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Two Southampton Ship Science students are among the best in the country

Published: 10 December 2012Origin: Engineering

Two Ship Science MEng students have been recognised for their achievements and potential by a prestigious group of UK defence companies and organisations.

Becky Thomas and Kevin Heaney have been awarded £3,000 bursaries to support their studies and help launch their careers by UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology (UKNEST). This is a collaboration between the UK defence industry companies and their Ministry of Defence customer, the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST) and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA).

The students will also receive mentoring from an experienced naval engineer after they graduate. Becky and Kevin have already met senior figures from the industry at a UKNEST dinner in Bath.

"We want to work with the next generation of leaders in naval architecture and marine engineering as we develop future and sustainable technologies for the defence industries," explains John Wills, Technical Director of IMarEST. "This is the first year UKNEST has awarded bursaries and two out of the three winners came from the University of Southampton."

Becky and Kevin had to write essays about their experiences of study and work and their opinions on the future of the UK naval engineering industry. They were then invited for interview.

"I am delighted to win this award," says Kevin. "Naval engineering is constantly changing and adapting. Research and development is well-funded and there are plenty of career opportunities." Becky adds: "I was a keen sailor when I was younger and like combining this with maths and engineering. My ambition is to become a managing naval architect in a company." They have both already carried out placements with the maritime engineering consultancy BMT.

Chief Executive of IMarEST, David Loosley is set to visit the University's Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) to meet its Director, Professor Ajit Shenoi and his team and promote the role of the professional engineering institutes to tomorrow's marine and maritime leaders. 

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