£250,000 donation to support earth science and engineering students


Students in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering study a model of volcanoes

A generous gift from a Royal School of Mines alumnus will create bursaries for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and establish a new prize.

A donation of £250,000, made anonymously by an alumnus of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering, has established the Rocky Fund, a new source of funding for the Department which will create bursaries for undergraduate students in financial need and a prize for outstanding undergraduate students.

As an endowed gift, this donation will fund the prize and bursaries in perpetuity, supporting generations of deserving students from all backgrounds to study geosciences and to thrive during their time at Imperial.

Bursaries to extend opportunity

The Rocky Fund will provide one bursary every year to an undergraduate student who demonstrates exceptional academic potential, but who might otherwise struggle to finance an Imperial education. The first bursary will be awarded in 2023 to a student starting their studies in October.

Bursaries provide students from lower-income backgrounds with additional financial support and, unlike a loan, do not need to be repaid. For many students from disadvantaged backgrounds, receiving a bursary means they can focus on their studies, rather than worrying about money or having to work alongside their course.

This donation will support the Department of Earth Science and Engineering’s work to encourage applications from students from backgrounds which are underrepresented in the Department and to improve diversity in the fields of geology, geophysics and earth and planetary science.

Rewarding academic excellence

The donation will also establish a new prize which will recognise outstanding academic performance. The prize will be awarded annually, beginning in the academic year 2023-24, and will be open to undergraduate students on any Earth Science and Engineering course.

The prize aims to nurture academic talent and provide awardees with the funds to further themselves as earth scientists and engineers, whether that means developing their own innovation or business, continuing their studies at Imperial or at other institutions, or financing research or field trips abroad.

"Bright young minds from all backgrounds are vital in our community of problem solvers." Professor Tina van de Flierdt

Professor Tina van de Flierdt, Head of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering said: “We are so grateful for this generous donation, which will help to remove economic barriers that might prevent young people from considering a career in geoscience. Bright young minds from all backgrounds are vital in our community of problem solvers to tackle the challenge of climate change and to transition to a zero-carbon and zero-pollution society.

Philanthropic support of this kind not only makes a difference for the next generation of geoscientists and engineers but will also enrich and advance industry and academia by making it more diverse and inclusive.

Thanks to the vision and generosity of our alumnus donor, we can attract the best and brightest students, from all financial backgrounds, to choose to study Earth Science and Engineering subjects at Imperial, not just now, but long into the future."

The Royal School of Mines Association (RSMA) has been closely involved in establishing the new bursary and prize and is leading ongoing fundraising efforts aimed at increasing the Rocky Fund and extending the support it offers for young engineers.

About the Department of Earth Science and Engineering

Part of the Royal School of Mines, the Department of Earth Science and Engineering is home to around 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Undergraduate students take courses in Earth and Planetary Science, Geology and Geophysics, and postgraduate students pursue courses in Applied Computational Science and Engineering, Environmental Data Science and Machine Learning, Geo-Energy with Machine Learning and Data Science, and Metals and Energy Finance.

The Department’s pure, applied and engineering research is at the cutting edge of discovering how Earth and planetary systems work, and how natural resources and energy can be sustainably extracted and utilised during the energy transition and towards a zero-carbon and zero pollution future.

The department is committed to its diverse community and promotes inclusive and collaborative research and teaching for the benefit of society.

To donate to the Rocky Fund or to learn more about supporting students in the Faculty of Engineering, please contact Sarah Duncan, Development Manager.


Joely Langston

Joely Langston

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Contact details

Email: press.office@imperial.ac.uk
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Education, Students, Engineering-Earth-Sci-and-Eng, Philanthropy
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