Megan Furter clinches R400 000 bursary at science expo

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Megan Furter is no ordinary teenage girl, opting for mechanical engineering and robotics over the latest fashion trends and sports.

At the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, Megan secured herself the coveted prize of an Eskom Engineering Merit Bursary to the value of R400 000 for four years’ study at a university of her choice. She also took a bronze medal and clinched the FFS Refiners Award for the student whose project best exemplifies the practical application of mechanical engineering principles.

With the event taking place from September 24 to September 27, Megan explains her project was an all-terrain robotic rescue vehicle.

“It is a vehicle which is partially programmed and partially remote-controlled, which can go into difficult terrains without endangering the driver,” she explains.

Megan got the idea of creating the all-terrain rescue vehicle from watching 4x4s and normal rescue vehicles in action.

Megan developed a plan where she was able to combine the two vehicles. Her idea sees the 4×4 give a smoother ride on rough terrain while ensuring patients suffer less while being transported. Furthermore, the remote-control section allows the driver more control over the vehicle.

Securing the bursary, was a moment of exhilaration for Megan. “I was in total disbelief and once the shock settled, I was excited,” she enthuses.

While enjoying most aspects of engineering, Megan explains her passion lies in mechanical engineering and she intends to use her bursary at the University of Pretoria to study Mechanical Engineering.

Following the science fair, Megan then went onto to participate in the National World Robotics Olympiad with her teammate, Clarisse Whitehead from September 28 to September 29. Taking place at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, the two placed sixth nationally in the Senior Open Category.

An achievement which she is exceptionally proud of, as this is the first time she has entered in the Senior Open Category.

Also read: Megan Furter and Paula van Zyl programme their way to Robotic Nationals

Megan started robotics when she was in Grade 8 and was instantly hooked after the first class, enjoying the challenges and opportunities it offers.

With a deep-seated passion for mechanical engineering and robotics, Megan often enjoys her using her weekends and holidays to research and work on projects involving the two subjects. Often shrugging off activities that many other teenagers enjoy.

“Mechanical engineering and robotics are how I relax,” she smiles.

As she embraces her passion and clinches awards, Megan is well on her way to engineer a bright future for herself.

Congratulations Megan Furter.

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