Four undergraduate engineering students with an interest in sugar processing have each been awarded the prestigious Sugar Research Institute Scholarship for 2016.

Sugar Research Institute’s 2016 scholarship intake attracted a record number of applications from university undergraduates throughout Australia in their penultimate year of a mechanical, chemical, process or electrical engineering degree.

Successful 2016 Sugar Research Institute Scholarship recipients include:

Matthew White:  CQ University Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op) and Diploma of Professional Practice (Electrical)

Jing Wei Mak:  Curtin University, Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical), Bachelor of Commerce (Finance)

Jessica Dale:  QUT Bachelor of Engineering (Process)

Ben Hillier:  JCU Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

Scholarship recipients undertake three work placements of four weeks in Australian sugar mills during crushing and maintenance seasons and also receive $7,500 plus wages and allowances. The 2016 scholars will complete their first work placement during this year’s crushing season.

In 2015, scholars gained valuable learning experience of process systems and machinery, insights into the maintenance requirements of a sugar factory, and opportunities to apply theory on real projects that improve process efficiency, sugar quality and plant design.

Following successful completion of their final work placement this year, SRI’s 2015 scholarship recipients will have acquired quality industry experience and enthusiasm for an opportunity to commence full-time employment in sugar mills.

Due to the high quality of applications, Sugar Research Institute partnered with Sugar Research Australia this year to award a special bursary to two students:

Daniel Nicholson: CQUniversity Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)

Georgia Nilon:  UQ Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical)

The special bursary is an additional award funded by Sugar Research Australia and will include four weeks paid work placement at Maryborough Sugar Mill.

Bruce King from SRI’s training department said the 2015 scholarship intake was highly successful in giving scholars valuable sugar factory experience, application of theory to project-based outcomes, and financial support to help with university studies.

“In addition to financial and work placement support, the scholarship program helps recipients to make the most of their university experience through extra development opportunities by building their leadership skills and professional networks,” Mr King said.

Occupations for graduates in the sugar processing industry typically include maintenance planners, production superintendents, electrical engineers, factory managers, chief chemists and engineering managers.