Young engineer from South Africa wins BLOODHOUND SSC scholarship to study at UWE

Issue date: 05 August 2013

Beverly Singh, a young engineer from Port Elizabeth has won the first BLOODHOUND SSC Chevening Scholarship in South Africa. She will join the Bloodhound engineering team in Bristol during September 2013 and at the same time begin an Engineering Master's course at UWE Bristol.

The BLOODHOUND SSC scholarship programme was announced in November 2012 by UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds MP, and this kicked off the application process for South African engineering graduates through their universities and engineering organisations.

“I am hugely excited about this fantastic opportunity to further my studies and develop my career,” Beverly said. She's also looking forward to making many new friends in the UK. Beverly will work and study in the UK for one year and hope to become part of leading technology in creating more efficient manufacturing and energy systems once back in SA. “Having worked with engineers from different countries one thing is clear, engineering has no borders,” she says.

Beverly gained extensive industrial experience at General Motors South Africa whilst studying at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and after graduation, at Eveready (Pty) Ltd and Kestrel Renewable Energy, all in Port Elizabeth. Her industrial knowledge and desire to eventually move into engineering management impressed the selection panel that was made up of British High Commission and Bloodhound (SA) staff.

Beverly is currently restructuring an entire production facility which will create more efficient processes and increase production output. As the project leader she has been able to put together a plan to achieve this in just four weeks. One of her main tasks was to liaise with several departments to achieve consensus at every stage of the project. Her experience of being a leader has been about listening and understanding the needs of other people before making decisions.

Her ultimate ambition is to create a manufacturing training facility so that the youth of South Africa may also discover ways to contribute to the development of our country. These are exactly the characteristics looked for in Chevening Scholars who will return to South Africa after completing their academic courses in the UK.

UWE is a launch sponsor of the Bloodhound Project and has provided extensive support to the engineering team since the early research work to see if a car could achieve speeds of 1 000 mph (1 610 km/h) . Beverly will commence her full time Master's course at UWE and combine this with supporting the engineering team during the final phases of the build of the car at the new Bloodhound Technical Centre in Avonmouth near Bristol.

The Chevening Scholarship programme is funded through the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and over 700 graduates participate in the programme each year - approximately 30 of these come from South Africa.

The BLOODHOUND SCC (supersonic car) is currently being built by a team of about 30 engineers in a high-tech centre near Bristol in the UK. The car will come to South Africa in 2015 for a series of test runs (over several months) to break the sound barrier and the current land speed record of 1221 km/h. In 2016, it will attempt to set a record 30% faster than that: 1609 km/h, or 1000 mph. The test runs and the record attempts will take place at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape Province, where the provincial government is currently preparing the track by removing more than 6 000 tonnes of stones and rocks.

Find out more about BLOODHOUND at

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