The Royal Academy of Engineering and Amazon have announced the 2022 recipients of Amazon Future Engineer bursaries to study computer science and related engineering courses at UK universities.
The awards, which provide a support package of up to £20,000, have been granted to women students from low-income households who demonstrate a drive and passion for computing and engineering, and an understanding of how innovation and creativity in these fields can help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. View the full list of recipients on the Royal Academy of Engineering website (and below).
The Amazon Future Engineer bursaries aim to help address underrepresentation and accelerate the rate of progress – women are significantly underrepresented in engineering and technology in higher education. UCAS data on university application and acceptance figures for the 2021 cycle highlighted that women represent just 16% and 18% of accepted applications to computer science and engineering degrees respectively. At the current rate of progress, parity of women in engineering degrees will still not be achieved until 2085.
This year, 31 bursaries have been awarded – more than double the number awarded in 2021 when the scheme launched – to students progressing from A Level, Scottish Highers or technical education courses to university education in the 2022/23 academic year.
Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The ideas put forward by this year’s awardees in their applications amply illustrate the ingenuity and creative talent that exists among women who are underrepresented in engineering. The Academy and Amazon have a shared goal of increasing diversity within the profession, and we will continue to seek out talented individuals like these to help ensure that our community is more representative of the society it serves.”
Lauren Kisser, Technology Director at Amazon UK and Ambassador for Amazon Future Engineer: “If we want to continue innovating and inventing on behalf of all customers, then a diverse and representative workforce is absolutely essential. We’re delighted to expand the Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme to 31 fantastic women students and we hope they go on to achieve great things as our innovators of the future.”
Manpreet Bahtra, who is studying Computer Science at the University of Warwick, is one of this year’s bursary recipients. Originally from Afghanistan, Manpreet was 11 when she came to the UK with her parents and two brothers, claiming refugee status in 2018: “I came to the UK with no formal schooling, so I had to work really hard to catch up with my peers, all while learning English too. My earliest experiences of computing were through Scratch and Raspberry Pi, and my passion for computing grew organically from there.” About being awarded the bursary, she added: “I was so overwhelmed because it means so much to me. I am so grateful for the opportunity as it provides real relief. I don’t need to worry about working part-time and falling behind my peers. I have the means to support my living costs and all the necessary equipment for my studies.”
Fellow bursary recipient, Hannah McCormick, studying Computer Science at the University of Aberdeen, said: “I really enjoy programming. Problem solving is quite fun especially the moment when you find a solution. I would love to work in cyber forensics or make disability aids. I was a young carer and looked after my parents and two siblings before I came to university, so I saw how beneficial that work can be.” Hannah applied for the Amazon Future Engineer Bursary after her teacher shared a link with her once exams were over. “It’s the first bursary I’ve been successful at applying for, and we celebrated on results night with a dinner. The networking opportunities that come with it will really help me start to plan my career.”
Alongside the monetary award, awardees will gain exclusive access to networking groups to meet positive role models from Amazon and the Royal Academy of Engineering, interact with like-minded peers, build long-term relationships, and benefit from collaboration opportunities.
Images and short profiles of some of the awardees can be found on the awardees page.
The Amazon Future Engineer bursary awardees 2022/2023 are:
Media enquiries to Pippa Cox at the Royal Academy of Engineering: E: firstname.lastname@example.org; T: 020 7766 0645