In Skills

A University of Sunderland engineering student following in her parents’ footsteps is the face of a new advertising campaign to showcase North East England business to millions of passengers at Heathrow Airport.

The photograph of Jennifer Parkins, 20, on her four-year Mechanical Engineering degree course was chosen as the winner from high quality images submitted by 50 businesses to a competition staged by the North East LEP.

The LEP has secured free advertising space worth £500,000 at Heathrow for six weeks from May 18 to show the North East as a great place for companies to invest, grow and prosper.

A total of ten images of North East companies have been chosen to appear in promotional videos that will be shown on digital platforms at departure lounges and gateways across Heathrow, with Jennifer’s winning image fronting the campaign on two poster sites at Terminal 4 and 5. The videos can be viewed on our Google + page.

The airport is recognised as the UK’s hub for business travellers.

The winning images are:

  • Overall winner – University of Sunderland
  • Port of Tyne
  • South Tyneside College
  • Northumbria University
  • QuantuMDx
  • CPI
  • ORE Catapult
  • Nissan
  • AIS Training
  • Eutechnyx

Paul Woolston, North East LEP Chair, said: “The standard of images submitted to us was incredibly high and we had the toughest of tasks narrowing them down to a final ten.

“The final images, including the overall winner Jennifer Parkins from the University of Sunderland, we felt captured perfectly the breadth of expertise and the strength of innovation and skills driving forward new growth in sectors vital to the North East economy.”

Jennifer, from Jarrow, is just about to start the Sandwich year of her university degree course at Nissan.

With her dad working in engineering and her mum in the oil and gas industry, it was no surprise that Jennifer looked to mechanical engineering as a career.

To increase her employability skills, she is leading the way on the University of Sunderland’s entry into the Formula Student project.

One of Europe’s most established educational motorsport competitions, it aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers.

“Universities from across the world are challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car from scratch,” said Jennifer.

“The project has been fantastic in terms of building up experience from electronic design and shaping concepts, to rolling up my sleeves and doing manual work.

“Studying at Sunderland has created so many opportunities and I have taken up every one. I wanted to use my time at university to make me the best person possible at the end, so that I would be more attractive to future employers and hopefully walk into a job when I graduate.”

Andy Atkinson, Head of Advertising at the University of Sunderland, said: “I’m so pleased that the photograph we submitted of Jennifer has won this prestigious competition; she is a powerful role model for young people considering a higher level career in engineering, a sector in which the North East excels.

“The way she has embraced the opportunities available to her at the University of Sunderland is inspiring and I’m sure that this is just the start of many successes ahead for Jennifer.”

All the images submitted to the Heathrow competition will form a new microsite on the Invest North East England website where they will help to promote the region to prospective investors.

The judging panel for the competition comprised members of the North East LEP, Northern Film and Media and the North East Combined Authority.

You can view the winning images on our Pinterest page here.

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