The Sue White Fund for Africa, marking the bequest of distinguished former Cranfield water specialist Professor Sue White, was launched in January 2016. At the launch, Sue’s family and colleagues were pictured with her memorial plaque and a tree was also planted in the grounds of Cranfield University in her memory. Sheila White, Professor White’s mother, said: “I am very proud and pleased that both Sue and the research she was so passionate about are being acknowledged, remembered and continued in this way by Cranfield University.”
The aim of the fund is to support students researching water and sanitation, catchment processes and water management projects in Africa. It is financed by a generous donation to the University made by Professor White through her estate, and up to three awards are made each year.
Since its inception, the fund has continually been co-ordinated and administered by Sue’s former colleague and good friend Dr Monica Rivas Casado, with support from the University, and put to great use. Support from the fund has enabled five PhD projects and one MSc project to commence in Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Ghana.
The broad range of topics being investigated include harvesting rainwater; transforming solid and liquid wastes into fertiliser; renewable phosphorus dynamics; links between charcoal production and deforestation; and precision irrigation for sugarcane production – all with the aims of protecting water resources and water supply, improving crop production and minimising pollution.
Despite the recent global pandemic, two of the PhD projects are nearing completion.
Recently, Sue’s memorial has been refurbished with the addition of a bench and the transplanting of the tree.