Scholarship helps student follow in father’s footsteps

The first student to receive a Frank Wallace Scholarship in Automotive Engineering has just started his postgraduate studies at the University of Bath.

Qingning (Nic) Zhang, the Frank Wallace Scholar in Automotive Engineering, did his Undergraduate study in Automotive Engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai, which is famous for its Engineering programmes.

Born in Qingdao, Shandong Province, Nic wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and train to be an engineer.

Nic’s scholarship was set up in the memory of Professor Frank Wallace, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University since its inception in 1966. He was a pioneer in his research field of diesel engine turbocharging and through his work he received worldwide recognition as an eminent scientist and engineer.

Professor Wallace was still actively involved with research and student supervision until his death last year, at the age of 84.

His children set up the scholarship in his memory to provide financial help for Chinese postgraduate students researching in Professor Wallace’s own specialist area of automotive engineering.

Nic said: "My family can barely afford me studying in Bath, so it was a great relief to be granted the Frank Wallace Scholarship by the University.

"What is more important, the special connection through the scholarship to such a great scientist and educator has inspired me a lot.

"Studying in such an esteemed university in the UK opens many doors for a foreign student like me. There are so many exciting job offers here and I've been lucky enough to get a warm welcome from the Dean and other staff (and a fantastic research centre) to take my PhD study in Bath. I am really looking forward to a fruitful postgraduate year here."

Dean and Medlock Chair of Engineering Professor Gary Hawley first met Nic when he visited the university in Shanghai in 2009 to give a lecture, and encouraged him to apply for the scholarship.

He said:"Frank supervised many Chinese students during his time at the University and he visited the country on many occasions, so it is fitting that his legacy will continue to support students, such as Nic, after his death.

"We’re delighted that Nic has joined us and wish him every success in his studies."

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