A Hampton schoolgirl is preparing to compete in the finals of a national science and engineering competition.

Charlotte Walton impressed judges in the UK’s National Science and Engineering Competition to win a place in the finals, where she will represent the south-west.

The 17-year-old Lady Eleanor Holles School pupil’s research into infections and diseases will be of use to scientific researchers in the future to find new ways of preventing cerebral palsy and neuropsychological illnesses.

The upper sixth form pupil will see her entry showcased to more than 60,000 visitors at the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the NEC, in Birmingham, where she will pitch to a panel of judges.

She said: “The National Science and Engineering Competition has taken me on an amazing journey and I’ve definitely got my sights set on the big prize whilst at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham this March.

“The best and most important discoveries and inventions are down to science and engineering, and this contest has helped me to realise that I want to be a part of that in the future.”

The competition, which is in its sixth year, aims to find young people aged 11 to 18 with ideas, inventions, concepts or solutions that could see them crowned the UK’s young engineer of scientist of the year.

Imran Khan, chief executive of the British Science Association which runs the competition, said: “We’re thrilled that Charlotte has got through as a finalist and wish her all the best for the national finals at The Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.

“This project really caught our imagination and we hope that it inspires other young people to enter the competition.”