A Fitting Tribute: How a Mechanical Engineering Student’s Legacy is Helping the Next Generation of Sheffield Engineers

A past student’s legacy is helping to support the next generation of Sheffield engineers to realise their dreams.

Richard Pover began his mechanical engineering studies at Sheffield in 2009 and was passionate about his course and student life at the University. However, during his third year at Sheffield, he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of testicular cancer. Richard sadly passed away in 2013, on the day he would have left university had he finished his degree.

Richard PoverA ‘born engineer’ and dedicated student, Richard was awarded a first class degree posthumously in recognition of his achievements – and now his legacy is helping future and graduating students at the University of Sheffield to pursue their engineering aspirations.

Since 2015, Richard’s family have worked tirelessly to create a lasting memorial leading to the establishment of the Richard Pover Endowment, a fund that will award a scholarship and other prizes to mechanical engineering students at Sheffield – with funds of over £50,000 already raised. It is a fitting tribute to a student who was determined to study mechanical engineering, even throughout his treatment.

Richard’s parents and brothers have taken on a variety of events and challenges to build the fund, and have inspired others to fundraise on their behalf too – including Richard’s former secondary school and the University of Sheffield MechSoc (Mechanical Engineering Student Society) which both held special fundraising activities.

“If we can support other students to go into the world and make their mark as mechanical engineers, just as Richard would have done, then we feel we have done something worthwhile of which Richard would have approved,” explains Anne Pover, Richard’s mother.

The Pover Family“We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received, and this generosity is now helping more young people to embark on their engineering dreams.”

“Knowing the University has helped us to set up the endowment has been of great comfort to Richard's university friends and some of them have said that it makes them proud to be Sheffield graduates.”

To date, the Richard Pover Endowment fund has supported and acknowledged mechanical engineering students at Sheffield through the Richard Pover Scholarship, the Outstanding Contribution Award and the Year in Industry Prize.

● Richard Pover Scholarship: An annual scholarship payment awarded to a high achieving A Level student for every year of study at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Scholarships encourage applications from the most talented students who may have otherwise ruled our attending university for financial reasons.

● Richard Pover Outstanding Contribution Award: This award is made to a graduating student who has significantly contributed to the life of the Department of Mechanical Engineering with their non-academic activities, making an impact with ambassadorial work and involvement in student led activity.

● Richard Pover Year in Industry Prize: This is awarded to a graduating student with the best year in industry presentation, following their time working as part of their degree course.

Matthew Dodgson, the first Richard Pover Scholarship recipient, found the award invaluable in supporting his mechanical engineering studies.

“The Richard Pover Scholarship has enabled me to study without having to commit to paid employment, giving me extra time to do all the things I love which I am sure has led to significant personal development,” he says.

“My degree, which has been significantly helped by the scholarship, has given me the grounding and base I need to fulfil my dreams and aspirations. I just want to say a massive thank you for this scholarship and everything it has allowed me to do, it really has been invaluable.”

Oliver Baseley received the Outstanding Contribution Award in 2018, as he graduated from his mechanical engineering degree. He was touched to have won the award in memory of Richard.

“I thoroughly believe in caring about your surroundings and working to make your environment a better place, which has been the focus of my [non-academic] roles whilst in the Department,” says Oliver.

“Although I've moved on from Sheffield, it will stay in my heart for a long time to come and I hope to give back to the Department to help it further in the future.”

Dave Meadows, Development Officer - Legacies and Individual Giving at the University of Sheffield said: “The Pover family have shown tremendous courage and determination to raise funds to set up this endowment to support mechanical engineering students. It has been a pleasure to share their fundraising journey and to remember Richard in such a positive light. A scholarship or prize can make a real difference to a student's time at the University.

Richard’s legacy and his family’s support for future engineers will undoubtedly leave a positive impact for mechanical engineers at Sheffield for generations to come.

To make a donation to the Richard Pover Endowment please visit the Pover Family Just Giving Page.