Published on September 30th, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer


GECAS & UL launch new Women in Aviation Scholarship

GECAS, one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors based in Shannon, and the University of Limerick School of Engineering, have announced Ireland’s first ever Women in Aviation Scholarship to help drive increased engagement by female students in Aeronautical Engineering. Beginning this year, GECAS will provide a Scholarship each year to one qualifying first-year female student of the UL Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering course. The successful student will be awarded a €5,000 bursary for each year of their studies, meaning a total of €20,000 will have been granted by the time of their graduation.

Through this initiative, GECAS is leading the Irish aviation leasing sector in helping drive female engagement of Irish aeronautical engineers, starting from the ground-up. As a major employer in the region, GECAS is keen to spearhead this initiative with the University of Limerick.

Speaking at the launch, David Campbell, Head of Technical, GECAS said, “It is estimated that only around 10% of Aeronautical Engineering students in Ireland are female. We want to change that metric. The goal of this scholarship is to encourage, and more importantly, support the development of the next generation of women in aviation, particularly in the engineering space. GECAS understands very well that diverse teams offer great advantages to organisations, so it is vital that we play our part to ensure a strong pipeline of female talent into our industry.”

Sarah Hartnett, Director of Development, University of Limerick Foundation said, “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with GECAS. The under-representation of women pursuing careers in the Aeronautical Engineering space is a concern. However, through the support of organisations such as GECAS, we can work towards encouraging young women into fields that they might not initially consider and highlight to them the fantastic career avenues that exist.”

Ronan O’Higgins, Course Director of the Aeronautical Engineering Programme, University of Limerick Foundation said, “GECAS has always been a strong supporter of the Aeronautical Engineering Programme at UL. In fact Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA), the forerunner of GECAS, was directly involved with the establishment the programme in 1991. While female participation is traditionally low, our female graduates will tell you of the fantastic opportunities that they have experienced in their careers in aviation. The GECAS Women in Aviation Scholarship will help to increase awareness of this exciting career to future female aeronautical engineers.”

The program is open to female students of the University of Limerick’s Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering and begins with first year students. Each year, one new first year student will be awarded the scholarship, with the bursary continuing for each year of the course. The scholarship will be awarded based on academic achievement and passion for aviation. The deadline for submission of this year’s applications is October 11th, 2019.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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