportunity you get. Work hard; what you put in is what you get out.”

Dr Chris Toomer, associate head of UWE's department of Engineering Design and Mathematics, said, “It is not a surprise to see Nick Vitale win such a prestigious award, but it is a pleasure to see this acknowledgement.

“Nick was an outstanding student whose dissertation won the IET award to UWE for the best final year engineering dissertation. It was also nominated in the national finals of the Association of Aerospace Universities' annual Dr John Barnes trophy.

“Nick is a considerate and hard-working individual who gave time outside of studying to helping teach STEM subjects in schools and promote engineering to a young audience. He is also an active alumnus supporting UWE at engineering events.”

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