Success on the radar for engineering student

Euan Ward with David Greig, Leonardo Lead Systems Engineer
Euan Ward with David Greig, Leonardo Lead Systems Engineer
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A PIONEERING Capital researcher has clinched a prestigious scholarship recognising him as one of the country’s top engineering students.

PhD student Euan Ward has been named as one of the best in his field after being awarded the 1851 Industrial Fellowship thanks to the cutting-edge nature of the sensor research he has pioneered at engineering firm Leonardo.

Funding from the scholarship will enable him to continue his research into developing a solution which will allow industry to operate modern radars in environments already crowded with radio frequency energy.

The fellowships, set up by Prince Albert following the Great Exhibition of 1851, recognise the best research projects that could advance British industry, allowing companies to conduct innovative research, and are awarded to 12 PhD students across the country.

Speaking about the award win, Euan said: “I’m very honoured to have been awarded this fellowship, particularly given the outstanding quality of the other projects which have been recognised.”

“I feel excited about the application of the research findings in industry. I’ve had tremendous support from Leonardo’s engineering community and their deep knowledge of radars has helped me to develop techniques for the commercial market.”

He added: “Without Leonardo’s significant backing and radar expertise, this research would not be possible.”

Euan’s pioneering technology will safeguard against some of the most hazardous consequences of radio frequency interference, such as a driverless car losing its ability to navigate properly.

Radar sensors are increasingly being used in driverless cars and remotely-piloted vehicles, however the increased volume of users means that this technology can become vulnerable to interference.

Euan joined Leonardo’s graduate programme in 2016. The advanced radar research work he conducted within that programme formed the background to his PhD project, which is co-funded by Leonardo and started in September 2017.

The firm celebrated its 75th anniversary in Edinburgh, having first opened it doors on June 16, 1943 for the production of gyro gun sights for the Spitfire. Leonardo has just under 2000 employees at its Edinburgh site at Crewe Toll, with a further team of 7000 employees across the UK.

Beginning in 1851 following the success of the The Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace in London, the fellowships have been awarded to thousands of researchers across the country.

The scholarships have previously been earned by a dozen Nobel prize winners who have scooped awards in fields including chemistry and physics.