ICE NI is delighted to announce its four outstanding QUEST scholars: Matthew Davidson, Richard Lowry, Matthew McDowell and Kyle McKee.
The four future civil engineers received both QUEST Undergrad and QUEST scholarships. The QUEST Undergrad award is for students about to enter their first year of university, and grants them £2500 per year and a paid summer work placement. Matthew Davidson and Matthew McDowell are this year's QUEST Undergrad recipients, and they will be working at Graham Construction and Atkins, respectively, in 2016.
"I can gain a lot of experience as a civil engineer during the work placement," said Matthew McDowell, who hopes his time at Graham will improve his leadership and communication skills.
"I look forward to being able to take part in various group projects, and realising what it is like to work in a professional environment."
ICE alone funds QUEST-only awards, which are also worth £2500 per annum. However, recipients find their own summer work placements. All of the scholars will collaborate with ICE NI and its ambassadors to participate in three activities per year which promote civil engineering. They will also produce an annual report detailing their achievements from the year.
"This award means a lot to me and I feel very privileged to have received it," said Richard Lowry, a Dundonald native studying at Queen's University Belfast. "I am also extremely grateful for the contribution that it will make toward University finances.
"It has encouraged me to aim to reach my potential and achieve the highest academic standards."
The QUEST awards come at an auspicious time, as a recent government report has confirmed that there is a critical undersupply of civil engineers in Northern Ireland. ICE hopes awards like QUEST will continue to encourage the next generation to explore civil engineering as a career.
For more information about QUEST and other awards, visit ICE's Higher Education page.