A KILWINNING student has met the King of Spain at a special awards ceremony.

Matthew Craven, 22, was presented with a scholarship at an event in Madrid after being plucked from thousands of students across the UK to receive the financial award.

Matthew is one of 27 graduates across the UK to be selected for the prestigious ScottishPower Foundation scholarship programme aimed at creating the future generation of energy experts.

He is currently studying an integrated Masters in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde after winning one of the coveted scholarships.

He was among a group of 11 of the British scholarship winners flown over to the headquarters of ScottishPower’s parent company Ibedrola in Madrid last week for an award ceremony also attended by fellow scholarship winners from Spain, the USA, Mexico and Brazil.

The scholars were presented their awards by Ibedrola’s chairman, Ignacio Galan, and Ramón Castresana Sanchez, director of the Iberdrola’s foundations committee, before they were received by King Felipe of Spain at a reception held at the Palacio de la Zarzuela.

The ScottishPower Foundation, the charitable arm of the energy provider, is supporting the 27 British graduates at leading universities by funding their enrolment fees and living allowances so that they can concentrate on pursuing careers in the fields of energy and the environment.

Matthew said: “I am very proud to be a scholar and glad to be a part of ScottishPower Foundation programme. The ceremony was brilliant and it was a real pleasure to have met the CEO of Iberdrola. The speech he gave to the scholarship students was very moving and has given me a great deal of motivation to get to where I want to be in my future career.

“Meeting the King of Spain was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. It was very good of him to take the time to individually greet and congratulate each of the scholarship students.”

He added: “Being a ScottishPower Foundation Scholar is by far the best thing happening in my life just now. This scholarship has not only funded my masters course but has also given me the opportunity to engage with people in the industry which has helped me form so many great relationships.”