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New trust to offer aid for development engineers

Financial aid for engineering and architectural development projects within deprived communities in the UK, and overseas, is now available through a partnership between the ICE, RIBA, and the John McAslan Family Charitable Trust.

The ICE announced yesterday that they will be considering applications for the 2008 RIBA/ICE McAslan Bursary, which will make up to £10,000 available to students or recent graduates of JBM-accredited engineering courses and RIBA validated courses.

Support will be available for projects which are initially 6-12 months long and aim to improve or modify the physical environment to enhance the quality of life of the local community.

However, projects are not necessarily limited to a one year timescale.

John McAslan, founder of the award, said today: "One thing that is important for me is that whatever the final outcome of the project, there must be scope for the project to continue to develop in the future."

He continued: "To me so many of the projects are not just about architecture, a lot of the issues I want to address are strongly focused on engineering, as this covers so many different areas.

So what I'm really looking for is a collaborative approach to projects, between architects and engineers."

He also makes clear that the purpose of the funding is to help enable projects with a strong environmental, ecological, or resource conservation focus within disadvantaged communities, using any resources he can make available.

"We have the highest level of professional advice embedded in the students work from an early stage" he said, citing various key personnel from firms such as Arup who are currently involved in projects initiated by previous winners.

"We're aiming to continue turn projects into real possibilities through our associations at the highest level as well as through the skills students have developed working on the projects."

Previous winners of the award include Craig Bamford, for his work focusing on the displacement of Tuavi Ambau village in India, and Asif Kahn and Julia King for the construction of refugee housing on the Taiwanese/Burmese border.

Preferred candidates for the bursary will be RIBA or ICE members, and all successful applicants will be expected to contribute 25% of the total project costs.

Download an application here.

The deadline for applications is Monday 3rd March 2008.

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