£10,000 in scholarships awarded to seven aspiring Northern Ireland civil engineers

The seven scholars come from diverse educational, geographical and professional backgrounds, but share a passion for civil engineering.

(L to R): Jane McMonagle, Tristan Harpur, Poppy Mahoney, Jack Henry, Tammy Whelan, Sile McKinney. Not pictured: scholar Jack Mitchell
(L to R): Jane McMonagle, Tristan Harpur, Poppy Mahoney, Jack Henry, Tammy Whelan, Sile McKinney. Not pictured: scholar Jack Mitchell

ICE Northern Ireland has awarded seven QUEST Technician scholarships totalling £10,000 to outstanding budding civil engineers, all of whom are following different paths into industry.

The QUEST Technician scholarship is worth up to £1,500 for students or apprentices on further or higher education courses that could lead to becoming an ICE Technician member (EngTech MICE).

Learn more about Northern Ireland's 2018 QUEST Technician scholars:

Working for Whitemountain, Jack Henry is attending South West College through the Work+ apprenticeship scheme. He became interested in civil engineering after being inspired by the construction of the Derry-Londonderry Peace Bridge, and now has long-term goal of becoming a chartered civil engineer.

Jane McMonagle is studying Construction and the Built Environment at North West Regional College, and says that she has always enjoyed "analysing structures of the past, and where they could go within the next century." She hopes to earn her BEng at Queen's University Belfast and "to play a significant role in the industry that will reshape the environment for the better."

Tristan Harpur works as a Lowry Building & Civil Engineering apprentice, and is also studying Civil and Environmental Engineering at South West College. He became interested in civil engineering after realising the vast opportunities and technology available to civil engineers, as well as the satisfaction engineers gained from solving problems. Tristan has been involved in several projects which have gained several regional and national awards. He says the awards were a “massive confidence boost,” and showed him that “working as a team can help you create something you couldn’t do yourself.”

Poppy Mahoney is studying Construction and the Built Environment at North West Regional College and hopes to eventually study Civil Engineering at Queen's University Belfast. She says that she's passionate about the impact civil engineers have on people's lives, and is especially interested in the construction of the London Tube tunnels.

Sile McKinney is a Work+ apprentice with Lagan Construction Group, and is studying at South West College. She has done extensive volunteer work related to earthquake relief both in New Zealand and in Nepal. She hopes to continue her studies and earn a BEng, then to work in earthquake response. She says her volunteer experiences gave her "insight into the vulnerability of people's lives" relating to the buildings in which they live and work.

Working as a Work+ apprentice at Arup, Tammy Whelan is also attending Belfast Met part-time. Ultimately, she plays on completing a Level 5 Foundation Degree and enrolling in Ulster University to earn her BEng in Civil Engineering. By completing her apprenticeship and further study, Tammy wants to be a role model for her children. "I hope I can help them understand that they can achieve anything they want to," she says.

Jack Mitchell, who is doing a Foundation Degree at South West College, is simultaneously working as a trainee engineer at Henry Brothers. He says that his passion for business and enterprise has inspired his goal of establishing his own civil engineering business. However, he says that "with much to learn about the construction industry, my current objective is knowledge, qualification, and experience."

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