Universities benefit from US foundation funding

Dr Philip Hanna, QUB, Alison Hamilton, CME Group, Kevin Kometer, chief information officer, CME Group and Professor Gillian Armstrong, UU
Dr Philip Hanna, QUB, Alison Hamilton, CME Group, Kevin Kometer, chief information officer, CME Group and Professor Gillian Armstrong, UU

Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are each to receive funding for a series of programmes after a donation confirmed by a US foundation.

The Chicago based CME Group Foundation will award each $192,000, almost £145,000, over a two-year period for the development of two educational programmes for financial engineering postgraduate and doctorate scholarships and training for computing and coding teachers.

Queen’s will develop courses for over 140 GCSE computing teachers, while UU will fund postgraduate and doctorate scholarships as part of the university’s Financial Engineering project which aims to address the skills requirement for expertise in financial technology within the province.

“CME Group’s office in Belfast has become a hub of technological innovation since it was established five years ago,” said executive director of software engineerign Alison Hamilton.

“We see it as a vital part of our role as an employer in the region to take steps to equip the next generation with these employable skills, throughout their education.”

Dr Philip Hanna from QUB said: Queen’s University Belfast is delighted to partner with CME Group Belfast on a two-year computer programming initiative that will support teachers and inspire pupils. The funding generously provided by CME Group Foundation will enable us to make a real and positive difference to the lives of many young people and, ultimately, to the economy of Northern Ireland.”

At UU, Prof Gillian Armstrong said: “This further investment will enable a new cross faculty Financial Engineering initiative targeting the immediate and pipeline skills requirements for expertise in Financial Technology across Northern Ireland.

“Essentially, the funding will provide support for two PhD studentships and eight MSc studentships with the aim of introducing highly skilled graduates from non-financial engineering backgrounds to access careers in financial services.”

CME is a financial market company operating the world’s largest options and futures exchange.

It owns and operates large derivatives and futures exchanges in Chicago, New York City, and exchange facilities in London, using online trading platforms and opened a technology centre in Belfast in 2012.