News Good News The nine-year-old planning his PhD while his peers are playing downball

The nine-year-old planning his PhD while his peers are playing downball

nine year old
Laurent Simons is described as “simply extraordinary” by university staff. Photo: Getty
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Not content with graduating from university at the ripe old age of nine years old, Belgium’s Laurent Simons now has his sights set on a PhD in electrical engineering.

At an age when most students his age are transitioning from pencils to pens, Laurent is due to earn his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology next month.

The pre-teen says he next plans to attend medical school and learn how to create artificial organs, according to CNN.

Described by his lecturers and tutors as “simply extraordinary”, Laurent comes from a family of doctors.

But even his parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, are hard-pressed to explain how quickly their son absorbs information.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” Lydia joked of the so-called ‘brain food’ during an interview with CNN.

While Laurent’s university is passing him through at a faster pace than usual, educational director Sjoerd Hulshof said it’s not unheard of to customise a curriculum for individuals with unique needs.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” Mr Hulshof said.

“Not only is he hyper intelligent, but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent has not yet decided where he’ll pursue his graduate degree, or degrees.

His father doesn’t seem concerned about the pace at which his son is advancing.

“He does whatever he likes,” Mr Simons said.

“We need to find a balance between [him] being a child and his talents.”

-with agencies