A student from Edinburgh selected for a prestigious ScottishPower Foundation scholarship programme aimed at creating the future generation of energy experts has formally received his award at an international royal ceremony.
The ScottishPower Foundation is supporting 27 British graduates at leading universities by funding their enrolment fees and living allowances so that they can concentrate on pursuing careers in the fields of energy and environment.
Jack Haynes, 23, is studying an integrated Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde after winning one of the coveted scholarships.
He was among a group of 11 of the British scholarship winners flown over to the headquarters of ScottishPower’s parent company Ibedrola in Madrid last week for an award ceremony also attended by fellow scholarship winners from Spain, the USA, Mexico and Brazil.
The scholars were presented their awards by Ibedrola’s chairman, Ignacio Galan, and Ramón Castresana Sanchez, director of Iberdrola’s foundations committee, before they were received by King Felipe of Spain at a reception held at the Palacio de la Zarzuela.
Since its inception in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation has invested more than £1.5 million supporting 80 students in postgraduate Masters degrees, focussing on a range of specialisms from renewable and sustainable energy systems to clean combustion technologies, electric vehicles, and smart distribution networks.
This year, in recognition of an increase in demand for new technology roles within the industry, the programme has also incorporated degrees such as information & communication technology (ICT), cybersecurity and big data management.
The scholarships have been delivered at seven of the UK’s most prestigious institutions including Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, Strathclyde University, Cambridge University, Imperial College London, Liverpool University and the University of East Anglia. This year, for the first time, two places for UK students have also been supported at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Madrid.
Jack said: “Having an audience with His Majesty Felipe VI was certainly a once in a lifetime experience. It emphasises how important the work we will be doing to reverse climate change and create a more sustainable future is, when someone such as the King of Spain takes the time to meet and encourage us further.”