MORE CIVIL engineering students can now apply for a scholarship as part of the expanded QUEST scheme.
Up to £1,500 a year is available, plus the chance to acquire work experience through summer placements.
Senior engineers will also act as mentors to undergraduates throughout their course.
This year, regionally managed initiatives in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will run alongside the central scheme operated at ICE HQ in London.
Former QUEST chairman Brian Crossley said this enabled smaller fi ms in the region to take part, as well as involving regions in the interview and matching process to create 'a truly national activity'.
'There are a lot of small to medium sized employers out there. We want to reach the employers that perhaps only take on a graduate once every three or four years, ' he added.
Crossley said the target was to increase the number of scholarships to over 100 in the next few years. There are currently 61 students involved.
'The aim is to get the brightest students going into civil engineering, ' he said.
He believes an undergraduate's chances of being offered employment are significantly boosted by participation in the scheme.
Employers can also reap benefits by signing up to QUEST.
Crossley explained: 'The employers get a lot out of it.
Traditionally they only seek students on graduation. Quest identifi s bright students with the potential to be tomorrow's leaders. 'So far all we have heard from students and employers has been fantastic. It's a simple scheme, but very effective.' Queen's University Belfast has extended its own scholarship programme to encompass QUEST, finding fi ve firms in Northern Ireland to join the scheme.
And four students at the Engineering University of Lahore in Pakistan are being supported through the ICE QUESTHaider Scholarship, funded by ICE fellow Ghulam Haider.