From education to employment

Academy and Amazon announce recipients of new Amazon Future Engineer Bursaries for 2021/22

  • Expansion of Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme will support women students from low-income households studying computer science and related engineering courses at UK universities

The Academy and Amazon have announced the first recipients of the new Amazon Future Engineer bursaries, launched earlier this year. Twelve awards, worth £5,000 a year for up to four years, have been granted to women students from low-income households progressing from A Level, Scottish Highers or technical education courses to university education in the 2021/22 academic year.

The awardees are:

  • Samina Bibi, Computer Science, University of St Andrews
  • Kirsty Balfour, Computer Science with Mathematics, University of Glasgow
  • Finlay Harris, Electronic and electrical engineering, University of Strathclyde
  • Neve Hoccom, Computer Science, University of Exeter
  • Charlotte Lawrence, Computer Science, Lancaster University
  • Eleanor MacCarthy, Creative Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Neda Naseer, Computer Science, University of Reading
  • Vanessa Neboh, Computer Science, King’s College London
  • Liliana Odjo, Computer Science, University of Warwick
  • Islam Salih, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester
  • Sadia Wahid, Computing, Imperial College London
  • Ellie White, Computer Science with Cyber Security, University of York

The awardees will be offered mentoring from Amazon leaders for a minimum of six months to support them at a formative stage in their professional career. The mentors will help students overcome roadblocks while providing invaluable guidance and career advice. Awardees will also be invited to networking and training events at Amazon and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and have access to a community forum providing a peer-to-peer network.

Women are still significantly underrepresented in engineering and technology in higher education. UCAS data on university application and acceptance figures for the 2020 cycle highlighted that women represent just 16% and 18% of accepted applications to computing and engineering degrees respectively. At the current rate of progress, parity of women in engineering degrees will not be achieved until 2085.

Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “I am absolutely delighted that, following an extremely competitive process, we have been able to offer these awards to 12 inspirational young women who have all demonstrated a drive and passion for computing and engineering, as well an understanding of how innovation and creativity in their chosen fields can help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. They are terrific examples of the talent that exists in schools and colleges across the UK, and we will continue to support and encourage them, and others like them, to enter careers in engineering, computing and technology. Our profession and the communities we serve will be the beneficiaries.”

Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge: “We welcome these twelve fantastic students onto our new Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme, which will help more women become the innovation leaders of the UK. More needs to be done to encourage women to enter these fields and break down the barriers which some students face. The Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme is just one of the ways that we are helping to increase the representation of women in the UK innovation economy and exciting careers in computer science.”

Profiles of some of the awardees can be found here.

Notes for Editors

  1. Amazon Future Engineerbursary scheme is part of Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science and related engineering courses. The bursaries are open to students enrolling onto courses such as electrical and electronic engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence and software engineering in the UK. The bursaries will focus on areas of the UK that have been identified as social mobility cold spots—places in the country where opportunities and outcomes for young people need improving. More information about the students can be found here –
  2. UCAS data on university application and acceptance figures for the 2020 cycle published on, 4 February 2021: ‘Students turn to technology with university choices’ –
  3. As part of Amazon’s commitment to developing the next generation of engineers and computer scientists, Amazon are also supporting a number of Royal Academy of Engineering initiatives, including the national Connecting STEM Teachers programme; a support network for teachers across all STEM subjects that ensures they have the knowledge and confidence to engage a greater number and wider spectrum of school students with STEM. The programme works with 1,000 schools and operates across all regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  4. Amazon also support This is Engineering a campaign that brings engineering to life for young people, giving more of them the opportunity to pursue a career that is rewarding, future-shaping, varied, well-paid and in-demand.
  5. Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalised recommendations, Prime, Fulfilment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNewsUK
  6. About Amazon in the Community: Amazon has long been committed to communities where our employees live and work and we focus on building long-term, innovative, and high impact programmes that leverage Amazon’s unique assets and culture. We want all children and young adults to have the resources and skills to build their best future. We concentrate on “right now needs” – via programmes that address hunger, homelessness, and disaster relief efforts – as well as programmes like Amazon Future Engineer, designed to inspire and excite children and young adults from underrepresented communities to pursue careers in the rapidly growing field of computer science.
  7. The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public. Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.

Media enquiries to Pippa Cox at the Royal Academy of Engineering: E: [email protected]; T: 020 7766 0645

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