Thursday, 26 April 2018

Three SELA students Awarded Royal Academy of Engineering Scholarships

Three SELA members have been awarded the Engineering Leaders Scholarship from the Royal Academy of Engineering. This prestigious scholarship has been awarded to Materials Science and Engineering student Matthew Smith, and two Civil and Structural Engineering students Adrien Gallet and Kyle McLean.

The scholarship programme aims to support engineering undergraduates who have the potential to become future leaders in engineering, and who are able to act as role models for future engineers. Recipients get the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to fulfil their potential, helping them to move into engineering leadership positions in UK industry soon after graduation. The scholarship enables undergraduates to undertake an accelerated personal development programme, with all scholars receiving £5,000 to be used over three years towards career personal development.


To find out more about the Engineering Leaders Scholarship we have spoken to the three recipients of the award, questioning them on the selection process, what it means to receive the award and how they hope to use the scholarship to build on their SELA experience.

What was it like to attend the selection event?


‘The selection event was held at the Royal Academy of Engineering, in Central London. There were around 70 of us hoping to get one of 35 scholarships. The day involved three activities: an interview and two group activities. It was really interesting meeting so many enthusiastic young people, as well as being in the presence of highly achieving Engineering Fellows, in industry and research, who we could talk to. The interview was the most challenging part of the day, but was also more informal than expected. Overall it was a great day and enjoyable experience’ Kyle McLean (Cohort 2017).

What does it mean to you to win the award?


‘Winning this award opens up so many more opportunities for me. Firstly, it enables me to engage in more personal development courses and activities to widen my Engineering skills set. It will also help me pay to travel to and RAEng events. Finally, it will allow me to have greater access to people in industry and research, which in turn will hopefully open up greater career opportunities for me in the future’ Kyle McLean (Cohort 2017).

‘This scholarship honestly means the world to me! The cliché, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is so true and this opportunity will further my network along with knowledge within engineering that is all supported by the financial reward. I want to thank SELA for developing the soft skills an engineer needs which is what I presented about in my interview. Also, thanks for widening my network which has helped me secure a summer placement’ Matthew Smith (Cohort 2017.

How do you hope to use the scholarship to build on your SELA experience?


‘SELA has been a key factor in me winning this award, I hope to use the skills and opportunities available to me at the RAEng to help enhance our public engagement project, as well as show how important soft skills in addition to technical skills are in an engineering career, to other students. Being able to work in a team efficiently is vital to reaching any goal, and I feel this award and SELA will both help me achieve this’ Kyle McLean (Cohort 2017).

‘Securing the Royal Academy’s Engineering Leadership Scholarship was no easy task, yet being part of SELA definitely helped me receive this award. The yearly SELA projects forced me to face unfamiliar and challenging situations that honed my interpersonal skills, which was a key criterion for the award. I look forward to using this scholarship to help innovate and push the frontiers in engineering’ Adrien Gallet (Cohort 2016).

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