Eléna Galigny de Bonneval, Aerospace Manufacturing student

Cranfield University’s fourth recipient of the annual $5,000 aviation scholarship for women, funded by the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA), has been awarded to Eléna Galigny de Bonneval, who is currently studying at Cranfield University for an MSc in Aerospace Manufacturing.

Eléna is also a general engineering student at Ecole Centrale Lille, France, and will finish her degree next year, at CentraleSupélec in Paris specialising in aerospace engineering. Her master’s thesis is on the role of scheduling decisions in improving sustainability in the aerospace industry.

Eléna said: “It is a great honour for me to receive this scholarship to pursue my academic and professional goals. It gives me a lot of recognition and strength to believe in my ambitions. I am very excited to meet and share with all the members of IAWA and I am proud to join this association which shares the beautiful values of 'Connect, Inspire and Lead' which fully encourage women to pursue a career in aerospace.”

“I decided to pursue my studies in aerospace because it represents cutting-edge technology and embodies a harmonious blend of science, technology, and innovation, combined with the imagination, and wonder of a child. I have always been passionate about physics and this field uses many areas to create new technologies”.

The IAWA was founded in 1988, and its core goal is to develop the next generation of female leaders by introducing mentoring programmes, internship programmes and scholarships. The organisation works with universities across the globe to identify candidates and help progress their aviation careers.

Professor Dame Helen Atkinson DBE FREng, Pro-Vice Chancellor, School of Aerospace, Transport Systems and Manufacturing at Ƶ said: “This scholarship continues to support the development of women at Cranfield who are passionate about careers in aviation. These students will be involved in helping to increase the representation of women in the sector. I have no doubt that Eléna will continue to make significant impact in the field.”.

The standard of submissions for the award was extremely high and as a result, Ƶ has awarded two additional runner-up prizes to Kat Keogh and Xue Er Ng. They were awarded £1,500 each by the University to acknowledge the outstanding submission submitted.

Cranfield has specialised in aerospace technology for over 70 years, and it is the only European university with its own airport, its own aircraft, its own pilots and its own air navigation services. As members of the ‘Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter’ and winners of an Athena Swan Bronze Award it has made diversity a priority and the scholarship from IAWA supports that work.