The UK’s Future Leaders in Engineering Honoured

15 November 2016


The Arkwright Scholarships Trust has conducted its annual award of prestigious Scholarships to future leaders of the engineering profession. A record 413 sixth form Scholarships have been awarded this year at Ceremonies in London and Edinburgh.

The Arkwright Engineering Scholarships act as a beacon to the most talented STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) students in UK schools and help to ensure that high-potential young people stay engaged in the engineering careers pipeline, in the critical 16 to 18 age range.

The new Arkwright Engineering Scholars received their awards at Ceremonies supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Cyber Security Industry, spearheaded by Principal Sponsors GCHQ and supported by Gold Sponsors Thales Cyber and Consulting and Her Majesty’s Government Communication Centre. This year’s Scholars come from all educational backgrounds across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and a growing number of British Overseas Schools. A record-equalling 29% of the new Scholars were female.

The Scholarships were awarded to each new Scholar by Principal Guests as follows:

  • Thursday 27th October - Eddie Alleyn, Chief Executive , Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre
  • Morning, Friday 29th October - Robert Hannigan, Director, GCHQ
  • Afternoon, Friday 29th October, Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive Officer, National Cyber Security Centre
  • Friday 11th November – Professor Saleem Bhatti, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews

Two undergraduate Scholarships, each of £12,000 in value, were also awarded at the Ceremonies, generously funded by The Reece Foundation.

Dr Martin Thomas CEng FIET, Chief Executive of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust said: “I have been hugely impressed by the creativity, technical skills and leadership prowess of the young men and women receiving their Scholarships this year. It is well-documented that the country needs 100,000s of new engineers to take the economy and society forward. But some of these newly-trained people need to also act as outstanding leadership beacons within industry and academia. The Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are the first step on that road to achieving such a vital position within UK engineering. Congratulations to our 413 new Scholars!”

Robert Hannigan, the Director of GCHQ (Principal Sponsors) said: “Congratulations to all this year's new Arkwright Scholars. I was delighted to meet such a vast pool of young talent: our future leaders in engineering, computing and technology. We need their innovation and invention to meet the cyber security challenge, helping to keep the UK a safe place to live and work online.”

Scholars are selected for their potential as future engineering leaders by assessing their academic, practical and leadership skills in STEM. These are gauged through a rigorous selection process comprising: an assessed application form including a teacher’s reference; a two-hour, problem-solving aptitude exam; and a university-based interview. The Scholarships support students through their sixth form studies and encourage them into top universities or higher apprenticeships.

The Scholarships consist of an annual financial award to each Scholar and to his/her school, and enrichment activities such as mentoring and industry visits that enhance a Scholar's experience of engineering in a real-world context. Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are highly regarded by university admission tutors and industry recruiters and are one of the most prestigious accolades that a talented sixth form student can receive.

The Scholarships are supported by nearly 200 different sponsoring organisations: commercial and industrial companies, industry regulators, Government organisations, universities, professional institutions, trade associations, training boards, Livery Companies, all three armed services, charitable trusts, personal donors and schools.

See the full Press Release