2019 SMF MBA Scholarship Awardees Share their Experiences

Ten Young Engineers Receive £500,000 of MBA Scholarships: Engineering and Business Skills will take them to the Top Table

2019 Winners of a Sainsbury Management Fellows MBA Scholarship

Ten high-flying young engineers have been awarded a Sainsbury Management Fellows MBA Scholarship to study at top intneriaotnla business schools.  The awardees will become Sainsbury Management Fellows (SMF) on graduation.

This sought-after scholarship not only helps to advance the careers of the awardees in extraordinary ways, but they also go on to make significant impacts in society; both economically and socially.  The new SMFs will create entrepreneurial businesses, generate economic growth in major corporations, mentor tomorrow’s engineers and support charities.

We are delighted to introduce the next cohort of SMFs, who are studying at top international business schools thanks to the largesse of the Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarship:

  • Albany Mulholland (BSc Engineering Science) is taking his MBA at MIT Sloan
  • Lukas Lukoschek (MEng) and Niharika Bhargava (BA MEng) are studying at Harvard Business School
  • Sam Taylor (MChem) and Sagnik Mukherjee (MEng Hon) are taking their MBAs at INSEAD
  • Nic Renard (CEng, MEng Hons) chose Wharton
  • Victor Manzanares Bonilla (MEng) is studying at IESE Business School
  • Matthias Libot (MEng Civil Engineering)and Philipp Staggat (BEng) are taking their MBA at London Business School
  • Konstantinos Pierros (MEng) IMD

What made these candidates shine amongst applicants for this round of the Sainsbury Management Fellows Scholarship?  In addition to having exceptional education qualifications and strong personal attributes, they demonstrated a passion for attaining an MBA and the ambition to use the knowledge gained to secure a leadership position soon after graduating and to make a difference in the world.

Our MBA Candidates have already steered successful careers:

Prior to starting his MBA at MIT, Albany Mulholland worked internationally as a mine optimisation engineer, using data analytics to find efficiencies and increase productivity within open-pit mine operations.  Before working in mining, he spent five years serving in the Household Cavalry Regiment of the British Army, conducting both armoured reconnaissance and ceremonial work. He is hoping to continue working in the natural resource industry on completion of his MBA, combining his operations, technical and analytical experience.

Lukas Lukoschek (Harvard) previously worked as an engineer and entrepreneur in the energy Industry. Prior to commencing his MBA, he worked on the distribution network and renewable integration at E.On and Western Power Distribution. While completing his studies at Imperial College London, Lukas co-founded, MesPower,  a solar mini-grid company which brings electricity to unelectrified communities in developing areas in Asia and East Africa. Lukas moved from London to Kigali, Rwanda to manage the rollout and operations for three years.

Matthias Libot (LBS) spent the previous seven years working for BP in Scotland, Azerbaijan and London. Initially, a subsea engineer, his interest in project management led him to become the Christmas Tree Delivery Lead for a variety of BP’s Africa based projects. This involved managing the quality, safety, engineering and cost & schedule performance of the key suppliers providing this critical equipment to the oil rigs.

Nic Renard (Wharton) worked in the aerospace and defence industry for over eight years.  In 2011 he joined the Rolls-Royce Engineering Leadership Graduate Programme and in 2015 became the Assistant Chief Design Engineer for combat engines. Nic worked closely with operators such as the Royal Air Force as well as partners across Europe to resolve design-related safety, reliability and cost issues. In 2017 Nic moved to India to take a Capability Lead role in the growing Bangalore office where he was responsible for the development of 35 engineers across the Lifecycle Engineering and Safety & Reliability teams.

Before starting her MBA at Harvard Niharika Bhargava worked as an automotive engineer at Jaguar Land Rover(JLR), first on the calibration and control of powertrain systems, including projects to establish and improve the management of recurring failures. Niharika then transitioned to JLR’s research team working on the development of self-driving cars. She was a member of the UK Autodrive consortium, trialling the use of connected and autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Prior to starting his MBA at INSEAD Sagnik Mukherjee worked in the UK energy sector.  He was the Assurance Engineer at INEOS Grangemouth, Scotland’s largest petrochemical site, Sagnik led innovative digital-transformation strategies to enhance risk assurance, audit, and compliance for flammable atmospheres and electrical equipment. Before INEOS, Sagnik spent four diverse years with BP across capital projects, operations, and reliability at iconic sites of strategic importance to the UK’s energy value-chain.

Before his MBA study, Sam Taylor (INSEAD) joined Morgan Advanced Materials on a rotational graduate development scheme.  Over three years he worked in factories across the UK, China, and India; focusing on cross country project management and process improvement.  He then moved to a global analyst role working initially from the UK and then Singapore, leading a data analytics improvement programme for the business.

Víctor Manzanares Bonilla (IESE Business School) has wide experience in large civil construction projects.  He started his career as a consulting engineer taking part in the study, design, planning and control of different infrastructure projects in Spain and Saudi Arabia. He then moved to London and joined Dragados for Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project where he spent the last four years.  In that period, Victor assumed different responsibilities in the Station Enabling Works section, leading multidisciplinary teams and managing large civils and MEP diversions as well as Station fit-out works, minimising the impact to the passengers and ensuring the safety of the operational railway. 

Philipp Staggat (LBS) – Before starting his MBA, Philipp’s interest and specialisation in turbomachinery led him to Siemens AG. While working as a Lead Commissioning Engineer for heavy-duty Gas turbines and Generators, Philipp oversaw up to 400+MW equipment in projects across the globe including the UK. Within four years, he worked in 22 power stations in 14 countries on four continents. In the next role, he managed the construction project of Siemens’ test power plant in Berlin. Additionally, prior to attending LBS, Philipp led various strategic initiatives for the Turbine service department of the regions Europe, Asia, and Africa. The MBA enables him to complement his technical skills with deeper business knowledge, build lifelong relationships, and shape his idea of starting-up a Green Tech company.

Prior to starting his MBA at IMD Konstantinos Pierros’ professional experience was in wind energy and power system engineering. In his most recent role, he worked for ENERCON as a Grid Integration Team Lead overseeing the regions of North America, Northern Europe and Asia-Pacific. He has evaluated electrical specifications and design for over 2 GW of installed onshore wind capacity worldwide, ranging from community to utility-scale projects. For his contribution to the Scottish wind energy sector, he was a finalist for the Achiever Award at the 2016 Scottish Young Professionals Green Energy Awards. Konstantinos is passionate about promoting the engineering profession and climate change awareness. He has been a member of the Operational Team of the 2050 Climate Group, a charity aiming to lead a social movement to take action on climate change.

After Graduation
Upon graduation, the successful seven will move onto exciting new careers and, like other SMFs, make their mark on society.  Here are just a few achievements as a result of SMFs utilising their engineering know-how, business skills, drive and ambition:

  • Forty per cent hold executive board roles and 34% have non-executive roles
  • Many SMFs are entrepreneurs and 63 are repeat entrepreneurs – this entrepreneurial spirit has created 18,000 jobs
  • Eighty per cent of SMFs support and mentor young engineers and are involved in a diverse range of charitable causes

The Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarship is sponsored by Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby Charitable Foundation and administered by Engineers in Business Fellowship in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

If you are an engineer with up to seven years’ professional experience looking for your next career move, why not apply for a scholarship?  The deadline to submit an application for the current round of scholarships is 1 June 2020.  Full details can be found on the RAEng’s website.


  • Tuesday, 3 August 2021

    Should I choose a new career path or return to my employer after my MBA?

    The answer to this question very much depends on your MBA starting point.  If you are studying an Executive MBA and it is part of your firm’s career plan for you, then naturally you will be aiming

    Read More
  • Tuesday, 13 July 2021

    How to Fund My MBA?

    The decision to embark on an MBA is one of the most important of your career. The experience will sharpen your business skills and will open the door to new and exciting career opportunities in the fu

    Read More
More Blogs

The Sainsbury Management Fellows is registered as a charity: Engineers in Business Fellowship, charity number 1147203 and is a company limited by guarantee : 07807250