Opening doors for a future in engineering

The Company has been supporting the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship since 1997, sponsoring 77 talented engineering scholars. This year is their 30th anniversary and we celebrate with a story of Haberdasher Apprentice, Lisa Davies.

Lisa with Andrew Tarpey, Liveryman and Arkwright's Company Contact


The Smallpeice Trust’s Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme is designed to inspire sixth form students to pursue their dreams and change the world as future leaders in engineering. Applying in Year 11 and awarded at the beginning of Year 12, the two-year scholarships offer so much more than just funding.

Each scholar is offered personal mentoring, invaluable hands-on industry experience and real-world learning opportunities. 

Being an Arkwright Engineering Scholar is a real badge of honour. It gives students an insight into what it is like to be an engineer and enhances their careers for years to come. Over the past 30 years, more than 6,000 of the UK’s best and brightest have benefitted from an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship – like-minded students who have formed lifelong friendships while shaping tomorrow’s world.

We are delighted that the Haberdashers’ Company has been supporting the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme since 1997, sponsoring 77 talented, hard-working engineering scholars.

One of those scholars, Apprentice Lisa Davies, was awarded her scholarship in 2017. This is her story (below).

Liveryman Andrew Tarpey shares his experiences of being Arkwright’s Company Contact. 

“Company members who are engineers are rare beasts, so when I was asked to be the Company Contact for Arkwright back in 2014 I said yes because it was a perfect fit: not only being the link between the Hall and the charity but also to act as a mentor for the four Haberdasher Arkwright Scholars per year – and being made to feel like a wise old owl is a tonic for the ego!

I am unfailingly impressed at the quality of the young people who gain an Arkwright scholarship, not only “our own” (having now mentored over two dozen Haberdasher scholars), but also more widely when I have helped interview candidates from a range of schools. They really are first-class, both academically and in their extra-curricular pursuits. As Lisa exemplifies on these pages, their breadth of interests and talents, as well as engagement with improving society through STEM subjects, is superb.

The scholarships themselves are valuable to both the student and the school, which receives £400 for each scholar. For this reason and many others I am very keen to push Arkwright Scholarships further into our Federation schools. Please contact me or Susan Barry to find out more!
Finally, a nugget of incidental trivia: Sir Ralph Freeman, who was the chief engineer responsible for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, went to Haberdashers’ Aske’s (then in Hampstead).”

If you would like to know more about how you can help students like Lisa realise their potential as future engineering leaders, please get in touch at

Susan Barry

Director for Charities

“From the moment my Grandad gave me his special spanner and opened up a magical world of nuts and bolts and moving parts, it’s been mechanical engineering for me. For as long as I can remember, I have been taking things apart to discover how they work.

In 2015 I entered my school’s STEM competition with my project Xorbit, a car dehumidifier which sits in the car’s cup holder. It incorporates indicating silica gel, a transparent body so the user can watch it working, and a scented top. With the encouragement of my Physics teacher, I entered and won the Big Bang Competition in 2016 and was awarded the title UK Junior Engineer of the Year. I used the proceeds from both my Arkwright Engineering Scholarship and the National Award to buy a laser cutter, allowing me to develop and manufacture Xorbit. I launched it into the marketplace in November of 2016. Four and a half years later and it’s still thriving and helping me pay my way through university! 

I am currently studying for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. I am a member of the Formula Student Team, UBRacing, and look forward to leading the Drivetrain Department next academic year.

In 2019 I was awarded the Jaguar Land Rover Spen King Sustainability Award through the IMechE, and during the summer of 2021 am very excited to be starting a three-month placement at JLR, working in Body Engineering.



During my time at the company, I hope to learn valuable soft and technical skills, while expanding my network, learning first hand from leading engineers in their field. Thanks to my sponsor, the Haberdashers’ Company, my Arkwright Engineering Scholarship opened many doors for me, most notably through meeting my Haberdashers’ Company mentor, Andrew Tarpey.

Andrew has been an amazing contact, introducing me to many new people and providing me with invaluable advice over the past 4 years. As a result of meeting Past Master, Richard Glover, at various networking events, I am honoured to now be an Apprentice at the Haberdashers' Company and hope that in the future I can use my position to inspire the next generation of female engineers. 

I would encourage any budding engineer to apply to the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship. There’s nothing to lose and so much to gain! If I had to give one piece of advice it would be to grab every opportunity that comes your way. You never know where it may lead you!”

Lisa Davies, Apprentice