First William Beadnell Scholarship awarded to gifted Sunderland student


Sunderland University student Oliver Marsay is hoping a £10,000 scholarship prize will be the springboard to a world-class career in electronic engineering research.

Oliver, 21, from Whitby, has been named as the first recipient of the William Beadnell scholarship award.

Now in his third year of an Electronic and Electrical Engineering degree, Oliver was judged the outstanding candidate for the award, donated to Sunderland University by the William Beadnell Foundation supporting excellence in engineering.

After hearing of his “incredible Christmas present” in December, Oliver wants to use his prize to further his studies.

Oliver said: “I still find myself in a little bit of disbelief, but I am beyond grateful to the William Beadnell Scholarship Foundation.”

The Foundation operates in the North East in the late William ‘Bill’ Beadnell’s name, former Chair of the University’s Development Trust, responsible for new development fundraising.

The Foundation has pledged an annual award to the University to be bestowed upon a worthy student showing engineering potential in William’s memory.

Oliver has used some of the prize money to fund his third year project. The rest will go towards supporting his future pursuits.

Oliver said: “My postgraduate plans are to pursue a master’s degree, either at Leeds or Newcastle University, in order to get a grounding in a high research calibre university. I hope to then go on to a PhD. My passions lie in research and I want to nurture that.”

Rachel Smith, the University’s Development and Alumni Manager said: “We are delighted that Oliver has received the prestigious Scholarship. We’ve no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him and hope this award goes some way to supporting his career.”

Last year another outstanding Engineering student, Mathew Feltoe, received the Sir Tom Cowie Memorial Scholarship (Sir Tom was Chairman of Arriva Transport, born Sunderland 1922). Mathew’s scholarship also included a £10,000 prize.

Mathew said: “It made a huge difference in my studies. It pushed me to apply for a masters, as a lot of larger engineering companies now ask for a Masters for their graduate programmes.”

With 100 per cent of Sunderland’s Engineering Students in work/study six months after finishing, and 80 per cent of those in a professional or managerial job. The figures speak for themselves: for Engineering Sunderland is a centre of excellence


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