Six young engineers have each won a prestigious Panasonic Trust Fellowship from The Royal Academy of Engineering. The £8,000 bursaries have enabled them to start MSc courses in environmental engineering at universities around the UK this term.

“It’s a pleasure to see young engineers so interested in sustainable development and to be able to support them in their career development,” says Robin Bond FREng, Chairman of the Panasonic Trustees. “Energy and climate change will be the key challenges for engineers for the rest of this century and we need to equip people with the right skills and experience.”

Let your garden grow

Landscape designer Fleur Timmer is using her Fellowship to do an MA in Urban Design at the University of the West of England – she already has a postgraduate diploma in Landscape Architecture from the University of Gloucestershire and a degree in Landscape Design from the University of Buckinghamshire.

Fleur, 27, grew up in the Netherlands and now lives in Bristol. She has recently set up her own garden and urban design business called OPA Design – last year she designed an ecological village for 300 residents in Barrow Ashton, including a school and agricultural areas.

While at college she worked part-time with Down to Earth Garden Design in Bristol on projects from the Hampton Court Flower Show to the St Peters Hospice Gardens.

Olympic feat

Wardere Abdule, 30, is a civil engineer who has been working with Atkins plc on the infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympics Project, designing and managing some of the all-important drainage preparations on the site. He has over seven years’ experience in construction and water distribution networks since gaining his degree in civil engineering at Kingston University. He came into engineering via a BTEC National Diploma in Engineering from Woolwich College.

Wardere, who is fluent in Somali and Arabic and also speaks Italian, obtained his Fellowship to do Cranfield University’s MSc course in Water and Wastewater Engineering.

Making water work

Also taking the Cranfield course is Andrew Iheanaetu, 27, a mechanical engineer who has been working with Severn Trent Water, designing and managing a large wastewater sludge scheme.

Kirk Abbott, aged 26, is taking Surrey University’s MSc in Water and Environmental Engineering. He was interested in environmental issues while studying civil engineering at Surrey, doing his final year project on solar energy housing, and then worked for WSP Group providing flood risk advice to site developers. Now aspiring to a career in humanitarian and disaster relief operations, he hopes the new course will give him the skills he needs in managing water, sanitation and health facilities.

Manufacturing sustainability

Ronan Bolton, aged 25, is using his Fellowship to take Edinburgh University’s MSc course in Environmental Sustainability. He studied mechanical engineering in Galway, Ireland, and has been working as a manufacturing engineer for Covidien, formerly Tyco Healthcare, sorting out any problems on the production lines.

Geological time

Ross Thompson, 24, is tackling the Masters course in Engineering Geology at the University of Leeds after studying Geological Sciences at Durham University. After his first degree he worked for Geotechnics Ltd in Chester and for Atkins in Warrington, mainly on highway projects planning major roads and motorways.

Notes for editors

  1. The Panasonic Trust Fellowships were endowed by a £500,000 gift from Panasonic UK Ltd in 1997 to assist students on full-time Masters courses in environment-related subjects. The Panasonic Trust itself was founded in 1984, managed by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and has enabled over 1,100 young engineers to take part-time modular Masters courses to update their skills – it was one of the first grant schemes actively to promote continuing professional development.
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering