Mark Richardson, Apache North Sea’s projects group manager

The Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) has pledged further educational funding of up to £50,000 over the next 12 months in order to sustain a high level of skills across the global industry.

Mark Richardson, Apache North Sea’s projects group manager
Mark Richardson, Apache North Sea’s projects group manager

Around 276 beneficiaries globally have benefited from the Educational Support Fund (ESF) with awards totalling around £750,000. The funding relies entirely on donations from the support of SUT’s individual and corporate members.

The ESF offers sponsorship awards to high-calibre undergraduate and postgraduate students, either starting or continuing a degree which embraces at least one relevant component area of subsea/offshore engineering, marine science, or underwater technology.

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Mark Richardson, Apache North Sea’s projects group manager, is a former beneficiary of the funding and believes he would not be where he is without the support of the ESF.

He said: “After leaving the military, I was uncertain about what my next step would be. The funding was invaluable to me advancing with offshore engineering at university. It proved the launch pad for my career, opened so many doors and I would recommend anyone with an interest in the industry to apply.

“I am a great supporter of using my own knowledge and experience in mentoring young people and the SUT is doing a fantastic job re-investing in the next generation.”

Aligned with Offshore Europe’s theme of ‘How to Inspire the Next Generation’, the grants are open to any student, irrespective of age or nationality, for study at any course in the world which is approved by the society. The SUT also encourages entry into the industry at a younger age, with school lectures which are delivered from primary stage through to secondary level.

Stephen Hall, Head International & Strategic Partnerships, National Oceanography Centre, and chair of SUT’s education and training committee said: “We are committed to maintaining high standards in underwater technology and marine science. To sustain the specialised skills needed for this sector, we need to maintain and increase the level of support that will attract the most talented students from around the world. These high-calibre students have a passion to learn and we need to help them realise their fullest potential.”

Mr Hall added: “We also encourage continuous development of skills through a range of training and awareness courses; our Subsea Awareness Course has gained a glowing reputation for its content and delivery around the world.”


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