Posted on 29 March 2023

BAM Nuttall apprentice Sophie Rice is the latest Leeds College of Building University Centre student awarded a prestigious Quest Technician Scholarship with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Sophie, a Level 4 Construction Site Engineering Apprentice at BAM Nuttall, received the scholarship of up to £1,000 for being a STEM ambassador and showing leadership, ambition, determination and ability to work well in teams and independently.

Sophie has already gained lots of experience in the industry and worked as an apprentice on the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area Ecology Mitigation and Flood Defence project with contractor BAM Nuttall, part of the BMMjv with Mott MacDonald.

Quest Technician Scholarships encourage education in civil engineering. The bursaries recognise excellence in individuals developing knowledge and skills and help fulfil potential. All ICE scholars are working towards professional qualification as either Engineering Technician (EngTech MICE) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng MICE).

The scholarship follows Sophie’s achievement of ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Industry’ at the New Civil Engineer Graduate and Apprentice Awards in November.

Sophie said:

“The percentage of female students in STEM subjects is low, and you’re not going to get more women in the industry if there aren’t the students. […] Although employment needs to be targeted, it needs to be approached from the studying level. A couple of people came up to me [after the awards] and said they hadn’t considered apprenticeships or construction but were now going to look into it. It’s definitely good when you know you’ve made that little bit of difference.”

This latest award takes the number of ICE Quest Technician Scholarships for Leeds College of Building students to four so far in 2023, alongside Annie May Goodman (Civil Engineering Apprentice, BAM Nuttall), Ben Collins (Apprentice Site Engineer, BAM Nuttall), and Caitlin Mills (Junior Technician, WSP).

Vicky Patterson, Curriculum Manager for Technical and Professional Apprenticeships at Leeds College of Building, said:

“We are delighted that once again, so many of our apprentices have been recognised by ICE this year. It's a rigorous selection process for the scholarships, and having so many of them chosen year after year is a reflection of our apprentices' determination and abilities. It's also a fantastic endorsement for the quality of the teaching available at Leeds College of Building and support offered by exceptional employer partners like BAM Nuttall.”

Andrea Fisher, Professional Development Lead UK at BAM Nuttall, added:

“We are thrilled that our apprentices at Leeds College of Building have been awarded the coveted ICE Quest Technician Scholarship. It’s a fantastic achievement for all, reflecting hard work and commitment to personal and professional career development. I hope their success encourages more people to consider an exciting career in civil engineering and construction via apprenticeship routes.”

The students will receive up to £1,000 from the Institution of Civil Engineers while they study to help boost the early stages of their careers and reach professional qualifications.