21 July 2014 15:30

Anita Crompton who has gained a first class degree was so determined to study science that she went back to school at the age of 40.

She took A levels in Maths and Physics at Dallam School Sixth Form, where even the teacher was younger than her.

She said: “I won’t allow anything to stand in the way of what I want to do. I even wore clothes in the style of the school uniform so I didn’t stand out too much.”

Her first class degree in Mechatronic Engineering caps a string of successes while at Lancaster University including two awards from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a published research paper.

Anita starts work this September as a graduate engineer position with an international design company at their site in Preston working in the electrical, control and instrumentation division.

Her new job is the culmination of a varied career path for Anita, who first graduated from Christ Church College in Canterbury with a degree in Radio, Film Television and Movement Studies in 1991.

Five years later, she graduated from Lancaster University Management School with a postgraduate diploma in Business Analysis before working in education and setting up an online learning centre.

Due to family circumstances, Anita moved back home to Arnside and became self-employed doing a variety of jobs including selling handmade knitted and sewn items at craft fairs. 

But in 2009 she decided to make a change, and, inspired by her engineer father who taught her to make things as child, she studied Engineering at Lancaster University.

Anita said it was a great experience: “Lancaster certainly provided a challenging and stimulating environment. I loved the wide range of projects we worked on and enjoyed learning from such enthusiastic, supportive and knowledgeable lecturers.”

Her degree included a placement and an internship at a golf company in Windermere, where she invented a new design for a golf club grip. The internship was set up by Pam Pickles, Student Employability Manager, through the Faculty of Science and Technology Internship Programme, which gives all science and technology students the chance to get relevant paid work experience during their studies.   

With the help of Lancaster University’s Product Development Unit, Anita created a prototype and the owner offered her a share in a new company to manufacture and market the new product.

She said: “It makes me think of the ‘great oaks from little acorns’ saying.  The placement was such a great learning opportunity and gave me so much experience and confidence.”