Imperial College London

Former Head of Department and wife pledge new ‘Perkins Scholars’ fund

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Former Head of Department Professor John Perkins and his wife Jenny Perkins smiling at the camera

A generous donation from Professor John Perkins and his wife Mrs Jenny Perkins will provide financial support for two chemical engineering students.

The donation will initially provide Perkins Scholarships for two chemical engineering undergraduates for the entirety of their MEng courses. The scholarship will be available for the 2021-22 academic year and will be awarded to two individuals from the North West of England facing financial difficulty. 

Professor Perkins and Mrs Perkins have made Manchester their home and are keen to support the next generation of chemical engineers hailing from the North West of England.

Current Head of Department Professor Nilay Shah said: “We are very grateful to John and Jenny for this generous donation which will provide two students with a world-class education in chemical engineering and continue their long, impactful legacy in the Department. This scholarship is an important contribution to our goal of improving access to education and to the Department.”

"Through the Perkins Scholarships, we hope to encourage young people, who otherwise feel that Imperial is not for them, to consider the College as the place for the next stage in their professional development.” Professor John Perkins

Professor John Perkins was Head of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London from 1996 until 2000. His career with Imperial began in 1968 with a BSc in Chemical Engineering, followed by a PhD under the supervision of the late Professor Roger Sargent. After four years with Cambridge University as a University Demonstrator, Perkins returned to the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1977 as a Lecturer.

He went on to have a prominent career in academia and industry, with notable highlights including Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Process Systems Engineering at Imperial (1992-1998), Courtaulds Professor of Chemical Engineering (2000-2004), Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial (2001-2004), Vice President and Dean of Engineering and Physical Science at the University of Manchester (2004-9), and Provost of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (2009-2010).

He was a co-founder of Process Systems Enterprise Limited, a successful spin-out from the College.

Professor Perkins served as President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (2000-2001), Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2007-2010), and Chief Scientific Adviser of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (2012-2015). In 2007 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Years Honours list for services to Science and Engineering.

He is currently a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester, as well as Director of JP2 Consulting Ltd.

"Encouraging and diversifying quality engineering education is an important part of efforts to bridge the gap. We hope in our small way to contribute with these and future Perkins Scholarships.” Mrs Jenny Perkins

Mrs Perkins has had a successful career in Communications and Marketing, having graduated from the University of London with a Bachelors’ degree with Honours in English and Drama. Notable roles include Chief Executive Officer of Euro RSCG Riley (2003-2005), Non-Executive Director of Investors in People (2006-2010), Head of Marketing and Communications at Emirates Advanced Investments (2010) and Head of Communications and Client Partner at Work Group PLC (2007-2012). She is currently Head of Engagement and Client Partner at Cirrus, a leadership and talent consultancy, now part of Accenture.

Mrs Perkins said: “The engineering sector is working tirelessly to address the engineering skills gap analysed for example in the Perkins Review.  Encouraging and diversifying quality engineering education is an important part of efforts to bridge the gap. We hope in our small way to contribute with these and future Perkins Scholarships.”

Professor Perkins said: “Imperial College’s reputation for high quality engineering education is unparalleled. Through the Perkins Scholarships, we hope to encourage young people, who otherwise feel that Imperial is not for them, to consider the College as the place for the next stage in their professional development.”

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If you are interested in exploring philanthropy and engaging with the Faculty of Engineering, please contact Daniel Corkhill, Development Officer.

Reporter

Sara West

Sara West
Department of Chemical Engineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6607
Email: sara.west@imperial.ac.uk

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