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Eight engineers land prestigious scholarships

Eight talented young engineers are celebrating being awarded a total of £400,000 of Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarships to study for an MBA at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, INSEAD and Wharton business schools.

The SMF Scholarship programme, which is in its 36th year, was started by Lord Sainsbury of Turville to ensure that more executives in UK boardrooms have both technology and effective management skills. Today, 375 Sainsbury Management Fellows work internationally, leading successful startup businesses or steering innovation in blue chip companies. To date Fellows have founded more than 300 new companies worth £4.8 billion, created more than 20,000 new jobs and are helping to develop some of the UK’s largest corporations.

The opportunities afforded by a business school education will enable the new scholarship awardees to add business skills to their engineering expertise. This will open exciting new career opportunities and enhance their ability to add tremendous value to the economy and society.

Each engineer has been awarded £50,000 – four will be studying for their MBA at Harvard Business School:

  • Chigozie Maryvonne Ukachi, CEng MEng
  • Alexander Iley, MEng Hons
  • Roger Gonzalez Martinez, CEng MSc
  • Lia Turrini, BSc Hons

The other awardees will be studying at four different schools:

  • James Ramsay, MEng Hons – Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • John Zepos, BSc, MSc – Columbia Business School
  • Utsav Oza, MSc, PhD – INSEAD
  • Abigael Bamgboye, MEng Hons – Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Not only will the SMF MBA graduates be able to call on their business school alumni for support in the future, but they will also become part of the SMF alumni, which provides long-term career support. In turn, the newly graduated SMFs will share their knowledge and expertise with upcoming young engineers through a variety of activities including mentorship.

Commenting on his award, Alexander Illey said: “I’m excited to become part of the SMF network and to engage with the community. I’m particularly looking forward to being able to learn from the accomplished existing Fellows and, in time, contribute my own experiences for the benefit of others. Within days of being awarded the SMF scholarship, the network was already demonstrating its openness and willingness to help by making industry introductions.”

These eight Sainsbury Management Fellows MBA scholarship awardees will be accompanied by a further two awardees, who will be selected by Engineers in Business Fellowship and the Royal Academy of Engineering following panel interviews with the hopeful candidates. The additional 2023 awardees will be announced towards the end of the year.

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 and make a difference in society.

To learn more about the eligibility criteria for the SMF scholarship, visit


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