Award winning Magherafelt siblings graduate from Queen’s together

Grace and Vincent McKenna on their graduation day
Grace and Vincent McKenna on their graduation day

An award-winning brother and sister from Magherafelt have been celebrating their success at this year’s summer graduation ceremonies.

Siblings, Grace and Vincent McKenna have both graduated with a degree from Queen’s and have picked up prestigious awards during their time at the university.

I look forward to taking up my job in August and using my degree to make a positive impact - Dr Grace McKenna

Grace graduated with a degree in Medicine while her younger brother, Vincent, received a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Vincent is among six students from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, who received the Royal Academy of Engineering Advanced Leadership Award which is only awarded to 30 recipients annually across all engineering disciplines in all UK universities.

The award offers ambitious engineering undergraduates the chance to undertake an accelerated personal development programme.

As part of his degree, Vincent spent his third year on placement working for the Red Bull Formula One racing team in Milton Keynes, along with taking part in a three-week student exchange visit to India and learning to speak Italian.

“A degree from Queen’s is much more than an education; it is a life changing experience. 

“The opportunity for placements and exchanges really is incredible and I would never have imagined getting a placement with Formula One was possible.”

Not to be outdone by her brother, Grace won the Medical Sciences category of the International Undergraduate Awards, which are aimed at recognising the brightest and most innovative undergraduate students in the world.

“Queen’s equips you not just with a qualification but skills that make you workplace ready and confident about your ability to make a difference.  I look forward to taking up my job in August and using my degree to make a positive impact,” Grace said.

Both join the 94 per cent of Queen’s students who are in employment or further study six months after graduating as Vincent plans to do a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s, while Grace starts work with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in August.