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New engineering scholarship for women
10 February 2015
A generous donation by David Beale encouraged Sarah Howells to study engineering at UNSW.
Sarah Howells was unsure if she would be able to study Engineering at UNSW. The 18-year-old from Hobart was concerned that relocating to Sydney would be too expensive.
But with the support of long-time UNSW patron David Beale, Sarah will be starting her four-year degree in March as the inaugural winner of the $20,000 Women in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Scholarship.
“I was considering studying a Bachelor of Computer Science or Science as well as different combinations of double degrees within Engineering,” Sarah says. “The scholarship was pivotal in my decision to study Engineering at UNSW due to the cost of relocating to Sydney.”
Sarah says she has been interested in engineering since starting high school. “In years 11 and 12 I most enjoyed mathematics and especially physics and chemistry,” she says. “I was part of my school’s robotic club and also took part in Engineers Australia’s ‘Future In Engineering’ program.”
Sarah says she is looking forward to the challenges of engineering and enjoying the University’s facilities.
David Beale, who has contributed to an endowed fund since 2005, says he was delighted that the fund can now support a scholarship specifically for female engineers. “I’m proud to be a part of the UNSW community that is supporting and encouraging more young women to study engineering,” David says.
“A gift of education helps set someone up for life. The industry needs more input from female engineers and I’m glad that my donation is making an important contribution in helping to achieve this.”
Dr Alex Bannigan, the Women in Engineering Manager at the Faculty of Engineering, said it is crucial that scholarships such as this are available. “[They] can make a critical difference to a woman deciding to study engineering or choose a totally different degree,” she says.
“In a discipline [where participant numbers are] very low in women, a scholarship such as this can make a vital difference in helping to encourage women to enter a career in engineering that for too long has been male dominated.”
The Beale family are long-time supporters of UNSW and many worthwhile causes. David’s father, Dr Jack Beale AO, was a passionate advocate of water and environmental management and Australia’s first environment minister, in the NSW Parliament.
The Jack Beale Public Lecture Series, which was established in 1999, provides an opportunity for prominent individuals to talk about Australia’s environmental responsibilities, opportunities and performance in a global context. Past speakers have included Professor Paul Ehrlich, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Professor Steve Raine, Dr Klaus Topfer, Dr Karl-Henrick Robert and Dr David Suzuki.