UPDATED: 16 March, 2007

Alumnus Newsletter March 2007

Welcome to The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund’s 2007 Newsletter. Greetings and very best wishes to all past Shell Centenary Scholars and Shell Centenary Chevening Scholars. We very much hope that 2006 proved to be a good year for you all. Judging by the news we have received from the ever-increasing family of Shell scholars it was an exciting year for many of you. Thank you very much to all those who sent us their updates, which you will find at the end of this newsletter.

The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund

This was the Fund’s ninth academic year and we welcomed 82 new scholars in total to the 7 UK and 3 Dutch universities which now participate in our scheme. A full list and photographs of the current scholars can as usual be found on our website www.shellscholar.org.

We have further widened the range of developing countries assisted by the Fund as our scholars now represent 80 countries as this year we welcomed scholars from 5 further countries for the first time.

A reception was held in the Hague for the new scholars in the Netherlands but due to the current refurbishment of Shell Centre in London we were unable to host the usual welcome event for new UK scholars, so this year we instead travelled to each of the universities to meet the Scholars. Photographs taken at these events can be found on the website.

The Shell Foundation News

The Foundation’s goal is to tackle long-term social and environmental issues in which the energy industry has a particular role and responsibility. It has projects around the world which make a concrete difference to the lives of millions of people.

The Foundation’s director, Kurt Hoffman, was invited to appear before the British Parliament’s International Development Committee to discuss the Foundation’s ‘private sector’ approach to development following the success in 2005 of the Foundation’s Enterprise Solutions to Poverty report, which was described by London’s The Times newspaper as ‘required reading in Downing Street (the Prime Minister’s office)’ . The report criticised traditional approaches to giving aid and advocated helping small businesses as a way of creating sustainable economic growth and reducing poverty.

The Foundation’s aim in 2006 was to prove this approach on a significant scale. For example, the Breathing Space project, which is designed to tackle indoor air pollution from open fires and stoves which kills 1.6 million people globally each year, resulted in 200,000 households in India having more fuel and emissions-efficient stoves through limited ‘seed-capital’, training, business assistance and close partnerships with local organisations which helped to remove the barriers in the supply chain which had previously prevented a viable commercial market from developing. The size of the Breathing Space team was trebled last year and the next goal is to increase the number of households assisted to 20 million in multiple countries, minimising the risks posed by indoor air pollution for 100 million people.

The Investment Climate Facility (ICF), backed by the Foundation, aims to remove perceived and real obstacles to investment in Africa and was launched last year in South Africa. ICF was one of the Commission for Africa’s key recommendations and received the backing of the G8 countries at the 2005 Summit. The Shell Foundation and Royal Dutch Shell committed $2.5million and were some of the first non-governmental contributors. ICF’s objectives are closely aligned with the Foundation’s belief that enterprise and business thinking must be placed at the heart of the war against poverty.

The Foundation also launched ‘Aspire’, a facility providing $24 million specifically designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises in East Africa whose growth is often hampered by an inability to obtain funding from risk-averse local banks. The project has already helped a number of businesses to grow and succeed and last year won the Africa Investor award for ‘Best Initiative in support of SME development’. The Foundation’s aim is to establish a network of similar funds across Africa in 2007/8.

In Mexico City 250,000 people travel more sustainably each day thanks to the 20 km-long bus corridor implemented by the Foundation’s EMBARQ programme which is now fully up and running and carried its 100 millionth passenger at the end of last year. It has not only cut travel times in half but has significantly reduced congestion, noise and air pollution as well, and set a model for other cities to follow, which is already being explored by Pune, India; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Istanbul, Turkey who are all looking to emulate Mexico City’s success and are now working with EMBARQ to create sustainable transport solutions for their cities.

The Foundation’s ‘enterprise-based’ approach to tackling poverty has received enthusiastic support in two books published last year ‘The White Man’s Burden – why the west’s efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good’ by William Easterly, the New York University professor and former World Bank economist. Also ‘Make Poverty Business – Increase Profits and reduce Risks by Engaging with the Poor’ by Craig Wilson and Peter Wilson, which quotes heavily from the Foundation’s acclaimed Enterprise Solutions report.

Detailed information about the Shell Foundation, its work and a number of case studies and success stories can be accessed by visiting the Foundation’s website www.shellfoundation.org

News from Alumni

We are delighted to have heard from so many alumni this year, especially those from the early years who have not been in touch for some time. Please do continue to share you news with us, and if you haven’t updated us recently, please get in touch! If you are in contact with other alumni who may not have received this newsletter please pass it on to them and remind them to let us have their news and current contact details. If you recognise anyone below with whom you would like to get back in touch, let us know and we will pass your details on.

Addo Ate Acquaye (Ghana, Edinburgh 2001-2002) 2006 was a good year for Addo who returned to Ghana and started a gold and silver refining/recycling business with a couple of university friends.

Romero Advincula Da Rocha (Brazil, Cambridge 2001-2002) spent 3 years in Brazil working with fishermen communities and GIS for coastal protected areas. Now he is in Canada doing a PhD in Ecosystem Modelling at Dalhousie University.

Almaz Ahmadova (Azerbaijan, Cambridge 2005-2006) Almaz is currently working as a Project Manager for the British Association for Early Childhood Education. vaunty Aidamenbor (Nigeria, ICL 2005-2006) is currently in Norway on secondment to Statoil ASA as a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Specialist. He hopes to take these experiences and skills back with him to Nigeria when he returns there to work with specific environmental projects in the oil and gas sector within the Niger Delta Area.

Gboyega Ayeni (Nigeria, Leeds 2005-2006) Having received a distinction in his MSc in Exploration Geophysics Gboyega is now on the PhD programme in Geophysics at the Stanford Exploration Project (Stanford University, USA).

Valeria Bellettini (Ecuador, Cambridge 2005-2006) Valeria is working as a consultant on a global initiative at the FAO headquarters in Rome and the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Danila Bochkarev (Russia, UCL 2003-2004) Danila works in Brussels as a Project Officer on energy security issues at the East West Institute and is keen to hear from any other Shell scholars based in Brussels. He has sent in this interesting recent publication of his on energy security www.ewi.info/tempPDF/EnergyPolicyPaper.pdf

Ana Brailo (Montenegro, Cambridge 2000-2001) Ana is conducting consultancy work for IPA Energy Consulting related to reform of the Montenegrin Energy Sector (working with the Government and Electricity Utility in Montenegro), projects which are financed by the European Agency for Reconstruction, Montenegro. Ana has also been busy in her personal life, and having married in 2003, had her first son, Marko, in March 2005. She recently contacted us a couple of weeks after having twins (a boy- Luka and a girl -Yva). Many congratulations.

Ana Paula Terra Caldiera (Brazil, UCL  2005-2005) is back in Brazil and has returned to the law firm she worked for previously. She has just been promoted to a Senior Associate working in commercial, corporate and contract law as a consultant for local and foreign clients. She also hopes to start teaching law at universities in her home city.

Ryce Chanchai (Thailand, Cambridge 2002-2003) After graduating from Cambridge, Ryce took the Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Master of Arts in International Economics and Southeast Asia Studies at John Hopkins University in Washington, DC and then returned to Bangkok where she has been working in a financial advisory services company, acting as a policy advisor to the Thai Ministry of Finance on issues related to state-owned industries. She has just been offered a post with the UN Millennium Development Campaign in Bangkok and will join them as Policy Analyst in April.

Sommarat Chantarat (Thailand, Cambridge 2001-2002) After her MPhil in Economics Sommarat continued to study and obtained an MSc in Financial Mathematics at the University of Chicago. She is now a PhD candidate at the department of Economics, Cornell University, New York. Her research areas primarily concern economic development in low-income countries, studying factors that might impede their economic growth and exploring new tools to enhance their economic mobility. Specifically, she is exploring the role of social network in mediating access to capital, learning and technology and is currently designing a financial derivative to help the operational agencies and government ensure timely and efficient humanitarian response to food insecurity problems due to drought in northern Kenya's arid and semi-arid areas.

Su Cheen Chuah (Malaysia, Cambridge 2002-2003) is a partner in a boutique legal firm in Kuala Lumpur specialising in corporate commercial matters.

Meixuan Chen (China, UCL 2004-2005) is studying social anthropology at UCL as a PhD student and is currently doing fieldwork in southern China for one year.

Kati Csillery (Hungary, Edinburgh 2004-2005) Kati remained in Edinburgh to do a PhD with the Institute of Evolutionary Biology. The topics she is covering include relatedness estimation, and linkage disequilibrium estimation.

Ana Gerdau de Borja (Brazil, Cambridge 2005-2006) Ana has started her PhD in Law at Cambridge and is currently carrying out research relating to international investment disputes.

Fabio Eon (Brazil, UCL 2000-2001) Since leaving UCLFabio first worked with Synergy in Oxford as a consultant in corporate social responsibility but is now back in Brazil working for UNESCO as Executive Officer for the largest UNESCO representation after its HQ in Paris, implementing over 150 projects in education, culture and social development throughout Brazil. He has also created a webportal on corporate social responsibility issues (CSR) in Brazil. The portal www.responsabilidadesocial.com is now the largest Brazilian newsletter with 25,000 subscribers that receive a monthly and free-of-charge newsletter on business ethics and CSR.

Muhammad Farooq (Pakistan, ICL 2001- 2002) has been working in the Agribusiness Division of Pakistan's largest fertilizers company and has recently been promoted to Area Manager in Sales and Agribusiness for the Balochistan Province of Pakistan.

Pablo Faúndez (Chile, ICL 2004-2005) returned to Chile and set up a company specialising in wind energy consultancy (mainly economic and financial analysis, design, resource assessment, environmental studies and permits procurement for the operation and construction of wind farms) which is currently developing three wind farms supported by state grants and carrying out project development for private companies as well. See their web site: www.ecoingenieros.cl where you can find further details of their activities.

Monica Gonzales Pico (Venezuela, UCL 2003-2004) As reported in our last newsletter, Monica started her own architecture office and construction company back home in Venezuela in association with an American company. She has fulfilled her ambition to teach at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas. She is also expecting a baby and we look forward to being able to give you more news in the next newsletter.

Jennifer Griffith (now Straughn) (Barbados, Oxford 1998-99) Jennifer initially returned home but is now working as an actuarial analyst at Legal & General in Surrey, UK.

Sana Haider (Pakistan, Edinburgh 1999-2000) Sana has moved from Washington DC to Toronto, Canada in June 2006. After working for the World Bank and then IMF in DC for five years she is now Vendor Manager for American Express reporting to the Director of Consumer and Small Business Services managing major vendors that provide services to American Express Technologies and Business.

Mahmoud Hammoud (Lebanon, Cambridge 2003-2004) is currently doing the second year of his PhD in mathematics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Cristian Hernandez-Cuevas (Chile, Cambridge 2002-2003) Since leaving Cambridge, Cristian has been involved in a number of biotech business consulting assignments in Chile and since 2005 has been working in licensing and business development at a biotechnology company in Cambridge. He is also editor of the International Electronic Journal of Technology Transfer and Innovation and has contributed to a number of websites dedicated to science and technology in the developing world. In October 2006 he was awarded the Dawson Scholarship, a prestigious award in the Business Development arena. He hopes to return to Chile when his wife concludes her studies this year.

Dwi Sarah Hidayat (Indonesia, Durham 2005-2006) has just completed her masters course in Engineering Geology and recently returned to the Research centre for Geotechnology, Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI).

Anthony Ikeme (Nigeria, Oxford 1998-1999) is running a consultancy company back home in Nigeria.

Westmin James (Trinidad, Cambridge 2004-2005) has returned to Trinidad and been called to the Trinidad and Tobago bar having graduated from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad on the Principal’s Honour Roll. He has now joined one of the top Chambers in Trinidad and has also taken up a lecturing position in Law.

Rohit Jindal (India, Edinburgh 2003-2004) Rohit is now working towards his PhD at Michigan State University in the US developing an MSc topic – making environmental conservation work for the rural poor - having received a distinction at Edinburgh.

Gaurav Joshi (India, ICL 1999-2000) Gaurav is back in India working as a consultant, mostly with the World Bank's Environment Team in Delhi on issues related to infrastructure and carbon finance. As well as this, he is teaching, currently guiding the dissertation of a Transportation Engineering student on the subject of environmentally sound road design. He had also just married – congratulations!

Luciana Juvenal (Argentina, UCL 2003-2004) Is currently in the third year of a PhD in Economics at the University of Warwick. Last year she did an internship at the European Central Bank (ECB), in the International Policy Analysis and Emerging Economies Division learning in particular about monetary policy issues and the links between economic developments in emerging economies and the Euro Zone.

Sudeep Kanungo (India, UCL 1999-2000) After his Masters in Geology Sudeep completed a PhD in Geology in 2005 and is now a faculty member at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA. He works in the Energy & Geoscience Institute in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the university and is enjoying it greatly.

Mbelwa Katunzi (Tanzania, Eindhoven 2004-2006) has returned to Tanzania to work in the field of Sustainable Energy Technology.

Krisada Kritayakirana (Thailand, Cambridge 2001-2002) is working as a lecturer at his alma mater (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand) and enjoying teaching and researching in the automotive field. Next year he will be undertaking a PhD in the US under the Fulbright Science and Technology fellowship.

Bibi Kulsoom Khan (Pakistan, Cambridge 1998-1999) Bibi returned home following her scholarship year but is now working part-time in the US as a GIS programmer/Data analyst, and also taking care of her 2 year old daughter.

Imad Mahayri (Syria, Cambridge 2002-2003) Following Cambridge Imad spent more than two years working in the middle east and then moved to Canada and is working currently in an environment and water resources consultancy (Worley Parsons Komex in Calgary) that serves the oil and gas industry.

Susan Mani (India, Cambridge 2000-2001) Susan is currently working in a market research company that makes extensive use of econometric and statistical techniques.

Sherif Moussa (Egypt, ICL 1998-1999) returned home and is now a Lecturer at Ain Shams University, Cairo

Gabriel Mpubani (Uganda, Cambridge 2000-2001) After completing his LLM he returned to Uganda where he practised law and lectured at the Uganda Christian University, Mukono. In 2004, Gabriel moved to the London office of Clifford Chance LLP, was admitted to practice in England & Wales as a solicitor in March 2006 and is currently working in the London office of the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP as a legal associate practising Project Finance and focussing on Africa and the Middle East. He is currently working on deals in Nigeria, Zambia, Madagascar and Saudi Arabia.

Tchefor Ndukum (Cameroon, Cambridge 2001-2002) Tchefor is currently doing a PhD in Physics at Cornell University, researching quantum-limited measurements, quantum coherence and fluctuations in condensed matter systems and nano-electro-mechanics, having first studied in the field of experimental condensed matter physics at Cambridge.

Thiago Neto (Brazil, Cambridge 2002-2003) is working as a planning and budget analyst for the Brazilian Ministry of Planning and has been promoted to coordinator for feasibility analysis of major projects. He is also reading for a BSc in Accounting at the University of Brasilia.

Tonga Nfor (Cameroon, Edinburgh 2004-2005) Having graduated with a distinction in Public Health Research, Tonga spent 5 months as Research Fellow with the University of Aberdeen on a global project to reduce maternal mortality in developing countries and then returned home to work as a Programme Manager in the Ministry of Public Health. In June this year he will be starting a Postdoctoral Training Programme in the US.

Adegbola Ojo (Nigeria, UCL 2004-2005) is currently working on a PhD project at the University of Sheffield which is aimed at developing a geodemographic classification system for Nigeria.

Yang Ming Ong (Malaysia,Cambridge 2003-2004) Yang Ming has been working at the Boston Consulting Group in South East Asia since October 2005, engaged on several projects in Indonesia involving microfinance, and the organizational restructuring of a major domestic bank.

Juan Carlos Ortiz Nicolas (Mexico, Delft 2004-2006) - after graduation, the Faculty of Industrial Design asked Juan to extend his study for two months – which is leading to two papers. He is now back in Mexico City planning to work in industrial design to create products for the local market. He is also considering a position as a university teacher in Mexico.

Onyeka Osuji (Nigeria, Oxford 2003-2004) is now back in the UK in the second year of his PhD in law at The University of Manchester and has qualified as a solicitor of England and Wales.

Bernardo Peredo (Bolivia, Oxford 2003-2004) is now working in his home country until the end of 2007, analysing new government development policies, particularly related to their actions on renewable natural resources, biodiversity and community enterprises. He was chosen as the Profile Student of his Faculty in the Oxford Graduate Prospectus.

Wei Leong Poh (Singapore, Oxford 2005-2006) Wei Leong returned to his military service in Singapore and is using his free evenings to study for a second Masters degree in Environmental Management which will build on the Biodiversity, Conservation and Management Masters course he undertook at Oxford. For his dissertation he hopes to do some work either on Indonesian fires or the Kyoto Protocol. This will equip him with an international and a local outlook in terms of environmental management. In the little spare time he has he joined a shooting club!

Victoria Popova (formerly Mischenko) (Russia, UCL 2000-2001) is currently working as in-house counsel at Philip Morris in Moscow having previously worked as an associate with two major international law firms Coudert Brothers LLP and Orrick, both in Moscow.

Ragavendra Prasad (India, Twente 2004-2006) returned to the Netherlands to research Biomass gasification and is working on a new and innovative technology for sustainable development. He looks forward to putting his work to practical use in his home country soon.

Nives Mikelic Preradovic (Croatia, Cambridge 2003-2004) Nives is finishing her PhD in Croatia with a thesis on machine dictionary that will assist in translation. We send our congratulations on her recent marriage.

Michele Richmond-Phillips (Guyana, Cambridge 1998-1999) Having returned home to Guyana she has been working with the Government of the Virgin Islands (Development Planning Unit) for the past 5 years as a statistician.

Alban Rrustemi (Kosova, Cambridge 2003-2004) is in his third year of a PhD at Cambridge.

Wolfgang Salas (Colombia, Cambridge 2005-2006) is now working for a multinational company based in Colombia, which develops engineering projects in Latin America and is trying to introduce sustainable development principles there.

Marcelo Segura (Chile, Cambridge 2005-2006) has kept in touch with some of his fellow Shell scholars and is in the second term of his PhD program in biochemistry in Cambridge.

Yi Shu (China, Delft 2004-2006) Having graduated Yi Shu joined Shell.

Aadya Shukla (India, Edinburgh 1998-1999) After working for 6 years as a researcher, is now a DPhil student in Computing at Oxford University.

Himanshu Sikka (India, UCL 2003-2004) returned to India and is working with a consulting firm in the development sector primarily advising the government on issues of public policy, public finance and institutional strengthening.

Narongdech Srukhosit (Thailand, Cambridge 2000-2001)Is now a lecturer of law at Chulalongkorn University, shortly to become an Assistant Professor. He has published a number of papers, and articles relating to the recent political incidents in Thailand. He was also promoted to Assistant to the President of the University, responsible for legal matters, including representing the University as a member of the Ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives for revising the University Bill. Narongdech has also been working as a TV anchorman and moderator and runs a radio program disseminating basic legal knowledge.

Dima Ben Tarif (Jordan, Edinburgh 2005-2006) Dima is working as a software business analyst in Amman.

Justin Basile Echouffo Tcheugui (Cameroon, Cambridge 2005-2006) is continuing with his PhD in epidemiology, still in Cambridge.

Yik Ying Teo (Singapore, Oxford 2000-2001) Yik Ying has completed a DPhil in Statistics at Oxford, and is now pursuing a postdoctoral career with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, contributing statistical support in the global effort to identify genetical and environmental factors associated with the onset of malaria in at least 14 African and Asian countries. He then intends to return home to contribute to the research scene in Singapore.

Sheryl Thompson (Jamaica, Cambridge 1998-1999) returned home immediately after Cambridge but is currently pursuing a PhD in Management Science at Lancaster University.

Sandra Velarde ( Peru, Edinburgh 2001-2002) After almost four years of working in Kenya on natural resource management, Sandra recently jointly published a book on the community-level approach to forward looking methods entitled "Field guide to the Future: Four Ways for Communities to Think Ahead" which can be downloaded from http://www.asb.cgiar.org/PDFwebdocs/Evans-et-al-2006-Field-guide-to-the-future.pdf. It was produced following collaboration with communities in many parts of the world, particularly in tropical forest margins.

Maya Wakim (Lebanon, Durham 1999-2000) is working in a bank in the Organisation and Stategic Planning Department and has fond memories of her stay in Durham.

Sonali Wayal (India, Edinburgh 2005-2006) Having graduated with an MSc in Public Health Research Sonali hopes to undertake a PhD with field work in India which will be related to infectious disease control and care programmes, and in the meantime has joined the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, as a research fellow.

Charles Shey Wiysonge (Cameroon, Cambridge 1998-1999) is now Research Officer for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dominic Tien Ee Yeo (Singapore, Cambridge 2004-2005) Dominic is currently undertaking a PhD in Social Psychology at Cambridge.

And finally……

We hope that 2007 is a happy and successful year for you all. Please do keep in touch with us at and let us have your news! We encourage you also to stay in contact with the wider Shell scholar family as well.

Julia Berry
March 2007

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