UQ Mechanical and Mining Engineer alumnus supports remote students with a passion for STEM

19 Aug 2021

Growing up in Mt Isa in Western Queensland, MineGeoTech founder and The University of Queensland Mechanical and Mining Engineering alumnus Dr John Player’s ties to the outback and mining sector are lifelong, but it was his first year of study away from the support of his local community that prompted him to fund a scholarship to encourage and support STEM students from remote areas.

The MineGeoTech Scholarships, available through UQ’s Aspire Scholarship program, aims to improve educational opportunities for students to study STEM subjects and encourage and support students from remote or very remote areas in their first year of study. 

Dr Player knows first hand how valuable support is for remote students when considering university studies. Coming from a rural area and living away from his family and support network, he found his first year of university life difficult. He has since gone on to achieve a master’s degree and a PhD, work on remote mine sites for over a decade, and founded Perth-based mining company, MineGeoTech in 2010.

“MineGeoTech want to give back to the regional communities which we have grown up with and support young adults with aspirations who could use a helping hand,” Dr John Player said.

“In supporting development within the STEM fields, we improve society as a whole.”

Open to all UQ STEM students, the scholarships are not restricted to the state of Queensland – anyone can apply as long as they meet the application criteria.

This year’s recipient is third year UQ Bachelor of Agribusiness and Agricultural Science student, Jessie Tattam.

“I chose UQ because of the ability to study at their Gatton campus which allowed me to remain regionally located; this is where I feel at home,” Tattam said.

“I love the focus on farming for the future and sustainable practices [at UQ].

“Receiving the MineGeoTech Aspire Scholarship has helped me a lot with residential college fees. It has also provided a bit of a buffer to allow me to focus on study and immerse myself in university life through student societies, networking events, and work experience,” she said.

Learn more about the MineGeoTech Aspire Scholarship recipient and visit UQ Scholarships to apply.