A talented teenager from Sutton Grammar School for Boys was named the UK Young Engineer of the Year at this year’s National Science & Engineering Competition. Andrew Cowan, 18, is the only competitor to have won a prize in every age category for the last three years. He won the accolade after impressing judges with his search and rescue robot.

The low-cost project includes a camera and fire extinguisher which allows the user to control the robot and view environmental information from a remote control panel.

Andrew built his robot during his A level Systems and Control coursework. The large tracked vehicle for use in disaster zones has a wireless camera, and a collection of wireless sensors including gas sampling.

It is controlled by about 20 microchips and is powerful enough to pull a car. It weighs 80kg and is powered by two 750W motors.

He said “The news is still sinking in but I’m extremely honoured and proud to be awarded such a prestigious title. The standard of entries was so high which made the finals incredibly tense at times.

"I’m now really looking forward to representing engineering for young people and I hope my project inspires lots of other people to do the same and pursue a career in engineering.”

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, one of the judges of the National Science & Engineering Competition, said: "I’m delighted to award Andrew the UK Young Engineer of the Year. The judges were truly overwhelmed by his project and it’s wonderful to witness such enthusiasm and dedication for engineering and technology.

"It’s left me hugely excited about the future of engineering in the UK, with passionate young scientists such as Andrew at the helm.”

The national competition was open to children aged between 11 and 18 who had to present a project or activity in science, technology, engineering or maths.