University of Sunderland engineering student becomes face of North East ad campaign at Heathrow

An image of Jennifer Parkins was selected from 50 submitted by North East businesses as LEP runs competition to help promote the region

RYAN EDY University of Sunderland engineering student Jennifer Parkins
University of Sunderland engineering student Jennifer Parkins

A University of Sunderland engineering student will be the face of a new advertising campaign to showcase North East business to millions of passengers at Heathrow Airport.

Posters showing a striking image of Jennifer Parkins, 20, will be featured at terminals 4 and 5 for six weeks from May 18.

Nine further images from North East companies will likewise appear in promotional videos broadcast on digital platforms at departure lounges and gateways at the airport - recognised as a UK hub for business travel.

The campaign was launched after the North East LEP secured free advertising space worth £500,000 at Heathrow.

The organisation then announced a competition, requesting images from regional companies that show the North East as a great place to invest, grow and proper.

A total of 50 were received and were whittled down to a final ten: the University of Sunderland, Port of Tyne, South Tyneside College, Northumbria University, QuantuMDx, CPI, ORE Catapult, Nissan, AIS Training and Eutechnyx.

North East LEP chairman, Paul Woolston said: “The standard of images submitted to us was incredibly high and we had the toughest of tasks narrowing them down to a final ten.

“The final images, including the overall winner Jennifer Parkins from the University of Sunderland, we felt captured perfectly the breadth of expertise and the strength of innovation and skills driving forward new growth in sectors vital to the North East economy.”

Ms Parkins, who is from Jarrow, is soon to start the ‘sandwich’ year of her degree course, which she will spend with Nissan.

To increase her employability skills, she is also taking part in the Formula Student project, one of Europe’s most established educational motorsport competitions, which aims to help enterprising and innovative young engineers develop.

“Universities from across the world are challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car from scratch,” Ms Parkins said.

“The project has been fantastic in terms of building up experience from electronic design and shaping concepts, to rolling up my sleeves and doing manual work.

“Studying at Sunderland has created so many opportunities and I have taken up every one.

“I wanted to use my time at university to make me the best person possible at the end, so that I would be more attractive to future employers and hopefully walk into a job when I graduate.”

Andy Atkinson, head of advertising at the University of Sunderland, said: “I’m so pleased that the photograph we submitted of Jennifer has won this prestigious competition; she is a powerful role model for young people considering a higher level career in engineering, a sector in which the North East excels.

“The way she has embraced the opportunities available to her at the University of Sunderland is inspiring and I’m sure that this is just the start of many successes ahead for Jennifer.”

The judging panel comprised members of the LEP, Northern Film and Media and the North East Combined Authority.

All the images submitted will feature on a new microsite accessible through the Invest North East England website.

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