Published on November 27th, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer


DCU Business School Aviation students awarded Geoffrey O’Byrne White Scholarships

Two DCU Business School students have each been awarded a €5,000 scholarship by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). Ms. Emily Lawton from Edenderry, Co Offaly is in first year of the BSc Aviation Management. She was bitten by the flying bug from a young age and received a gift of a flying lesson for her 17th birthday. Her ambition is to become a pilot.

Mr. Avinash Kharbanda received his reward for the Post Graduate programme MSc Management (Aviation Leadership). Avinash is currently an Application Architect at IBM and has a life-long love of aviation. He completed a BSc in Chemistry at Mumbai University.

The scholarship programme has been developed by the IAA as part of the IAA’s ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting the growth and further development of aviation in Ireland.  It has been named as a tribute to the memory of Mr. Geoffrey O’Byrne White, an accomplished aviator and a former member of IAA Board. Mr O’Byrne White died in June 2018.

Speaking at the presentation, IAA Chairperson, Mr. Michael McGrail said that supporting the next generation of professionals to prosper and contribute to the aviation sector was  central to the Authority’s longer-term vision.

“We believe that our sponsorship of these scholarships will promote aviation as an attractive and sustainable career for young men and women in the future. The IAA plays a central role in the aviation sector in Ireland.  We view our role not just as the delivery of our day-to-day functions.

“On a more strategic level, we are committed to planning, supporting and promoting an aviation sector that is continually growing, improving and contributing to the well-being and success of Irish society.

“The sponsorship is in honour of the late Geoffrey O’Byrne White. Geoffrey was a dedicated aviator who contributed greatly to the industry. He was a pilot with the Irish Air Corps and, as a recruitment consultant, he helped many young people find a career in aviation. His skills and experience proved invaluable to several private sector airlines before he joined the board of IAA, where he served for two terms,” Mr McGrail said.

DCU Business School has been delivering aviation education programmes for the past ten years and has become the leader in higher education aviation programmes. This includes an undergraduate programme, BSc Aviation Management (Pilot Studies) and MSc Management (Aviation Leadership).

Professor Anne Sinnott, Executive Dean of DCU Business School said, “We are honoured to partner with the IAA through the Geoffrey O-Byrne White Memorial Scholarship. Mr O’Byrne White played such a significant role in the aviation sector in Ireland and was a leader in his field. We are honoured to memorialise his legacy through our association with this scholarship.

“The DCU Business School aviation degrees contribute significantly to Irish aviation. Against this background, we very much welcome the two scholarships provided by the IAA, which will permit two students to avail of our aviation education programmes. We hope to develop even stronger ties with the IAA in the future,” Professor Sinnott said.

Ireland’s aviation sector contributes over €4 billion to the Irish economy and employs 40,000 people including pilots, maintenance staff, cabin crew, finance and airport staff. For more information on the Geoffrey O’Byrne White Memorial Scholarship please see

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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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