Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


4 Aug 2020

Aeronautical Engineering Students Receive ISTAT Scholarships

Emma Burns x 670

Two students from the Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering Department at Loughborough University received some exciting news recently – they have both been successful in gaining ISTAT Scholarships for their forthcoming final MEng Aeronautical Engineering academic year!

The ISTAT Foundation awards only 56 scholarships per year across the world and to qualify in the first instance, students must have achieved the following:

  • Completion of at least two years of undergraduate (bachelors) studies or be enrolled in graduate (masters) or post-graduate (doctoral) studies
  • Minimum United States Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement: 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale or global equivalent
  • Need financial support for university tuition-only fees. The student’s financial need must be noted in the financial aid section and personal statement
  • Commitment to a career in aviation
  • Involvement in extra-curricular/community activities indicating leadership qualities.
  • Flight students with an interest in finance, law, engineering, etc. are welcome to apply
  • Candidates must be enrolled on an aviation degree programme

Emma Burns and Zack Seymour were the recipients from Loughborough University this year. 

Emma (top image), stated in response to receiving the award:

“I am very honoured to be selected for the International ISTAT Scholarship after being nominated by the Aeronautical Department.

I am looking forward to being part of the ISTAT scholar network finding out more about different careers within the aviation industry and taking part in their conferences and forums.”

As well as achieving the aforementioned criteria for the award, Emma’s application included a letter, CV and supporting letters from Dr Chris Harvey on behalf of the Department and an employer reference from her placement year at Airbus, where she worked as a Design and Stress Engineer in the Repair Wing Department responsible for the majority of in-service queries, working around 150 new jobs per month between around 10 design, 10 stress and 10 fatigue engineers. The role therefore requires a high level of reactivity, time management, autonomy and teamwork. This gave Emma a vast amount of experience working on different wing components and material types during the year, and has inspired her to investigate different repair techniques for her Final Year Project

“I would like to thank ISTAT in advance for support of my final year at university and everyone who supported my application!”

Emma not only studies for her degree at Loughborough, but she is also Chair of Loughborough Students’ Union Gliding Club, leading a very strong team of University Students at Buckminster Gliding Club – showing her commitment and ability to lead. Emma has refurbished a vintage glider and this year has achieved her silver badge, involving a height gain of 1000m, a distance of 50km away from the airfield and a duration flight of 5 hours, all using the energy of the sun! She is now preparing to take part in Junior National Gliding Competition next year and training towards her Basic Instructor Rating ahead of the new influx of students in October.

Zack Seymour x 300

Zack, (pictured right), added:

“I am ecstatic at having been awarded an ISTAT Scholarship – this internationally recognised achievement will no doubt be a huge benefit to my future career in aviation.”

Achieving the ISTAT Scholarship was a product of his degree course to this point; the scholarship requires not only high academic results, but also a commitment to a career in aviation and evidence of extra-curricular activities indicating leadership qualities.

Zack’s involvement in the BMFA Challenge in first year was a great example of this, and his industrial placement at Rolls-Royce was also pivotal in this achievement. This placement gave him a much better idea about future career goals, and by taking part in extra activities while on placement, he was able to demonstrate his leadership skills. In addition to this, Zack was able to obtain one of the necessary letters of recommendation for the application from his line manager.

For Zack, the most advantageous and long-lasting benefit of the ISTAT Scholarship is the network of past and future winners worldwide. These contacts will be invaluable in his future career. Further to this, all scholarship winners are assigned a mentor for their first ISTAT Conference event, which enhances the opportunity to build a useful network of contacts.

Zack thanked the AAE Department for nominating him and supporting him in his application; “This scholarship will be great for my future, especially with the current COVID situation affecting the aviation industry in general. Thanks also goes to my mum who has supported me throughout university, and my line manager and mentor Graham Newton from my year in industry.” 

The Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering would like to offer their congratulations to both Emma and Zack - we look forward to hearing about their future aviation achievements!