Bringing the total number of scholarships to 30, the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship, set up by the late Morson Group founder, enables talented young people who would otherwise be deterred from university because of the associated tuition fees and living costs, to pursue an engineering degree.
Worth £9,000, the scholarship allows students to study one of 13 engineering programmes at Salford University, including Civil, Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering.
Scholarship recipient and third-year Aircraft Engineering with Pilot Studies student, Hamza Evans, comments: “A huge financial burden has been lifted thanks to the scholarship. Not having the financial support from my parents would have meant me working really long hours to support myself, and with exams coming up, this would have cut into my revision time. I’ve also got to visit the Morson offices, which was the most amazing experience. It was an honour to meet with Ged Mason OBE and for him to give us so much of his time.”
Since launching in 2015, the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship is yet to attract a female applicant, something the Morson Group and Salford University is eager to change.
Morson has already pledged to double the number of female engineers it employs by 2020. Currently, it has more than 1,800 female contractors working across the globe, yet – specifically in engineering – the number of women compared to men sits at just 7.5 per cent.
The Morson Group also donated £500,000 to Salford University to create a new innovation hub on campus. Dubbed the ‘Morson Maker Space’, the new manufacturing and engineering facility will feature state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printing, lasers and a water jet cutter, and work to inspire students studying STEM courses to pursue ideas and learn new skills.
Ged Mason, CEO of the Morson Group, said: “Our partnership with Salford University is delivering real change by attracting new talent to technical sectors and developing the next generation of trailblazers, and the extra scholarships will provide a superb opportunity for 15 more young people.
“Doing away with negative stereotypes that hold young girls back from pursuing engineering careers is crucial in attracting females onto the scholarship programme. A picture of success would be an all-female cohort and whilst it’s an ambitious goal, it’s one that can be achieved.”
Dr. Maria Stukoff, Maker Space director at Salford University, said: “The time is now to inspire girls and young women to take up the challenge of engineering and have their voices heard in making the future.
“We must reimagine what an engineer looks like to enable a wider pool of talent to step confidently into this industry. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Mason family and Morson Group, to engage with the next generation of engineers to make in Salford.”
To attract more female applicants to the scholarship programme, Salford University recently held a lunch with first-year female students studying Computing, Science and Engineering programmes. The event set out to inspire the University’s brightest female stars by showcasing the opportunities that a place on the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship would bring.
Applications for the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship programme are now open. For more information, visit: www.salford.ac.uk/computing-science-engineering/courses/undergraduate-courses/gerrymasonscholarship