Engineering student proves he has the drive for £10k scholarship

SUNDERLAND student Oliver Marsay’s

Published on 26 January 2016

SUNDERLAND student Oliver Marsay’s outstanding engineering skills and an exciting university project have led him to being named as the first ever recipient of the William ‘Bill’ Beadnell £10k scholarship prize.

The family of the late motor-racing enthusiast, entrepreneur and philanthropist, kindly donated the award from the William Beadnell Foundation to the University of Sunderland’s Development Trust. Their donation was used to create the William Beadnell Scholarship, to be awarded to an outstanding student, supporting excellence in engineering

Oliver has performed consistently well throughout his Electronic and Electrical Engineering course and will use the fund to support him in his final year and beyond, helping him to hit the ground running in those early stages of his career.

He’ll be using some of the money to provide equipment for his final year project, based on Haptics, the science of applying touch sensation and control to interaction with computer applications, used in areas such as medicine, aviation and gaming. Oliver’s project is to build on the base technology for haptics, which could be used in any industry.

Oliver, 21, from Whitby, explained: "My project is about designing a realistic experience for a user. For example, you have a virtual cube on a screen or virtual glass and you can reach out and actually touch and feel how heavy and big it is. It is possible to have it as a glove but there are things you can use now in research where you don’t have to wear anything and you can just feel the material in the air."

Commenting on being the first recipient of the William Beadnell Prize, Oliver said: "When I heard about the scholarship I applied immediately and am certainly glad I did.

"This award will change everything for me and ensure that I can follow a career path in product design in engineering. I want to take my engineering background and all my technical skills and my passion for design and bring the three together, taking the next step towards a Masters course."

Bill’s wife Marina Beadnell said: "Bill was a great champion in the quest for "excellence" in all fields and I know he would be extremely proud that the very first William Beadnell Foundation Scholarship is to be awarded to such an outstanding student and that the Scholarship will help Oliver in achieving his goals in his chosen career of Engineering and Design.

"I would like to offer my congratulations to Oliver and to wish him every success for the future. I would also like to thank the Development Trust for identifying such a worthy recipient."

The University of Sunderland’s Development Trust received the donation from the William Beadnell Foundation and manage its distribution via the University’s annual scholarship fund

Jo Dann, representing the University of Sunderland’s Development Trust, concluded: "Oliver is a worthy recipient of this award and has made a considerable impression on his lecturers during his course with his commitment, dedication and hard work, as well as his passion for engineering and design. We’ve no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him and hope this award goes some way to supporting his career."

She added: "The University’s annual scholarship programme exists to support our students and encourages them to expand their horizons and make the most of opportunities to complement programmes of study. ‘Futures Fund’ Scholarships include professional development awards; opportunity awards and excellence awards and are available every term for students and recent graduates."

The William Beadnell Foundation has also pledged further support to the University. The University’s Formula Student team competes in a global competition at Silverstone annually and works as a group to develop a competitive racing car each year.  Specialist equipment, kit and sponsorship are essential to the success of the annual project and the Foundation have stepped in to offer essential support to the Formula Student team.

Throughout his life Bill was passionate about motor-racing and grew a collection of high performance cars. As a young man Bill raced the circuits and spent endless days and evenings developing high performance vehicles for competition.

Anyone who would like to support the University or talk about accessing scholarships can telephone the team on 0191 515 3664 or email development.office@sunderland.ac.uk