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Joseph Whitworth trust

Purpose of the trust

A scheme was introduced in 2001 to replace the former trust of the charity.

The Whitworth Scholarship Awards and Whitworth Senior Scholarship Awards are funded from this Trust Fund.

From December 2001: "The object of the charity is to promote education in all engineering disciplines with a preference for mechanical engineering through the award of:

  • (a) Scholarships to suitably qualified applicants to enable them to study engineering, with a preference for mechanical engineering, at any establishment approved by the trustee; and
  • (b) Prizes for solutions to real problems encountered in the workplace by engineering following an accredited programme of work-based training.

Origins of the trust

A sum of £128,000 (value in today’s money £6.5 million) was given to the Government by Sir Joseph Whitworth in 1868, with the intention of "bring Science and industry closer together".

Up until December 2001 The Secretary of State for Education and Employment was the sole trustee to the Whitworth Scholarship Fund and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers administered the scheme on behalf of the Government since 1984.

In December 2001 A new scheme was put before the Charity Commissioners (Case No: 106020) to change the Trustee and to amend the trust conditions, to better reflect today's methods of study. The new scheme was agreed together with new Trust conditions. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, now acts as Trustee to the Whitworth Scholarship Awards Fund.

Although there have been several changes to the Awards Scheme to take account of different conditions in the educational system, the original requirements as specified by Sir Joseph, of high levels of practical skills and academic achievement remain.

Thirteen presidents of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers have been Whitworth Scholars.

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© 2015 Institution of Mechanical Engineers. IMechE is a registered charity in England and Wales number 206882