Skip to Content


Queen’s Engineering students supported by Ulster Carpets scholarships

Two engineering students at Queen’s will benefit from a new scholarship from Ulster Carpets inspired by the innovation of the former Managing Director Walter Wilson.

Walter Wilson Scholarship; Queen's University scholarship
Queen's Engineering students Jack Smyth (second left) and Ellen-Jayne Boyd (second right) pictured with Walter Wilson's daughter Mary (centre), Chair of Ulster Carpets John Wilson (left), and Queen's Senior Lecturer Paul Hermon.

Students Ellen-Jane Boyd and Jack Smyth will be the first recipients of the £7,500 annual bursary which is awarded through the University’s Pathways Programme designed to support those who face social or economic barriers to higher education.

John Wilson, Chairman of Ulster Carpets and Walter’s nephew, said the scholarship is a fitting tribute to Walter’s impact on the company: “Walter was a real pioneer, and it was his vision that transformed Ulster Carpets from a minnow within the competitive UK carpet industry into what we are today – one of the largest and most successful producers of woven carpet in the world.

“In order to retain our position as a world-leader, we need people with Walter’s innovative spirit and passion for engineering. We are delighted to work with such an acclaimed university as Queen’s to provide more opportunities for students to unlock their potential and make a real difference.”

As part of the scholarship, the students will have the opportunity to spend up to two weeks of paid work experience at Ulster Carpets’ global headquarters in Portadown.

Assistant Director of Philanthropy at Queen’s, Helen Carrick, said: “The support of companies such as Ulster Carpets for young people who have had to overcome social or financial barriers to access higher education is hugely important. This kind of backing can change lives and we are extremely grateful for the generous and meaningful investment in our young people.” 

Speaking about the scholarships, Professor Juliana Early, Head of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Aerospace and Manufacturing said: “We are delighted to be working with Ulster Carpets on the launch of the Walter Wilson Scholarship. This scholarship will not only provide financial support for our future engineering talent, but will also provide valuable hands on experience in a vibrant company and the opportunity to work alongside industry experts fostering innovative thinking and entrepreneurship."