Aeronautical graduate flying high after winning top prize

"Everyone is very friendly and very approachable. It could be something that you think is trivial and they don't mind helping."

John Van Kesteren, BSc (Hons) Aeronautical Technology

A Staffordshire University graduate is flying high after winning a special prize from the Royal Aeronautical Society and graduating with a first class degree.

John Van Kesteren, 22 from Ufton, has always had an interest in aircraft and enrolled on the BSc (Hons) Aeronautical Technology degree at Staffordshire University to develop his passion.

Talking about his lecturers, John said: “No-one ever doesn't want to help. Everyone is very friendly and very approachable. It could be something that you think is trivial and they don't mind helping.”

The four-year degree includes a placement year in industry and John spent time working with engineering software company Solid Solutions based in Leamington Spa.

“It was a really rewarding experience. The first couple of months you are thrown in the deep end and there is a lot of information to take in but when you start helping customers it is great. I really enjoyed it.

“The placement is a talking point at the very least. It gets the ball rolling in what your expertise is in and where your interests lie.”

John completed his degree with first class honours and was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society's 'Top Graduating Student' prize at his graduation ceremony. He now plans to stay at Staffordshire University and study for a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering to help decide what he wants specialise in.

“I've really enjoyed my time at Staffs. It feels good that all the hard work I put in over the past four years paid off and to have that extra recognition as well.”

From 16 August, prospective students can contact Staffordshire University for an offer on Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter. Until then, check out our social media platforms for friendly support and advice with live tours from our students and the opportunity to share your #ClearingFeeling.

Find out more at or call our Clearing hotline on 0800 590 830.


Amy Platts
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