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Oliver Laryea

Our scholarship holder 2019 – 2022


The University of Manchester

Field of study

Mechanical Engineering with Business Management


As the son of a Ghanaian engineer and a Czech project manager, my career options were almost clear cut: either engineer or project manager. It had been decided for me since the age of eight - but then I chose to be a neurosurgeon.

But when I found out a few years later that I was scared of human blood, I had to think carefully about a career in either engineering or management. However, choosing between ‘father’s’ and ‘mother’s’ was very hard, so I did my best to effectively combine both during secondary school.

As well as participating in physics, mathematics and logic Olympiads, I also tried working in a real scientific environment (first at the Institute of Photonics and Electronics at the Czech Academy of Sciences and then at ELI Beamlines), and I spent a few weeks on an internship in CERN, Switzerland, and handed on all my knowledge to younger students in a charitable project called Together in the Library.

Thanks to a number of grants, I had an opportunity to study game theory at Princeton University during the summer of 2017, and a year later I completed a course organised by the European Centre for Career Education. I also had an opportunity to test my entrepreneurial awareness in the prestigious MIT LaunchX competitions, where my team’s project - connecting supermarkets with homeless people to prevent food waste – received an award at the European finals; and LEXI AI Generation, where I represented the Czech Republic with my contract chatbot and became one of seven international winners. Thanks to that, in 2018, I won an award as one of the top 10 high school students in the Czech Republic.

My university degree has been given a clear direction by the ‘proof of concept’ that engineering and business/management fields can be combined and can even be quite close to each other.

Secondary school: 

Gymnázium Budějovická, Prague 4, completed 2019


University of Manchester, UK, Mechanical Engineering with Management, since 2019



To get the most out of my international studies, to launch a few business projects whilst at school, to successfully complete my bachelor’s degree and continue with a master’s degree and doctorate in Biomechanics, to commercialise a few engineering projects, and, in general, to make use of modern technology and innovation to improve living conditions on the planet. Last but not least, to build a fully functional life-size Iron Man suit. :-)


Boxing, football, body-building, video games (in moderation ;-))

My articles and what has been written about me

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