A FERMANAGH teenager has secured a prestigious scholarship with the Dyson Institute of Technology, set up by billionaire inventor and vacuum cleaner entrepreneur Sir James Dyson. 
Leigh Crozier, a pupil at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, is one of just 25 students who has been awarded a place at the Wiltshire based campus where from September she will learn about engineering through hands on experience, working alongside a team of Dyson technology experts.
In a letter to her school, Sir James said his company saw “a vast number of exceptional candidates” but the 18 year old “showed exactly the mind-set and academic rigour of a Dyson engineer.”
“I am pleased to offer her the opportunity to join a peer-group of like minded, practical, young engineers all forging a new and exciting educational path,” he wrote.

Impartial Reporter: James Dyson

Sir James Dyson

As part of the four year programme the 18 year old will earn a competitive salary, her tuition fees will be paid by Dyson ensuring she comes away from her engineering degree debt free and she’ll be taught every aspect of the technology that goes into a Dyson machine.
“I am overwhelmed, I cried when I was told I had got a place,” Leigh told The Impartial Reporter.
The student had to submit a portfolio, curriculum vitae, answer a range of different questions, including a numerical test, and undertake interviews both on the phone and at the campus. 
Dyson is partnering with the University of Warwick to present the course which is aimed at those with a passion for solving problems and a fascination for how things work.
“I am really looking forward to it. I like seeing how everything is made, I think improvements can be made to everything,” said Leigh who will work alongside Dyson engineers for four days per week and spend one day in the classroom.
The student’s interest in technology was sparked during school, first at the Collegiate Grammar School and now at Enniskillen Royal where she finds herself “almost always down in the workshop.” 
Studying maths, physics and technology, Leigh will move to Bristol later this year where she will continue her passion for technology in the hope of changing lives for the better.
“It would be amazing to see people using a product that may improve their lives. I want to help improve people’s lives, such as disabled people, and get tangible real life results for them. I really can’t wait,” she said.
Leigh will explore Dyson’s expertise across motors, fluid dynamics, energy storage, robotics, software and hair science. In her final year she may even get the opportunity to visit the company’s technology and design centres in Singapore and Malaysia. And after the programme she can expect to take up a technical graduate engineering role at Dyson.
Principal of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School Elizabeth Armstrong described Leigh’s success as “a wonderful achievement” for her, the school and Fermanagh. 

Impartial Reporter: Elizabeth Armstrong principal of the Collegiate.

Elizabeth Armstrong

Miss Armstrong said it was “very pleasing” to see young people investigating routes beyond the traditional routes of going straight to university and then seeking employment. 
“Something that has always impressed me over the years is our young people in Fermanagh in terms of their spirit of adventure, their work ethic, their perseverance and their positivity in outlook and Leigh is one in the latest series of examples,” she said.