art award for talent

AN AWARD has been launched in memory of a local man who died in the Brazilian Air France disaster.

Arthur ‘Art’ Coakley (61) from Sandsend, was one of 228 people killed when the Air France flight from Rio de Janeiro heading for Paris, plunged into the Atlantic in June 2009 after getting caught in a freak storm.

There were no survivors and only 51 bodies, including Mr Coakley, were recovered.

Mr Coakley, a structural design engineer, had been to Brazil on a business trip and now the firm where he was a director has come up with the ultimate tribute – The Arthur Coakley Award.

This week PD&MS Energy (Teesside Ltd) announced that it will sponsor the award within the Institute of Mechanical Engineering to encourage and reward young mechanical engineers in the north east.

PD&MS said Mr Coakley contributed greatly to engineering in the north east and had many working contracts at the Teesside site.

A company spokesperson said: “To help keep his memory alive, PD&MS Energy will sponsor this new award to encourage and reward young mechanical engineers in the North East.

“Oil worker Arthur ‘Art’ Coakley was dreaming of his imminent retirement the day he boarded the Air France flight in Rio de Janeiro that disappeared over the Atlantic.

“His death left family, friends and colleagues within PD&MS Energy and the Wilton Group devastated with a vital component missing from their lives.”

Budding engineers can nominate themselves for the award or be put forward by someone else.

The judges are looking for an engineer who can demonstrate suitable experience, knowledge and skill in engineering as well as a passion for developing their career and the profession.

The deadline for nominations is 29 April.

Call Helen Wright on (01642) 546664.