Derby Grammar School ex-pupils, Old Derbeians, are always welcomed back with open arms, and today we’ve been lucky enough to meet two of our old boys.

Yusuf Karim and Jonathan Owen completed their A Levels in 2013 and moved on to University, both embarking upon integrated masters degrees.

Jonathan studied a four year MMath (Master of Mathematics) degree at Durham University. He has recently graduated with first class honours and won the Edward Collingwood Memorial Prize. This is an annual prize awarded on the recommendation of the board of examiners to the student who has performed exceptionally well and is intending to study a research degree.

He is now about to begin his PhD entitled Bayesian Uncertainty Analysis and Decision Support for Complex Models of Physical Systems at Durham University. It is supported by the Research Council (EPSRC) and also by Roxar, an organisation based in Oxford which focuses on software development for the oil industry and which is part of the multinational group Emerson.

Talking about his time at Derby Grammar School, Jonathan said: “I made some great friends while at school who I am still in touch with. We worked well together, pushing each other on to greater academic success.”

Meanwhile, Yusuf went to Loughborough University to study MEng Aeronautical Engineering, a five year degree which included a year in industry.

He says: “I spent my placement year at General Electric in Leicester where I was involved in a project to set up a production line for a new product introduction. It was really useful to apply what I was learning in an organisation.”

Yusuf is now starting the final year of his MEng which is being sponsored by ISTAT – the International Society of Transport and Aircraft Trading. He was nominated by his university but also had to write a case outlining why he thought he was suitable which detailed his leadership experience, gave information on his grades and contained two letters of recommendation – one of which was from his lecturer and the other from his line manager at General Electric.

ISTAT typically chooses around 40 students from around the world to sponsor annually based upon the submission.

Yusuf said: “I was inspired to study aeronautical engineering at university by taking design and technology at GCSE and A Level at Derby Grammar School. My teacher, Mr Smith, was a strong factor in this.”

Jonathan and Yusuf are pictured with Mr Smith and Mr Lakritz.