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Scholarship’s Route to Success

13 July 2012

An engineer has dived into further education after winning Subsea UK’s inaugural MSc scholarship, opening a door to global career opportunities.

First Subsea development engineer Darren Brown applied for the scholarship programme more than a year ago and is now well into his degree in subsea engineering and management with Newcastle University.

Combining part-time study with his role in the company’s new product development division, Darren is already applying his newly-acquired knowledge to his day-to-day work.

Darren was accepted on the scholarship programme following a rigorous application and interview process with Subsea UK chief executive Neil Gordon, Subsea UK chairman William Edgar and Geoff Lyons of BPP-Tech and Subsea UK board member.

Subsea UK’s scholarship programme, introduced last year, was designed to enable successful applicants to study towards a post-graduate MSc in subsea engineering including covering up to 80% of the total annual cost up to a maximum of £7,500 for a full-time course and £3,500 for a part-time one.

As well as fees, the costs covered will include course material, books, travel, subsistence and accommodation where appropriate.

Darren said: "I was considering several possibilities to gaining an MSc when my employer drew my attention to the newly-established Subsea UK scholarship programme. I was delighted when I was told of my success following the application and subsequent interview.

"The scholarship has allowed me the opportunity to undertake a course which has not only broadened my knowledge of a sector I feel passionately about, but is tackling extremely relevant topics which are directly applicable to my work, something which has already enabled me to contribute much more within in my role.”

Studying 10 modules and completing a dissertation over two years, Darren studies a mixture of engineering and management topics including materials and corrosion, pipeline design, asset integrity and project management. All of which place him firmly on the road to becoming a chartered engineer with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, an ambition Darren hopes to realise almost immediately after completion of his course.

Subsea UK’s ongoing skills programme aims to encourage and develop talented people within the UK subsea sector.

Subsea UK chief executive Mr Gordon said: "It is vital that we invest in tomorrow’s talent for the future of our sector. Our vision for the scholarship programme is to attract and develop new entrants who will then go on to drive forward the next generation of subsea services and technology.

"Graduates coming in now have the chance to really make their mark on the sector, which offers a wide range of exciting career opportunities on a global platform, while the sector needs their fresh perspective and ideas as we push into ever more challenging subsea environments.”

Subsea UK champions the UK subsea sector at home and globally, representing over 240 member companies. It acts as a focal point for all stakeholders to promote and maximise opportunities and provides a national forum for collaboration, diversification and development.

Darren added: "There are many opportunities for the foreseeable future in the UK subsea industry. The high demand for knowledgeable and qualified engineers means jobs are relatively plentiful, even in times of austerity, and the potential rewards, financial and otherwise are high for those willing and able to work hard.

"A combination of experience and the knowledge gained through this qualification should make me a valuable asset to any organisation and enable me to advance within the industry much more quickly than I would have without it.”