Scholarship to support women’s spark for electrical engineering

University of the Sunshine Coast

As engineering enrolments continue to grow at The University of the Sunshine Coast, $40,000 in new scholarships will ensure women can plug in to the opportunity.

Two Veolia Women in Electrical Engineering Scholarships, worth $20,000 each over four years, will support female students starting an undergraduate Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) (Honours) program, delivered at UniSC’s Moreton Bay campus.

The scholarships were sparked by a long-standing partnership between Veolia ANZ and UniSC, and a shared mission towards driving sustainability and innovation.

UniSC Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Helen Bartlett, said the scholarships would play an important role in attracting more women to engineering.

“We’ve had an enormous growth in popularity across our engineering courses, 13 percent on last year, and yet all of the new students in the Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) program this year have been male,” Professor Bartlett said.

“Electrical engineering degrees offer enormous career opportunities and Veolia sets high targets for employing female engineers, so it’s important we make those pathways clear for women as they consider their study options.

“It’s wonderful that we can work with Veolia to create such pathways. Through partnerships like this, our students are able to build networks, access facilities and learn from leading industry experts, and this all leads to better graduate outcomes.

Christophe Maquet, Veolia Senior Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific with UniSC Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Helen Bartlett

“Our ongoing partnership with Veolia, and our shared vision of innovation and sustainability, has also led to the development of our water battery which features more than 6,000 solar panels and cuts our energy use at our Sunshine Coast campus by 40 percent.

“Recent data from Engineering Australia shows that only 13 percent of the Australian engineering workforce is female, and Veolia has set its target at 50 percent, making the company a promising employer for women,” Professor Bartlett said.

Veolia Senior Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific, Christophe Maquet said he was pleased to visit UniSC for the first time to support the initiative.

“From having a science degree myself, I have seen enormous workforce opportunities that these degrees present, and am very pleased to announce assistance for female students to reach their dream job,” Mr Maquet said.

“This is just one of the ways that Veolia is pushing ahead with ecological transformation, as we help our customers with sustainable solutions.”

Veolia ANZ Chief Operating Officer, Industrial and Energy, Grant Winn said it was important to ensure more women went into STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.

“Veolia is one of the largest employers across waste, water and energy and is continuing to grow, and the demand for these roles will only accelerate in the immediate future,” Mr Winn said.

“We hope to help more female engineers and other STEM-qualified graduates and experienced professionals join our team.”

With a relationship stemming back to the early 2000s, Veolia partnered with UniSC in the spirit of innovation in a formal industry engagement agreement.

“Long-term partnerships need to be nurtured to flourish and our relationship with UniSC has become a true example of this engagement,” Mr Winn said.

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