New prize sets a supreme target for hands-on construction scholars


Future generations of construction leaders were today given a major incentive to accelerate their careers – by playing a firsthand part in transforming their chosen industry.

Thanks to a groundbreaking initiative formed between the steel certification authority CARES and Constructionarium, students about to embark on engineering and construction courses are eligible for a prestigious new award – ‘The CARES Supreme Scholar’ – plus funding to support their studies.

As well as much-needed financial support, the inaugural award – which runs in conjunction with UK academic establishments – will “undoubtedly open the door” to a number of exciting career opportunities for this year’s chosen Supreme Scholar, said Lee Brankley, CARES’ Chief Executive.

“This is a very important moment for CARES as we shine a spotlight on the talents and opportunities that lie ahead for an ambitious generation about to enter our industry.

“We have chosen to launch this award now for two reasons: firstly, we are very proudly celebrating the 40th anniversary of CARES’ formation in 1983, when our steel and construction industries looked very different to what they do now.

“And secondly, in Constructionarium, we have a proven partner with a first-class track record of delivering vital experiences for students eager to learn more about their chosen industry.”

Julia Stevens, CEO of Constructionarium, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Lee and the team on this award, which fully aligns with the vision of continuous improvement we share with CARES.

“It demonstrates the level of commitment our partners in industry are prepared to make to support young people pursuing a learning path not always front of mind in their formal education. Those who take this route aren’t following fashionable trends but following a route that amounts to a vocation.”

Engineering students from the University of Greenwich will benefit from CARES’ sponsorship, giving them quality practical experience facilitated by Constructionarium at its bespoke 19-acre educational and construction facility in Norfolk from Monday November 13.

Mr Brankley, who has experienced first-hand the skills and innovation undergraduates undertake at the site, paid tribute to students and their “inspirational” course leaders. “This is an exceptional facility. The more we can do, as an industry, to support Constructionarium’s work in encouraging the next generation of professionals, the better it will be for future, innovative infrastructure delivery.

“Our decisions to support the University of Greenwich this year, and to set up ‘The CARES’ Supreme Scholar Award,’ will bring lasting benefits to this sector – and to those taking part in the programme. It will undoubtedly open the door to a number of exciting opportunities for these talented students.”

Dr Marianna Ercolino, Academic Portfolio Lead for Civil Engineering at the University of Greenwich, described the CARES-Constructionarium initiative as “extremely timely.” There had been significant interest in the University of Greenwich’s course and, encouragingly, a marked increase in both the visibility of women in the industry and those considering civil engineering as a career of choice, she said. “This is tremendous news for those joining us now and those who are still considering their options for the future,” added Dr Ercolino.

Under the award’s terms, nominated students who have completed Constructionarium during the current academic year will be eligible to enter the CARES Scholarship, with a final recipient chosen by a panel of judges next summer. The Award recipient will receive a sum of £1500 plus an engraved steel trophy, commissioned by CARES, together with an extended invitation to function as a CARES Ambassador in construction during the Award period, and to participate in future judging panels.