My name is Richard, I am 24 years old and in the final year of my PhD. I was born and raised in Leicester, attending local state schools. I really struggled through my early education, receiving less than impressive A Level results. The opportunity to attend DMU to study Mechanical Engineering was the turning point of my educational career and allowed me to show what I could really do on an academic level. I obtained a First Class Honours Degree in 2011 and was then offered the opportunity of a scholarship to undertake research in the form of a PhD programme. It was during the first year of PhD that I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. This diagnosis has helped me to come to terms with the way in which I learn and to some degree explains my early struggles in the educational system. Although dyslexia is a part of my life, I do not dwell on it and I strive to be an example to people and show that dyslexia cannot be a means or excuse to hold people back. I am now studying for a PhD in ‘Surface engineered titanium for improved tribological and tribocorrosive response’. Funding from the Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation has allowed me to carry out my research without the headache of how to support myself, allowing me to fully immerse myself in the research.

I never thought that I would be the author of a journal article but with the support offered by Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation, that has become a reality, with my first paper being published in a scientific journal. This is the first of (I hope) many which will ultimately lead to my name being associated with top research in the corrosion and wear of metals.

I believe that by undertaking a PhD and reaching the highest step of the academic ladder, my career prospects are greatly enhanced. In an era where there are fewer and fewer British citizens taking up Postgraduate PhD study, particularly in engineering, I now have a skill-set that is quite unique and should enable me to move forward with my career.

Without the sustained support from the Alderman Newton’s Educational Foundation, I would not have had the opportunity to achieve at such a high level. I have an immense amount of praise and appreciation for such a fine organisation. They strive to support and are always friendly, warm and welcoming, offering any help they can. I will be forever grateful and will never forget an act of such generosity.