A Hunter Valley student has won a $34,000 engineering scholarship from Rio Tinto's Bengalla coal mine.
The student, Renee Hirst from St. Joseph's Aberdeen high school, will now receive $8500 per year over four years to aid her in completing a mining, electrical, mechanical, environmental, chemical or mineral processing undergraduate engineering degree.
Hirst described winning the Bengalla Engineering Scholarship as "overwhelming and very exciting".
"I've been accepted at the University of Newcastle to study a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science so I'm grateful this scholarship will reduce financial pressures so I can focus on my studies," she said.
"I am most looking forward to completing vacation work at Bengalla where I can get a real feel for what chemical engineering is like, gain valuable insights from experienced professionals, and have first hand experience in my field."
Bengalla general manger operations, Jo-Anne Scarini, said "the Bengalla Engineering Scholarship continues to be a way that our mine can support and encourage young people to pursue a career in engineering".
"The scholarship provides valuable industry experience through ten weeks of paid vacation work at Bengalla in addition to the $34,000 financial support to study engineering at university. I look forward to welcoming Renee to site to develop skills and gain real life engineering experience on a mine site."