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NIE Networks puts weight behind engineering talent at Ulster University

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1 Mar 2022

NIE Networks is partnering with Ulster University to offer first year electrical and energy engineering students the opportunity to be awarded a scholarship opportunity worth over £30,000.

The newly established scholarship programme will offer students a one-year paid placement with a salary over £18,000, an annual bursary of £3,000 towards tuition fees and paid summer placements, amongst a host of other mentoring and career benefits.

As the power sector aims to decarbonise by 2050, NIE Networks are embarking on what will be the most significant change to the electricity network since rural electrification in the 1960s and the successful scholarship students will be fundamental in helping Northern Ireland realise that renewable energy vision.

Speaking at the launch of the scholarships, Gordon Parkes, HR Director at NIE Networks, said;

“There is a significant shortage of electrical and energy engineering graduates and the skills we need in the energy industry. Through our pro-active collaboration with Ulster University we are committed to finding and retaining the talent required to deliver a net zero carbon future for everyone.

“These scholarships offer not only substantial financial support, but provide valuable hands on experience working on real life projects and the highest calibre of mentoring from industry experts.

“Building on the considerable success to date with renewable generation, the next decade will see a major and exciting shift in the adoption of renewables and the deployment of smart technologies on to the electricity network. The roles of the future will be highly specialised requiring the very best of our local engineering talent and we are delighted to partner with Ulster University to find it.”

The scholarships will further bolster NIE Networks’ offering within the higher education sector, building on its existing training opportunities including its award-winning apprenticeship programme. Since first launching scholarships in 2007 the company has already sponsored 70 students with 60% of scholars remaining in the business and taking up permanent positions. 

Professor Brian Meenan, Interim Executive Dean of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment at Ulster University commented:

“On behalf of Ulster University, I would like to thank NIE Networks for pledging to support students with financial scholarships as well as providing excellent mentoring and career support opportunities.

“Building on our already well-established links with the company, these scholarships will help to break down the financial barriers that some students face in entering higher education and will allow them to pursue careers that address the electrical and energy engineering skills shortage by developing their knowledge and expertise in key areas such as renewable energy, thermal technologies and smart grids.”

Students in their first year of studying BSc Hons Energy, BEng Hons Renewable Energy Engineering and BEng Hons Electrical and Electronic Engineering, are eligible to apply. More information can be obtained through the university.