The scholarship, worth up to $20,000, aims to provide engineering students with practical experience in the mining industry, as well as give young tradespeople already working on-site the opportunity to attend university and complete an engineering degree.
The scholarship’s inaugural recipient, Kate McCullough, says it has already changed her life.
“I grew up on a cattle station an hour and a half away from the nearest town, and 45 minutes away from the next person,” she says. “I attended a small school, and there were limited opportunities for young people. Bluefield’s scholarship has given me the flexibility to be able to move 12 hours away from home and support myself while studying towards my engineering degree.”
Kate, who is in her first year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) with a major in Mechanical Engineering, says studying has already changed the way she thinks about the world around her. “I’ve always been interested in how things move and been curious about how things work. Now I’m able to apply the things I’m learning to achieve a different level of understanding. I’m approaching problems in a more structured, logical way - and I’m still only in my first year of study.”
After graduating, Kate plans to spend some time gaining practical experience in a hands-on role, rather than moving straight into a desk job with a big engineering firm. “I know engineers have a bit of a reputation for having not much real-life experience,” she says. “I’m hoping to get a head start on my career by spending a year or so working on-site, and seeing how it really works.”
“I’m so grateful for the opportunities this funding from Bluefield has given me, not only in terms of the financial support that allows me to live on campus, but also helping me to develop valuable connections in the engineering field.”
We at Bluefield believe it is important to nurture new talent to ensure the availability of quality staff in our industry into the future. As well as assisting students who have already chosen to study engineering at USQ, we hope to encourage young tradespeople in the industry, who might not have otherwise been in a position to engage in further study, to consider applying for university.
The Bluefield Engineering Scholarship was established in 2020 and is funded by an annual gift. The scholarship reflects our commitment to engineering education, excellence in asset management and reliability engineering. Interested in applying, or need more information? Click here.