Scottish highways maintenance contractor BEAR Scotland has launched a scholarship for civil engineering students at Edinburgh Napier University in memory of former chairman Bill Taylor, who died in 2016.
The Bill Taylor Scholarship (BEAR Scotland) will provide £3400 to support an undergraduate through the latter years of their degree from the 2021-22 academic year onwards.
The scholarship in his name will be open to students pursuing MEng and BEng (Master and Bachelor) civil engineering courses at the University. Students will be eligible to apply during their second year, with the award confirmed upon successful entry into year three.
Applications will be reviewed by a University panel, who will consider each individual’s academic ability, background and financial needs, with BEAR Scotland then interviewing the shortlisted candidates before making the final selection.
As well as financial support, the scholarship will see each year’s successful student offered work placements and a place on BEAR Scotland’s graduate training programme after completion of their degree. BEAR Scotland will also continue to support the University’s careers events and its wider work placement programme, according to a report by Scottish Construction Now.
Mark Godsell, BEAR Scotland commercial director, said: “We have longstanding links with Edinburgh Napier University and have a number of its alumni in our ranks. It is a good partnership that works well for both parties. Students get practical work experience and also potential to enter and progress within the highways industry. We get a pipeline of strong talent into our teams.
“The new Bill Taylor Scholarship cements that relationship further, allowing us to extend our support to an Edinburgh Napier undergraduate to let them fulfil their potential as they complete their degree programme and transition into their career. We are committed to investing in future talent. It will be great to award the first recipient in September and get to know them initially through work experience and then as they join us as a graduate.”
Bradley Doran, graduate engineer BEAR Scotland, undertook a work experience summer placement at BEAR Scotland between his third and fourth year while studying at Edinburgh Napier before joining the company and then getting involved in the graduate programme.
He said: “The work experience was great – it was a major reason I applied to BEAR when I graduated. The graduate programme is good because you get to see a project right through from beginning to end – from investigation, through to design and then construction. You get a wide experience and you aren’t pigeon-holed so it stands you in good stead for your Institution of Civil Engineers attributes.”
Dr Andrew Maciver, BEng/MEng programme leader at Edinburgh Napier, added: “The Bill Taylor Scholarship offers fantastic opportunities for our Civil and Transportation Engineering students to be supported by BEAR Scotland while studying for their degree and gaining valuable work experience before joining their graduate training programme after graduation. We are thrilled to be further strengthening our partnership.”