A student’s project aimed to help his disabled neighbour walk has netted him a national engineering prize.

Om, a student at Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet, decided to try and make a product to meet his neighbour's needs after seeing him struggling to walk to the bins each day.

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After the neighbour explained he could not wear his existing leg brace due to living alone with a paralysed hand and muscle weakness, the year 11 pupil took on the challenge of designing a better one.

Om said: "I made him my client and decided that my product was going to be a leg brace that supports people with calf muscle weakness or dorsal flexor weakness.

“I knew I had to make my product able to be put on with one hand."

Times Series: Om PatelOm Patel

The young engineer has now designed a prototype that supports the leg from the knee to the foot and ensures that the person can walk more naturally.

Om's design has now led him to win the intermediate engineering category in the finals of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition.

The project has also netted Om a £750 prize alongside a trophy and certificate.

Hundreds of young people submitted projects to this year’s Big Bang Competition, an annual contest designed to recognise and reward young people's achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Engineering UK chief executive Dr Hilary Leevers said: “Huge congratulations to Om, whose innovative project has seen him awarded as the intermediate winner in the engineering category of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition.

“It certainly bodes well for the future that the scientists, engineers and inventors of tomorrow are already producing such astute and creative project work – congratulations to all those involved.”

Previous winners have gone on to enjoy a range of other achievements on the back of their successes including getting backing from businesses for their projects, setting up their own businesses, and appearing on the television and radio shows to talk about their projects.