A University of Warwick undergraduate's hi-tech design has won him a place in the final of a competition to find the country's most enterprising student.
David Hewett, a fourth year mathematics degree student at the University of Warwick, will compete in the national event in London on October 18.
The 22-year-old was the winner of the West Midland Regional Final of the STEP 2005 programme, after being named runnerup in the Coventry and Warwickshire final.
Over eight weeks of the summer holiday, David has been working at Tailor Made Systems based on the University of Warwick Science Park. The company developed a Mobile Airfield Lighting Monitoring System (MALMS) which is used to test the effectiveness of lighting on airfields across the world.
This lighting is necessary to guide pilots safely onto and around the airfield at night or in bad weather conditions.
David spent his placement building a computer model to simulate the system to investigate if it could be made more accurate or cheaper to manufacture. His model led him to recommend a new, smaller lightweight design for smaller airfields and a prototype is currently being constructed.
David said: "I am slightly shocked but delighted to have won the West Midlands final and I am looking forward to the national final.
"It was such an exciting and challenging opportunity to apply the skills I had learnt at university - my STEP project has pushed the boundaries of what I thought I could achieve."
" The prototype will maintain the high standards set by the existing MALMS product but opens up a potential new market for smaller airports."
Vernon Taylor, managing director of Tailor Made Systems, said he was not surprised by David's success.
"His work has had a real impact on the company," he said. "The information it has provided will also be used in new promotional material to demonstrate the quality of MALMS measurement technique and the results of the model are also enabling us to configure a new, lower cost system to extend our product range."
David Grindrod, chairman of the local judging panel and deputy director of the University of Warwick Science Park, congratulated David on his success.
Mr Grindrod said: "This competition in its current form is in its 12th year and the quality of the work of the students never fails to impress me. We have had national finalists and winners in recent years and we wish David all the best."