Robert is currently studying for a PhD in the University of Bath’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and is one of just two recipients nationally to receive this significant award.

For his PhD, Robert is investigating cycloidal rotor systems to be employed on the next generation of manned and unmanned aircraft.

These systems have a number of advantages over conventional helicopter rotor designs, with improved aerodynamic efficiency, increased agility and greater gust tolerance, resulting in performance gains and energy savings.

The Whitworth Senior Scholarship Awards was established by the IMechE to offer an enhanced level of financial reward for postgraduate research. The awards assist engineers who are intending to do research and are planning to embark on postgraduate degree study for a PhD or EngD degree. Each scholarship is worth up to £7,500 per year, for a maximum full time period of three years.

Prior to joining Bath, Robert completed a MEng in Mechanical Engineering at Cardiff University and has been working with Quadratec, an Engineering Consultancy based in Monmouthshire.

Commenting on receiving the award, Robert said: “I am obviously very pleased to have been awarded the Whitworth Senior Scholarship and also pleasantly surprised. I am really looking forward to working on what is both an interesting and challenging project over the coming years.”

Lecturer in electromechanical engineering, Dr Jon du Bois who is supervising Robert’s PhD project, added: “Rob is a talented and motivated engineer and I’m delighted this has been recognised by the IMechE. We’re glad to have him working with our group here at Bath, and excited to see the outputs of this research.”

89 per cent of the research carried out by the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering was ranked ‘internationally excellent’ (3) and ‘world-leading’ (4) by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), an independent assessment of UK university research activity