Best and brightest scholars celebrated

12 Apr 2017

Academically gifted students with a passion for study have been celebrated by The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT) in the seventh annual EAIT Scholars program awards.

The University of Queensland program provides the Faculty’s top students in engineering, architectural design and technology with enhanced academic, industry and cultural experiences.

EAIT Scholars are those who have displayed leadership within The University and the community.

Executive Dean Professor Simon Biggs said the top five per cent of students were invited to participate in the program – this year, 341 students.

“We’ve also welcomed all high-achieving EAIT students who were awarded UQ Vice Chancellor’s Scholarships, UQ Excellence Scholarships, or EAIT Merit Scholarships when they enrolled in their EAIT degree,” Professor Biggs said.

There are three streams of EAIT Scholars, named after influential individuals from UQ’s rich history of each discipline – the Birrell, Hawken and Prentice scholars.

The architectural design students are known as the Birrell Scholars, named in honour of James Birrell and his long-standing relationship with Queensland architecture. Birrell designed UQ’s Union College, the acclaimed Hartley Teakle Building, among other important buildings.

The engineering students are called the Hawken Scholars, named after Professor Roger Hawken, UQ’s first Civil Engineering professor, who believed the complete engineer should have a combination of wide-ranging experiences and cultured insights, coupled with academic excellence, to be successful.

Finally, the information technology students are known as the Prentice Scholars. Professor Sydney Prentice was instrumental in the establishment of the University’s first computer centre in 1962, and went on to be awarded an Order of Australia in 1979.

“It really is a joy to see all of these bright minds come together for the program – it’s easy to see the potential for greatness in the room.”

In addition to developing close contacts within their cohort, these students receive priority access to research, international exchange and industry-sponsored opportunities, including an annual leadership function, industry networking events and student mentoring from industry partners such as Boeing.

EAIT graduate and Scholar Karl Domjahn (Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Master of Engineering ’16) said the Hawken Scholars program had provided him with many special opportunities.

"The financial support I received while at UQ allowed me to participate in two overseas study exchanges, first with UQ Abroad to Purdue University in the USA and the second time to the Mobile Rocket Base within the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Munich, Germany,” Mr Domjahn said.

These experiences led to Mr Domjahn being the only Australian named in the “20 Twenties” by Aviation Week Magazine and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

“I am now working as a graduate mechanical engineer with Boeing Defence Australia, conducting ground and flight test planning for the E-7A Wedgetail at the Royal Australian Air Force base Amberley,” said Mr Domjahn.

“In the future I hope to be an advocate for this industry and aid humankind’s exploration of our solar system.”

EAIT Scholars Welcome