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  • Roy Ludlow's legacy will help others benefit from a University experience

    A gift to the future

    Roy Ludlow (French 1967) has pledged a gift in his Will to open the opportunity for study to others.

    “I came from a working-class background and was the first person in my family to be in education beyond 15.

    I now want others – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – to enjoy such a life-enhancing experience.

    “It was a simply wonderful experience. Wherever one wanted to develop a skill or interest, it was possible. To give one example among many, for the first time in my life I experienced light opera and came to love the Gilbert and Sullivan productions put on by the Light Opera Society. I also played a lot of football.

    “I come from a time when we had grants, and I do not know if I could have accepted my place without that. My education led to a fulfilling career in teaching, culminating in 15 years as a headmaster.

    “When making a Will, family and friends come first, but I like to think it is also supporting young people who, in their turn by virtue of their education, will be in a position to support others.”

  • Building firm Murphy awards annual prizes to top engineering students - and now prizewinner Jack Seddon has landed a graduate post with the firm

    Murphy’s Lure

    Engineering and Construction company J. Murphy & Sons Limited has been working closely with the University over the past few years and offers summer placements and Year In Industry positions to our undergraduates. Their annual prizes to the highest-performing students in the three years of their Civil and Structural Engineering courses recognise excellence in the field and support the future of high-calibre graduates.

    Presenting prizes to students Joseph Sykes, Samuel Newbery and Jack Seddon, Murphy’s engineering director Alastair Smyth said: “We are proud of our association with the University, which is leading the way in first-class engineering. Our organisations have a shared vision for engineering and for the development of engineers today and in the future.”

    Jack, who graduated in the summer, has now taken up a position as a graduate Civil Engineer with the firm. Murphy has an office in Leeds – and CEO John Murphy graduated in Civil Engineering from Leeds in 2001.

  • Give in your Will

    Find out more about giving to Leeds in your Will on Legacy page.

  • Thanks to Leeds alumni, Radiographer Sharon Fernandez is researching treatments for brain cancer

    Research and care

    “I am passionate about this job and about doing the best for my patients.” Footsteps Fund gifts enabled the appointment of Neuro-Oncology Research Radiographer Sharon Fernandez to a Leeds research group dedicated to seeking revolutionary new treatments for brain cancer, a condition which is thankfully rare, but invariably fatal.

    Footsteps Fund donors have been generous supporters of this work, contributing a total of £159,000, allowing us to create Sharon’s role which is crucial to recruiting new patients onto trials of new therapies and giving them the best possible experience during their treatment.

    Gifts to the fund are also helping researchers like Sharon take the next vital steps towards extraordinary discoveries which have the promise of making a major impact on global society. This support allowed us to appoint an outstanding PhD student to join a research team examining the medical complications of diabetes and to push forward research on developing our world-leading microbubble technology as a potentially revolutionary treatment for a variety of conditions.

    Supported by alumni and friends of the University, the Footsteps Fund also provides scholarships and supported initiatives to improve the campus, widen the opportunities offered by union clubs and societies and enable students to give back to society. 

  • A passion for volunteering

    As Chief Executive of social action charity Vinspired, Jessica Taplin knows better than most the power of volunteering. Jessica (Classical Civilization 1999) has become a mentor to one of our undergraduates – and hosted students at her London offices.

    “I’m a firm believer that background should never hold you back. But if you don’t have someone to talk you through the system, then a mentor can make a real difference by sharing what they’ve been through. My mentee is the first of his family to go to university so I was able to offer support and guidance.”

    Jessica returned to Leeds to speak at the Women in Leadership Conference, a visit which brought back a flood of memories: “I barely recognised the city, though the older parts of the University like the Parkinson Building were still familiar.

    “My message to the students was that leaders come in all shapes and sizes; you can keep all your female strengths and still be a great leader.

    “When I was at school, about 50 per cent of kids had part time jobs; now it’s down to 17 per cent. Volunteering is a great way to build character, confidence and grit – attributes which are just what employers are looking for. And of course it can help a cause which you are passionate about.”

    Find out more about alumni volunteering here

  • Researchers visit climate hotspots

    Climate Research Bursaries enable postgraduate students to carry out vital field research into the challenges posed to cities, rural environments and food production by the changing climate.
    The bursaries cover travel and accommodation, so students can visit communities affected. Here are three recipients:


    MSc Climate Change and Environmental Policy student Rebecca Boslough spent a month in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania examining the impact of drought and flood on soil erosion, and working with farmers on how to prepare for the likely increase in extreme weather events.

  • Research by Wang Zexiang in the Sustainability Research Institute centres on carbon trading – and he spent a month in Brussels examining the effectiveness of the EU emissions trading system as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Civil Engineering PhD student Victor Olajubu travelled to Nairobi in Kenya, to carry out field work on his research into flooding risks in rapidly-expanding cities, due to increased rainfall, more buildings, roads and paving – and 
    the inability of an ageing drainage infrastructure to cope.

  • Adam Beaumont with award winner Michelle Akure, who is now a Mission Systems Engineer with BAE Systems

    Beaumont Awards fuel a passion for change

    Michael Faraday, whose discoveries were crucial to the development of many technological innovations, is the inspiration for a new award scheme sponsored by Adam Beaumont (Colour Chemistry 1993).

    Adam, who describes a lecture on Faraday as a “lightbulb moment” during his studies, presented medals to 14 high-achieving final year students, saying “They have each delivered an exemplary final year project and articulated their passion for the change it could have on society.”

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