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Alumnus donates £520k to find innovative ways of achieving net zero

Alumnus donates £520k to find innovative ways of achieving net zero

11 November 2021

Newcastle University has received a substantial donation to support PhD students dedicated to achieving net zero and tackling the climate crisis globally.

Dr Tony Trapp MBE FREng, who began his academic career as an Agricultural Engineering undergraduate at Newcastle University in the 1960s, has pledged £520,000 to PhD students finding innovate ways of achieving net zero globally through their research.

Dr Trapp’s donation will fund eight PhD studentships at the School of Science, Agriculture and Engineering over the next 12 years, with the first studentship expected to be awarded in September 2022.

Dr Trapp started his academic career at Newcastle University as an undergraduate Agricultural Engineering student in the late 1960s. He went on to complete a PhD with the University’s School of Engineering, before using his expertise to pioneer technology which is now vital to the offshore energy industry and the running of offshore wind farms.

During his career, Dr Trapp built and led three hugely successful offshore engineering companies in the North East of England and was awarded MBE for services to the engineering and energy industries in 2017. He was also made an Honorary Doctor of Engineering at Newcastle University that year.

Dr Trapp said:

“I have always been impressed with the huge potential within engineers to create solutions to the challenges that we all face. For this potential to be realised students must encounter inspired leadership and engineering excellence. Newcastle University is a great place for these PhD students to achieve this success.”

A timely donation

The generous donation comes at the end of the UN’s 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, which saw world leaders meet to agree a global strategy to combat the climate crisis.

As the University prepares to celebrate 150 years of Science, Agriculture and Engineering at Newcastle in 2022, the way it trains engineers is being revolutionised in response to the rapidly changing technological and environmental needs of the world.

Newcastle University has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 or earlier and was recently ranked 11th in the world for work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (THE Impact Rankings 2020).

Professor Stephanie Glendinning, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, said:

“The roots of Engineering at Newcastle are founded on providing knowledge and skills for the engineers of today and tomorrow. What better way to both celebrate our history and look forward to future challenges than providing scholarships for PhD students with a focus on our transition to net zero.”

To find out more about how Newcastle University is rising to the sustainability challenge, read here.