Six students in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s University have been awarded prestigious scholarships by Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE). The scholarships, which are each worth £25K, include financial support as well as the opportunity to spend a year’s placement and each summer working for the Company.
NIE launched the Scholarship programme with Queen’s University in 2011 to recruit graduates into their Electrical Engineering Graduate Scheme. There is currently a shortage of electrical engineering graduates in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK, as they are in high demand across a broad range of sectors, from IT to connected health. The power industry, in particular, is experiencing a particular shortage with demand for graduates expected to increase even further over the next 10-15 years.
The six new NIE scholars at Queen’s University are all first year students in Electrical and Electronic Engineering: James Burns (Armoy), Chloe McDonald (Hamiltonsbawn), Kyle Whiteside (Belfast), Margaret Taggart (Toomebridge), Joshua Watson (Cookstown) and Brendan Digney (Newry).
Randal Gilbert, Programme Management manager at NIE, said: ’There are excellent opportunities for well paid, highly skilled and secure jobs within the power engineering sector with an estimate 38,000 new power engineering jobs across the UK over the next 10 years and beyond. However, there is a significant shortage of electrical engineering graduates to fill these jobs. Our NIE Scholarship programme aims to help develop young engineering talent. We offer the successful engineering students invaluable experience working on real projects with a confirmed opportunity of employment in a growing and fast moving sector.’
Dr David McNeill, Assistant Director of Education for Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s, said: ’I would like to congratulate all of the students on receiving their scholarships from NIE and wish them all the best in their future careers as electrical engineers. They are joining the industry at an exciting time, as engineers face global challenges, including the provision of clean, green energy for all.
’There is a particular shortage of Electrical Power Engineers not only locally, but globally, and NIE has adopted a pro-active approach in trying to address this. NIE are also sponsoring a unique project with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in which a DeLorean vehicle is being converted into an electric vehicle by our students, so we collaborate with them on a number of levels in order to attract and engage the best students.’