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Tom Cupis awarded Arkwright Scholarship

Tom Cupis has been awarded an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship. The coveted scholarship, which the Arkwright Foundation hopes will "identify, inspire and nurture future leaders in Engineering, Computing and technical (as opposed to aesthetic) Design", is both financial and pastoral with winners receiving mentoring from leading engineers in many disciplines.

We caught up with Tom and this is what he had to say;

What is the most exciting part of getting an Arkwright Scholarship?

I get the opportunity to get sponsored by a company and from there I will be able to get some work experience and internships with the company. Basically get a broader understanding of engineering and in my case computing and computing science. On the first of September, I will be attending an event to meet with sponsors and I will be matched then which is very exciting.

How did you come up with the idea for your app?

I like to create useful little widgets for my home computer. It usually comes from a small problem I have. But the app I created it a clock widget, so you can constantly see the time and be aware of the time and when and if you get on and do things. It acts as a reminder. I designed it for the elderly, as an easier way for them to see the time and simplify the user experience of a computer.  I also presented another app as a side project, which is based on face and eye recognition and some things I have been doing with machine learning.

What applications do you think it could have?

I think as a widget itself, it could be used as a part of a broader project to simplify. I know that for a lot of elderly people it can be hard to navigate a computer, it can be quite daunting, because nowadays there are so many options you need to deal with that simplifying it can really help.

You can use the same principle to simplify a calendar or email sending for the elderly for example.

Are you working on other projects?

At the moment I am working on a project for myself, it is a little finance planner. Dealing with my balances and sorting out balances, tracking progress and setting up some goals you can work towards.

Any advice for people looking to get into engineering or computer science?

For anyone who is looking to climb the ladder and get into engineering or computing, my words are; make sure you really get into it and throw yourself into as many opportunities as you can. The Arkwright scholarship just came along as a stand-alone thing, but it did help I have been doing this for years and taking what I like in my lessons and extending them further into things that I enjoy doing and then making interesting projects.

Are any people in this space that inspire you or that you look up to?

I think it would have to be Elon Musk, he is definitely a big player in innovation and technology.
He started TESLA and SpaceX. He is the main man at the moment.

How did the school support you?

In lessons I have been taught how to use a programming language to create all these widgets, the school also got me to submit my nomination and introduced me to Arkwright. So yes, I would say that in terms of support, Freemen’s has been fundamental.