A FORMER A-level student from Darlington is celebrating after being recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Chetan Kotur, who studied at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington, was one of five young engineers from across the country who were judged to have had an outstanding impact in their respective fields.

The young engineer of the year is now working at the forefront of the automotive industry as the chief executive officer’s assistant at Polestar, a Volvo electric car startup that he helped launch at the end of 2017 in Shanghai.

At the age of 16, Chetan faced a career dilemma, between following his family’s tradition of studying medicine or pursuing his interest in designing cars. After being selected for the Channel 4 documentary ”Vocation, Vocation, Vocation” he chose to follow his passion for cars.

He excelled academically, achieving top A-level grades in chemistry, maths, physics and general studies whilst studying in Darlington. Then he gained a first-class degree in automotive engineering from Loughborough University.

Having secured a place on the Volvo Cars Global Graduate Programme, Chetan progressed quickly as a studio engineer designing new cars. He has led the design of autonomous vehicle projects for Volvo and worked on the development of the company’s first autonomous steering and braking safety system.

Chetan founded the Future Engineers Scheme at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, which over the last five years has given more than 200 students a headstart in engineering.

He said: “Working as an engineer, you really have an incredible opportunity and responsibility to improve the society and world around you – something I find both fun and rewarding.

“From realising my childhood dreams of designing new cars to now being part of launching a new electric car company, I am really grateful for all the support I’ve received and hope to continue pushing the global automotive industry forward towards an exciting future.”

Laurence Job, vice principal at QE, added: “We are all extremely proud of Chetan’s achievements and it is fantastic that his talent has been recognised by such a prestigious organisation.”