Eight Churchill students have secured fully-funded ‘Engineering a Better World Internships’ through the Royal Academy of Engineering. The internships will place them with alumni of the Academy’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation for some eight weeks over the summer in order to:

  • Support the entrepreneurs with technical assistance
  • Enable the exchange of knowledge through partnership
  • Inspire the students to pursue a career in challenge-led innovation for sustainable development

The Africa Prize awards crucial training and commercialisation support to ambitious Sub-Saharan African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges. By interning with these businesses, the Churchill students will gain first-hand experience of working in multicultural teams to solve practical problems and use creativity to address real, meaningful challenges in low and middle income countries . They will also learn to live in a different cultural environment and gain understanding of the workings of a startup.

Churchill alumnus and Chair of EngineeringUK Malcolm Brinded (U71) is delighted to be supporting the EABW internships which he describes as potentially providing a ‘terrific two-way benefit’. For the Africa Prize alumni entrepreneurs, Malcolm hopes that ‘collaborating with a Churchill College STEM student for 2 months might  accelerate improvement in the practicality and functionality of their innovations – and so its prospects for commercial success. For the student, the internship will not only open their eyes to the many challenges of Sub-Saharan Africa, but also the huge opportunities there, and the beneficial impact that can come from well-conceived innovations driven by committed entrepreneurs.’

This will be a major life-enriching experience for all students – and for some may completely change their intended career direction. Most of all I hope that many new lifetime friendships are built, and everyone gains a deeper understanding of the world.


Malcolm Brinded (U71) CBE FREng 

The experiences of this year’s Churchill interns and their host entrepreneurs will be carefully evaluated and – if the scheme is as successful as we all hope – then the College and the Royal Academy aim to repeat, and if possible expand, the scheme in future years, as a flagship programme of the College’s commitment to sustainable development and international outreach. If other alumni are interested in considering supporting internships in engineering and other areas, then please get in touch with the Development Office, so we can share reports from this years interns and results of the evaluation in due course. Meet this year’s group of interns below!