Cranfield University’s first recipient of the new $5,000 aviation scholarship for women, funded by the International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA), has been awarded to Elise Specty, a student who is studying an MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design.

Elise said: “I am really proud to be awarded the first Cranfield University IAWA scholarship. I would like to thank both Cranfield and IAWA for helping me to achieve more knowledge in aerospace engineering as I have always have been passionate about aircraft.  My future plans are to specialise in flight testing, my hope is to become a flight test engineer to test new military aircraft and systems.”

Cranfield is the first UK University to have been granted a Scholarship Award by IAWA towards tuition fees, enabling female students to pursue a career in aviation or aerospace – supporting an increase in the representation and advancement of women across the sector. The scholarship is valued at $5,000 each year and is open to all students.

Shelley A. Svoren, VP-Leader Development,  IAWA,  said: “IAWA is thrilled to partner with Cranfield University. Each scholarship granted represents an extraordinary opportunity for IAWA, its sponsors, and its university partners to invest in and support the next generation of female leaders in the aviation industry.”

The IAWA was founded in 1988, its core goal is to develop the next generation of female leaders by introducing mentoring programmes, internship programmes and scholarships. The organisation works with universities across the globe to identify candidates and help progress their aviation careers.

Professor Helen Atkinson CBE FREng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Aerospace, Transport Systems and Manufacturing at Cranfield University said: “The Cranfield scholarship will help springboard the development of women at Cranfield who are passionate about careers in aviation. It is an interesting time in the future of aviation with unique challenges for the aerospace industry. These students will be taking a leading role in new developments and helping to increase the representation and advancement of women across this hugely significant industrial sector.”

Cranfield has specialised in aerospace technology for over 70 years and it is the only European university with its own airport, its own pilots and its own air navigation services. As members of the ‘Women in Aviation, Aerospace & Defence Charter’ and winners of an Athena Swan Bronze Award it has made diversity a priority and the scholarship from IAWA supports that work.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.