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Ulster Civil Engineering Students Sweep the Board in Bursaries Scheme

Five civil engineering students from the University of Ulster have each been presented with £1,000 bursaries from Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy.

The awards are wholly funded by the Department for Regional Development (DRD) and are given out annually to help local students further their studies in engineering and transport.

Presenting the bursaries at a ceremony at Ulster’s Jordanstown campus the Minister said: “I was very impressed by all the applications we received and I congratulate everyone who took part.

“We must invest in our young people. We need enthusiastic and motivated individuals to consider construction and engineering as a career choice in Northern Ireland and I am delighted to be able to support our local universities and students with this excellent bursary scheme.”

A total of 12 candidates applied for the bursaries and Ulster took all five awards.

The winners were: Mark Hanna from Bleary, Co Armagh (MEng Civil Engineering); Robert Smyth from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim ((MEng Civil Engineering); Emma Boyes from Moira, Co Armagh (MEng Civil Engineering); Matthew Dillon from Moira, Co Armagh (BEng Civil Engineering); Nigel Nevin from Dunloy, Co Antrim (MEng Civil Engineering).

Commenting on the students’ success Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the University of Ulster’s School of the Built Environment said: “Given the importance of transport to Northern Ireland, the School is delighted with these awards.

“Transport issues and agendas embrace job creation and inward investment, accessibility and quality of life matters, sustainability and resilience. The awards confirm the importance of these for our overall well-being.”

The bursary scheme was established in 2009 and has already helped 38 local students develop their studies in the areas of engineering and transportation.

Selection is made by an anonymous assessment of applications and all students must have passed all examinations to the satisfaction of the university attended.

In a separate presentation at the award ceremony, MSc in Infrastructure and Engineering student Philip McManus from Armagh received the William Bald Award from David Orr (CBE), Deputy Secretary for Finance, Resources and Water Policy at DRD.

William Bald (1789-1857) was a Scottish civil engineer who oversaw the construction of the Antrim Coast Road in Northern Ireland.

The scholarship was established to recognise research in highways and transportation, with preference given to projects which contribute to improved links or help to reduce the impact of severance on communities.

Sponsoring companies for this award are HMC (Farrans Construction and Graham Construction) and DRD Roads Service.

Caption: Bursary recipients (from left) Matthew Dillon, Robert Smyth, Emma Boyes, Mark Hanna and Nigel Nevin at the presentation ceremony with Department for Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy (third left) and Professor Alastair Adair, University of Ulster PVC (Development) & Provost (Jordanstown & Belfast) (far right)