Sidney Engineering undergraduate Alastair Lai has been awarded scholarships from the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In March 2022, Sidney Engineering undergraduate Alastair Lai received an email from his Director of Studies, Dr Ricardo Garcia-Mayoral, confirming that he had put Alastair forward to receive an International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading Foundation (ISTAT Foundation) scholarship. Students must be nominated by their university for the award, and are also required to meet certain criteria, such as the intention to pursue a career in aviation.

Looking back to the moment when Alastair first heard he had been nominated, he recalled, “Though slightly taken aback at the time, I submitted my application and waited anxiously to hear back, grateful for the mark of confidence in my abilities”. 

Alastair was delighted to learn earlier this month that he is one of 35 students from across the globe and one of two from British universities to have been awarded a scholarship from the ISTAT Foundation: a fantastic achievement!

Alastair was also awarded an Engineering Leaders Scholarship (ELS) from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) after making an application with support from Dr Garcia-Mayoral earlier this year. The ELS programme provides support for undergraduates at UK Higher Education Institutions who display the potential to become leaders and innovators in engineering, and who can be role models for future engineers.

On speaking about how it feels to be awarded the scholarships and what he hopes to do beyond university, Alastair said, “I am very grateful to both the ISTAT Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering for selecting me to be a scholarship recipient. 

“It is incredible to have the support of two exceptional communities as I approach the end of university and start of my career. The increased exposure that this brings in terms of an ability to learn from equally passionate engineers and members of the aviation community is just one of many positives. 

“I also look to leverage this support to engage with a wider array of outreach events. Given the impact that events of this type had on me as a teenager I hope to pay it forward by inspiring the next generation of aerospace engineers. 

“Looking forwards, at university I have developed a strong interest in sustainability which has spurred a desire to pursue a career combining this with aerospace engineering after my degree. 

“Finally, I would like to thank Dr Ricardo Garcia-Mayoral, my Tutor, Dr Deirdre Serjeantson and Mr David Graves, the Tutorial and Student Finance Manager, for their support in my applications for these scholarships”.

Well done, Alastair!

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