2020 SMF MBA Scholarship Awardees Share Their Experiences

£550,000 Awarded to 11 Young Engineers for MBA Study at Top Business Schools

Over half a million pounds of Sainsbury Management Fellowship (SMF) MBA scholarships have been awarded to young engineers from diverse engineering backgrounds.

Eleven engineers with leadership skills who come from chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and ICT engineering disciplines have each been awarded a £50,000 SMF scholarship to attend seven leading international business schools – INSEAD, LBS, Stanford, Harvard, MIT Sloan and, for the first time, Imperial College Business School which joined the SMF scheme this this year.

The 2020 Scholarship Awardees

Mahmoud Gawish Chemical INSEAD
Mihir Bhushan ICT MIT Sloan
Sam Vennin Electrical LBS
Kieran Chandler Mechanical INSEAD
Gordon John Irving Mechanical LBS
Rauf Khan Chemical Stanford
Ahmad Khattab Civil Imperial
Jayshan Ratnakumar Mechanical Imperial
Mario Carandente Mechanical MIT Sloan
Rebecca Grady Civil LBS
Josef Bromovsky Civil Harvard

A business education from such prestigious schools is often described by SMF graduates as a life changing experience.  With the new skills and an international network of contacts, they seize the opportunity to take their careers to new heights, many creating innovative tech businesses while others help established blue-chip companies to prosper further.

Imperial College Business School scholarship awardee, Jayshan Ratnakumar graduated from Imperial with a Masters in Engineering in 2014 and was most recently a Lead Mechanical Engineer at GreenSpur, a company that uses electromagnetic innovation to develop, build and commercialise a new wind turbine solution to help revolutionise the renewable energy sector.

Commenting on his award Jayshan said, “I’m delighted to receive the scholarship and to have support from the Royal Academy of Engineering and Sainsbury Management Fellows. Imperial’s MBA was the ideal choice as it will provide me with a foundational knowledge to approach business challenges and allow me to access the institution’s expertise in entrepreneurship and climate finance. This scholarship will help accelerate my long-term career goal to commercialise innovative technologies in the renewable energy sector.”

David Falzani MBE, President of Engineers in Business Fellowship which awards the SMF scholarships in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering said, “The quality of applicants for the SMF scholarship has always been high, but in recent years the number of applications has increased significantly making selection harder, so much so that this year, we have awarded 11 instead of 10 scholarships.  It’s gratifying to see that our outreach programme to a broader range of engineers has resulted in such a rich mix of engineering applications and awards.”

Now in its 33rd year, the Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarship programme was established by Lord Sainsbury of Turville to ensure that there are more executives in UK boardrooms who have both technology and effective management skills, as do other prosperous industrial countries. This potent mix of engineering and business skills is proving successful as the graduated Sainsbury Management Fellows are making a difference in society. To date, they have founded new companies worth over £4.6 billion, created more than 18,000 new jobs and are helping to develop some of the UK’s largest corporations.

Details on the next round of Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarships will be announced on the Royal Academy of Engineering’s website, however, engineers who are interested in applying may register their interest on the site at any time.

The scholarship winners share their thoughts and experiences on their path to taking an MBA and how they will use their business education to further their careers.  Just click on the name of the awardee on the panel on the right.

If you are an engineer with up to seven years’ professional experience looking for your next career move, why not apply for a scholarship?  Full details can be found on the RAEng’s website.


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