Issue date: 13 September 2000

A University of the West of England student designate who won a prestigious Patent Office Bursary to help fund her Foundation Year Engineering Course at Bridgwater College starts her Engineering degree at UWE in September.

Emma Dingle, from Taunton, is one of around 5,000 new students who start University life at UWE for the first time this Autumn. She took A levels in Performing Arts, English Language and Literature and Psychology, but decided that these subjects would not enable her to get a good grounding in what she terms a ‘solid’ subject. “I wanted to take a degree which would give me good career prospects. I enjoyed Maths and Physics at GCSE level and decided that working towards a degree in Engineering would be a better decision for my future career.”

Emma opted for the Foundation Year in Engineering at Bridgwater College followed by an MEng in Mechanical Engineering at UWE. She won the Patent Office Bursary, one of only four awarded to women entering engineering each year, in a national competition.

Speaking about her reaction to the award of the Bursary Emma said, “I was really shocked when I heard that I’d won. The money has helped me enormously because I have been able to buy myself a computer which has proved invaluable for my college work.”

Professor Steve Hoddell, Assistant Vice Chancellor said, “I am delighted that Emma’s hard work has been rewarded by this Bursary. It is not always recognised that Engineering now offers excellent career opportunities for women as well as for men and I welcome this scheme to help women enter Engineering.”

The Patent Office Bursary Scheme (POBS) is designed to help high calibre female students who have taken Arts ‘A’ level subjects, but who decide to change direction into the mainly male dominated area of Engineering and is supported by the Women’s Engineering Society and run as a national competition. The award provides financial aid.

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