Playford Trust offers study and career boosts

Seventeen Flinders University students, from first year through to PhD, are the recipients of the latest round of prestigious Playford Trust scholarships – with several funded in partnership with major companies, industry organisations and businesses.

Scholarships were awarded to science and technology, biomedical nanotech and engineering disciplines, as well as biodiversity and conservation and marine biology and cover many fields from advance advanced manufacturing and space technologies to health sciences, aquaculture and climate change.

South Australia’s annual Playford Trust scholarships and awards offer financial support from $5000-$10,000 a year also provide opportunities for work experience, industry networking and employment openings for some of the State’s most talented recipients.

The 2024 Flinders University PhD scholarships, funded for more than three years, feature a Playford Trust Defence Science and Technology Group Playford Trust scholarship to Cecilia Andersson whose Doctor of Philosophy will focus on statistics, physics and data science research after another First Class Honours graduate Susanne Sahlos whose detailed nanotech PhD (Science and Engineering) will be supported by the Flinders Microscopy and Microanalysis lab.

Playford PhD scholarships were also awarded to Sofie Costin PhD (biodiversity and conservation), who is investigating the ecological impacts of buffel grass invasion, and David Mansueto, a biomedical engineer seeking a career in medical device research and development after his PhD project.

Playford Trust Honours scholarships went to other outstanding Flinders students:

Freya Barr, Bachelor of Science (Hons) (Environmental Science) – who is involved in a College of Science and Engineering project with the District Council of Robe to help reduce erosion of the town’s beaches.

Emily Bowyer, Bachelor of Science (Biodiversity and Conservation) (Hons), whose Honours project involves Flinders University’s major conservation efforts to save the endemic pygmy bluetongue lizard.

Joel Clark, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Hons), who is interested in engineering solutions for the transport and structural engineering industries with an Honours project looking to reduce road traffic congestion.

Jackson Rendall, Bachelor of Science (Hons) (Enhanced Program for High Achievers), whose biodiversity and conservation degree has led to an Honours project using genomics to study Adelaide trapdoor spiders on the site of a future windfarm in the State’s Mid North. This species digs burrows that provide crucial habitat for endangered pygmy bluetongue lizards.

Jamie Lowe, Bachelor of Science (Hons) (Biotechnology), was presented with a Playford Trust Honours Scholarship by Mrs Fiona MacLachlan OAM.  Jamie’s Honours project will contribute to the development of technology designed to reduce the adverse effects of abiotic stress on agricultural systems.

Other Flinders University scholarship recipients include:

Miranda Milton, Bachelors of Engineering (Civil) (Hons) and Major in Environmental Engineering received the Aurecon / Playford Trust Engineering Scholarship, which includes a work placement opportunity.

Christelle Richardson, Bachelor of Engineering  (Electrical and Electronic) (Hons)and Master of Engineering (Mechanical), received the Built / Playford Trust Honours Scholarship in Civil, Structural and Construction Engineering – which has an internship opportunity with construction group and industry sponsor Built.

Abbeygale Hill, Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) (Hons), has won this year’s Clean Seas / Playford Trust Aquaculture Scholarship as she pursues a career in aquaculture and marine conservation.

Max Clifton, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Hons), won this year’s engineering scholarship awarded by The Hon Sir Eric Neal / Playford Trust.

Joshua Fullerton, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Hons), will also have a work placement at WSP while completing his Honours study as part of this year’s WSP / Playford Trust Engineering Scholarship.

Three new Flinders students were awarded Rural and Regional STEM Scholarships

Aedan Bolwell, Bachelor of Science (Hons) (Enhanced Program for High Achievers), from Kangaroo Island, received a Playford Trust Rural and Regional STEM Scholarship after excelling in Year 12 at boarding school in Adelaide.

Loren Duffield, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil), from the Mid North, and Eliza Johnston, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), also received a Rural and Regional STEM Scholarship to embark on her undergraduate degrees at Flinders University.

As well Chloe Htun, a graduate in Engineering Design and Aboriginal Studies from Flinders University’s Extension Program, was successful in obtaining a Playford Trust / Andy Thomas Space Foundation Scholarship to commence a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Adelaide. Her aim is to become an astronaut.

Last year, the Playford Trust and 33 industry, education and community partners supported 90 high-achieving tertiary students to contribute to South Australia’s skills, knowledge and research base.

Established in 1983 in honour of SA’s longest-serving Premier, the program aims to actively encourage outstanding university and TAFE SA students into science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, to complement Federal and State Government programs.

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