Development & Alumni Relations Office 


12 September 2017

The Chicago-based CME Group Foundation today (12 September) announced it will provide strategic support and grants of $384,000 to the two universities in Northern Ireland for the development of educational programmes for financial engineering postgraduate and doctorate scholarships and training for computing and coding teachers.

Queen’s and Ulster universities will each receive $192,000 over a two-year period to fund the following programmes:

Queen’s University Belfast will develop courses for over 140 GCSE computing teachers to equip them with the skills to both successfully teach and inspire pupils to study the computing and coding to a high standard.

Ulster University will fund postgraduate and doctorate scholarships as part of the university’s Financial Engineering project which aims to address, and provide a solution to the immediate and long-term skills requirement for expertise in financial technology within Northern Ireland.

Alison Hamilton, Executive Director Software Engineering at CME Group commented: “CME Group’s office in Belfast has become a hub of technological innovation since it was established five years ago.  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.”

Kassie Davis, Executive Director at CME Foundation said: “CME Group Foundation is proud to offer the support to these two institutions and to the valuable work they are doing for the sector and for their students.

“CME Group has a long track record of supporting educational initiatives that benefit individuals and the economy more broadly. We are therefore delighted to make these donations and to partner with Ulster and Queen’s over the next two years.”

Dr Philip Hanna, Director of Education, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s 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.”

Professor Gillian Armstrong, Head of Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, University of Ulster added: Ulster University Business School has received invaluable support from CME Group Foundation since 2015. 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 Group is the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace offering the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes. The CME Group Foundation, which was created in 2008, works to advance the economy by supporting education from cradle to career by partnering with universities, school districts, charter networks and non-profit organizations that work to ensure at risk young children are prepared for kindergarten.

For further information on CME Group Foundation, please contact Fleur Binyon, Manager, Corporate Communications, on tel: +44 (0)20 3379 3831.

Media inquiries to Emma Gallagher, Communications Officer at Queen’s University on +44 (0)28 9097 5384.

Caption (L-R): Dr Philip Hanna (Queen's), Alison Hamilton (Head of CME Group, Belfast), Kevin Kometer (Chief Information Officer, CME Group Chicago) and Professor Gillian Armstrong (UU).

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