When Shaun Harrison left Corpus Christi Catholic High School, in Preston, he started his working life as an apprentice electrician.
Now, more than a decade later, the 28 year old has not only graduated from UCLan with a first class honours degree - while holding down a full time job- but he has also had his dissertation presented at an international conference.
Shaun, from Fulwood, worked on industrial installations for around seven years before embarking on an HNC in electrical engineering
After finishing this his bosses, at Pettit Singleton Associates, in Preston, allowed him to go to university one day a week to do a degree.
Shaun’s supervisor, Dr Lieb Jiang, was so impressed with this dissertation he changed it into an international conference paper which was accepted without any changes.
Shaun said: “I did my paper on photo-voltaic systems, solar energy basically, and it was really exciting to see all the hard work recognised.
“It was very, very hard trying to juggle work and study especially as I’ve no got an eight month old as well.”
He added: “When I left school my intention was to leave studying but when I got to my early 20s I started to realise that in order to further myself I needed to further my education. I work in design engineering now.”
Shaun was determined to make the grade and is now hoping to spend more time with his partner Kelly and baby son Hugo.
“It has been quite intense and now it is finished it is more of a relief. I have had to spend a lot of time, especially at weekends, study so I will have more family time now.”