• Cranfield launches Sue White Fund for Africa


Cranfield launches Sue White Fund for Africa

Jan 26 2016

A new fund to enable students to study for a PhD at Cranfield University has been  launched, marking the contribution of distinguished former Cranfield water specialist Professor Sue White.

Professor White joined Cranfield University in 2002. Throughout her career she was passionate about welfare in Africa. She became the lead hydrologist on a project looking at how the fragile ecosystem in Tanzania could be better managed, and in 2009 was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to work at Stanford and Texas A&M universities in the US.

The Sue White Fund for Africa, established with her generous bequest, provides funding to enable students to study for a PhD award with Cranfield University in topics related to her research. The fund will support students researching water and sanitation, catchment processes and water management. Students will be based in Africa for the majority of their studies.

Professor Elise Cartmell, Director of Environmental Technology at Cranfield University said:

“Professor White made a vast contribution to our understanding of water catchment management and its impact on some of the most vulnerable communities in the world, as well as being a valued colleague and inspiring tutor. It is fitting that we are able to support future researchers working in the fields she was passionate about.”

Sheila White, Professor White’s mother who attended the launch, 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.”

One of the first confirmed projects under the new fund will see a student working on the UNESCO Malindi-Watamu Biosphere Reserve on the coast of Kenya. They will study how sediment run-off from the forest catchment area can be controlled to reduce the impact on coral reefs off the coast using remote surveying and mapping techniques supported by Bluesky International Ltd’s expertise, a leading UK-based specialist in aerial survey.

Andrew Bell, Service Manager and UNESCO Biosphere Co-ordinator, said:

“Getting PhD quality research for this intergovernmental programme is really important for the Malindi Biosphere Reserve. The researcher will be helping to ensure a better future for the area through work with the local community as well as scientific study.”

Cranfield University has been awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for its work pioneering improved water services which benefits the quality of lives and livelihoods in the most impoverished parts of the world. Professor White’s research and legacy were a key part of this success.

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