A YOUNG inventor from South Lakeland has joined an exclusive list of some of Britain’s best engineers and innovators.

Beating off competition from inventors such as Sir James Dyson and Apple’s Sir Jonathan Ive, 24-year-old Sam Etherington, of Cartmel, was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame - created by the engineering skills organisation Sempta - at a ceremony in London. His name now features alongside such inspiring industrial giants as Isambard Kingdom Brunel and George Stephenson.

The former Windermere School pupil was shortlisted for his multi-axis wave power generator which can harvest energy no matter which way the sea is running.

He was inspired while kite surfing off Walney Island, near Barrow.

“I just couldn’t believe it when I was nominated.” said Sam, “but to actually be invested in to the Hall of Fame is incredible.

“The competition was so strong with some household names vying for the honour.”

Sam, who graduated with a mechanical design degree from Brunel University, is now seeking £150,000 funding to continue developing his invention.

“The nomination certainly helped to raise my profile,” he said.

“I have had five meetings with companies and individuals that might want to come on board, but if there is anyone out there that can help please contact me.”

Ann Watson, Semta’s chief operating officer, said: “Sam will become an iconic figure for the next generation which is set to achieve extraordinary things.”

He used a wave tank at Lancaster University to test his design, and consulted with academics there, particularly Dr George Aggidis, director of the university’s Renewable Energy Group, who described Sam’s induction as ‘a tremendous accolade’.