Express & Star

Wolverhampton student bags Cambridge scholarship

A Wolverhampton student has met the King of Spain after securing a life changing scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge.

Shobhan Dhir, 24, and the King.

Shobhan Dhir, aged 24, is now set to study a Masters degree in energy technologies at the university after winning a ScottishPower Foundation scholarship.

The foundation is aimed at creating the future generation of energy experts and saw Shobhan formally receive his award at an international royal ceremony attended by King Felipe of Spain last week.

Shobhan was among a group of 11 of the British scholarship winners flown over to the headquarters of ScottishPower’s parent company Ibedrola in Madrid for the award ceremony also attended by fellow scholarship winners from Spain, the USA, Mexico and Brazil.

The scholars were presented their awards by Ibedrola’s chairman, Ignacio Galan, and Ramón Castresana Sanchez, director of the Iberdrola’s foundations committee, before they were received by King Felipe at a reception held at the Palacio de la Zarzuela.

The ScottishPower Foundation, the charitable arm of the energy provider, is supporting 27 British graduates at leading universities by funding their enrolment fees and living allowances so that they can concentrate on pursuing careers in the fields of energy and the environment.

The scholarships have been delivered at seven of the UK’s most prestigious institutions including the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, Strathclyde University, Liverpool University and the University of East Anglia. This year, for the first time two places for UK students have also been supported at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Madrid.

Ann McKechin, trustee and executive officer of the ScottishPower Foundation, who attended the event, said: “We are delighted to support this group of very bright young people who we hope will be future leaders in the energy sector and the ScottishPower Foundation is committed to helping the advancement of their education through practical support.

“The ceremony is suitable recognition of their achievement in winning a place against tough competition on the scholarship programme at some of the very best universities in the UK and Spain.

“However, we hope that their real achievements lie ahead when they start their working careers and can lead the way in creating a sustainable energy model in how we generate, transmit and consume energy in the 21st century, while minimising the environmental and climate impact.”

Shobhan said: “Meeting the King of Spain was one of the most special experiences of my life, and I will forever cherish the opportunity. The King’s speech, and his genuine interest for our studies, was deeply motivating.

“Being a scholar has genuinely changed my life. I am studying the course I love at the university which does the research I am most interested in, and am now immersed in the renewables field, the field I most passionately care about, and this has only been possible through being a scholar. I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel for this opportunity.”

He added: “The start to my career in Renewables has been because of this scholarship. I have also met so many inspiring and interesting people through the scholarship, many of which I would like to work with in the future.”