Scholarship winners meet Spanish king

Strathclyde University scholars Darren Moran, Matthew Craven, Jack Haynes, Rebecca Robertson, Calum Love.

A group of Strathclyde students selected for a prestigious ScottishPower Foundation scholarship programme aimed at creating the future generation of energy experts have formally received their awards at an international royal ceremony.

The ScottishPower Foundation, the charitable arm of the energy provider, is supporting five students from Strathclyde, among 27 British graduates, by funding their enrolment fees and living allowances so that they can concentrate on pursuing careers in the fields of energy and the environment.

The five students: Darren Moran from Linlithgow, Matthew Craven from Kilwinning, Jack Haynes from Edinburgh, Rebecca Robertson from Clarkston and Calum Love from Clydebank, were among 11 British scholarship winners who travelled to the headquarters of ScottishPower’s parent company Ibedrola in Madrid for an award ceremony also attended by fellow scholarship winners from Spain, the USA, Mexico and Brazil.

Privilege and opportunity

The scholars were presented their awards by Ibedrola’s chairman, Ignacio Galan, and Ramón Castresana Sanchez, director of the Iberdrola’s foundations committee, before they were received by King Felipe of Spain at a reception held at the Palacio de la Zarzuela.

Calum Love, who is studying an MSc in Sustainable engineering, said: “Having the privilege and opportunity to travel to Madrid in order to be presented with the scholarship will go down as one of the highlights of my university career.

“Besides having the opportunity to mingle with other scholars from across the globe and gaining their thoughts and views on the sustainability, it was a privilege to hear the inspiring words of Iberdrola CEO, Jose Ignacio Sanchez Galan, and have a reminder of the importance and recognition, the work that all the scholars and Iberdrola are doing. 

To top the trip off, it was an honour to have the strong recognition from the King of Spain, it more than highlights and reminds the importance and the level of challenges that all the scholars are dedicating their lives to tackling.” 

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 Strathclyde University, Cambridge University, Imperial College London, Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, 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.

Ann McKechin, Trustee and Executive officer of the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “We are delighted to support this group of very bright young people who we hope will be future leaders in the energy sector and the ScottishPower Foundation is committed to helping the advancement of their education through practical support."