Lithgow resident Miranda Swift was has been awarded a Women in Engineering scholarship to study engineering at Charles Sturt University.
NSW Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth, and Women the Hon. Bronwyn Taylor, MLC, made the announcement at Charles Sturt in Bathurst on Tuesday, March 3 when she visited the city as part the celebration of NSW Women's Week.
The merit-based scholarships valued at $3,000 each are funded by the CSU Engineering program to support high potential women as they commence as student engineers in Bathurst.
"I'm humbled to be able to start my career in engineering at Charles Sturt University, and feel the sky's the limit," Ms Swift said.
"What drew me to CSU Engineering was the innovative course structure in which we get to determine our own success.
"I knew that by studying at Charles Sturt University, I could get my master's degree and go into the workforce sooner because the foundation of the course is purely self-driven, and work experience placements are only limited by how hard we work."
Ms Swift described her drive and motivation in the past few years to achieve her goal to study engineering at Charles Sturt.
"When I was sixteen, I discovered the small but powerful community of females in male-dominated fields through a presentation from different women in my area, and was captivated by the lady in the steel-cap boots who designed bridges," Ms Swift said.
"I knew that is what I wanted to pursue, and committed myself to work hard and strive to be just like her.
"I then decided to email local civil engineering companies to gain some experience in the field, and after a week of placement at Calare Civil, I was offered a position as a structural draftsperson.
"Now I reflect on that 'lady in the steel-cap boots' as a critical moment that spurred a lot of my achievements."
Another scholarship recipient was that of Bathurst resident Bridget Annand, who hopes to eventually travel the world with her double-degree Bachelor of Technology (Civil Systems) / Master of Engineering (Civil Systems) and help to produce a world worth living in.
"This scholarship is super awesome as it makes me feel not just comfortable, but welcome and wanted within the male-dominated engineering community," she said.
"Not only will the scholarship reduce the financial pressure and assist to pay my study fees, it has encouraged me in my belief that I will make a good engineer."
Ms Annand said she decided to study engineering because she want to be able to help adapt and change the systems around us as our environment changes at such a rapid rate.
"I want to assist in building and adapting communities so that the growing human population can happily coexist with the rest of the natural world for years to come," she said.
Ms Annand said she initially didn't consider studying at Charles Sturt University as she wanted to move away, however, after examining engineering course options she decided that the local Charles Sturt engineering program was the best course on offer.
"Since I have lived in Bathurst my whole life, I wanted to be exposed to a variety of ideas from more people, so the University's focus on diversity really appealed to me, and its drive to assist female student engineers was very welcome," Ms Annand said.
"CSU Engineering's focus on work placement and practicality will prepare me quickly to become a well-practised engineer, and I believe I will learn so much more in the course."
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