A special bursary award has led to two engineering graduates scoring jobs at the MSF Sugar Maryborough Mill.

Local CQUniversity Australia mechanical engineering graduate Daniel Nicholson, and University of Queensland chemical engineering graduate Georgia Nilon received a special bursary award in 2015 after applying for the Sugar Research Institute Scholarship program.

Sugar Research Institute receives such a large number of high-quality applications for the SRI scholarship each year that a special, unlisted bursary award funded by Sugar Research Australia was introduced to provide four weeks’ paid work placement for Daniel and Georgia at MSF Sugar’s Maryborough Mill during the 2016 crushing season.

Chemical engineer Georgia Nilon said the bursary allowed her to develop contacts within the industry and, through persistence and confidence Georgia was offered a job in early 2017 by MSF Maryborough Mill’s general manager, Stewart Norton.

Since her employment Georgia has learned a lot from different projects across MSF Sugar mills and worked in the laboratory to get a good understanding of the chemical analysis process and what results are required.

“I went up to South Johnstone and developed a lot of piping and instrumentation diagrams of their pan stage, boilers, juice clarification and heating stations for a potential expansion project,” Georgia said.

“Recently I’ve completed a steam balance analysis of Maryborough Mill looking at our usage of steam everywhere, where we can improve our efficiency.”

Design engineer Daniel Nicholson never gave up on his goal to return to the MSF Sugar Maryborough Mill where he initially worked as a boilermaker apprentice to complete his transformation as a mechanical design engineer.

Daniel explained that, when he applied, he didn’t even expect to be selected for interview let alone get the job; however, MSF Sugar valued Daniel’s four years of trade experience and offered him a new role of design engineer.

“They (MSF Sugar) were after someone with four years’ experience,” Daniel said.

“I did have that experience from working here previously, understood the industry, and had been awarded the bursary as well, so they saw I was capable at that next level rather than just on the tools.”

Daniel said that engineers in the sugar processing industry use a whole range of skills on a variety of projects.

“There’s no one project that’s the same as any other.  At the moment, I have five projects on the go and no two are alike,” Daniel said.

Since the prestigious Sugar Research Institute Scholarship first began in 2015 it has been awarded to 12 recipients. The SRA bursary has been awarded to five recipients. The Australian sugar industry is very much richer with five graduates from the programs now employed.

The Sugar Research Institute Scholarship is awarded to students in their penultimate year studying chemical, mechanical, process or electrical engineering or science degrees with an interest in working in the Australian sugar industry.

Applications for the Sugar Research Institute Scholarship close 12 March 2018.

For more information visit: www.sri.org.au/sris-sugar-research-institute-scholarship/