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Caterpillar support for scholarships at Loughborough University

Pictured are (l-r): Paul Maynard (Mechanical Engineering), Anthony Caren, Christian Chukwunyere, Simon Collins (Caterpillar), Dr Adrian Spencer (Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering), Rob Shepherd, Leslie Wing Land Chan.

The Caterpillar Foundation has donated more than £40,000 to support current and future engineering students at Loughborough University.

An initial gift is supporting six scholarships for students to extend their studies in Mechanical Engineering and Automotive Engineering to achieve the higher MEng qualification.

Professor Robert Parkin, Dean of the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said “The support makes a fantastic difference to the education of exceptional students who would not otherwise have been able to afford to study on an MEng programme. It is gratifying to see the improvement in grades and knowledge, adding intellectual capital to the recipients.”

This year’s recipients were recently presented with their scholars’ certificates by Simon Collins, from Caterpillar UK. Two further students will benefit from this support next year.

One of the Caterpillar Foundation Scholars, Anthony Caren, said that the funding had eased his financial worries, enabling him to concentrate on studying.

He said: “The Scholarship provided me with the means to focus solely on study. Consequently, I have been able to boost my grades, initially moving from a low 2:2 to a high 2:2 and gaining a place on the Masters course. I am now improving dramatically to an average of a high 2:1.”

The Caterpillar Foundation has also announced a further donation to fund Development Trust Scholarships and support outreach work.

The Development Trust Scholarships help students who come from areas where higher education participation is low to study at Loughborough University.

The outreach work will enable girls to visit Loughborough University to experience engineering at first hand.

The University will also pro-actively visit schools to spread the message that engineering is an interesting and rewarding career for both genders.

This outreach work is part of an ongoing programme to encourage more women into science, engineering, technology and maths areas of study and work.

In Britain, fewer than eight per-cent of engineers and only 17 per-cent of engineering students are women. This is a real issue for the engineering sector which needs a large pool of talented engineers to grow their businesses.

Caterpillar and Loughborough University have worked together for many years, and Simon Collins is pleased that the Caterpillar Foundation is supporting the University and its students.

He said: “Caterpillar has a long-standing relationship with Loughborough University, most notably through our subsidiary Perkins Engines'.

“It was against this background, as well as the continued excellent standard of STEM graduates produced by the University, that Caterpillar designated Loughborough as one of its five strategic partner universities in the UK.

“One initiative this partnership supports is the provision of scholarships, funded by the Caterpillar Foundation, which are awarded by the University to high performing STEM students.

“These Caterpillar Foundation Scholars will be given opportunities to develop a relationship with Caterpillar through which they can increase their understanding of the range of careers available to them.”