Teenager Jack Carpenter, a design and technology student from Malmesbury School, has been awarded an engineering scholarship worth £36,000 from the James Dyson Foundation.

It means Jack will have his university fees covered for the full duration of his course, for up to four years.

The application process challenged Jack to name his favourite invention. Inspired by the mechanics of cycling, Jack chose derailleur gears.

He said: ”To ride a bike up a hill, the gear ratio needs to be lower than when you are descending. The incorporation of the derailleur allows the rider to change the tension in the cable.

“This moves the chain guide from side to side, derailing the chain onto a different gear. Cyclists could now access different gear ratios to cover terrain quicker and easier than before.”

Jack has been invited to visit Dyson’s Research and Development centre with his parents and will receive a letter from company founder Sir James Dyson congratulating him on the award.

Nick Fitton, head of Dyson’s new product innovation department, said: “Jack’s passion for engineering stems from a young age.

“His application showed an inquisitive mind - questioning everyday items, and understanding fundamental engineering principles like gears and torque. He’s got the makings of a great mechanical engineer.”

Jack has applied to study mechanical engineering at the universities of Surrey, Southampton, Warwick, Cardiff and Loughborough.