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Mahia student wins Rocket Lab scholarship

A YOUNG woman with plans to study engineering, specialising in mechatronics, has been awarded Rocket Lab’s inaugral scholarship.

Wairoa College year 13 student Arianna Ormond is rapt to have been granted the $20,000 scholarship.

Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck said Arianna’s love for engineering throughout a rigorous application process gave her the edge to be awarded the scholarship to study a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Canterbury.

She plans to specialise in mechatronics, an interdisciplinary engineering field that includes aspects of mechanical, computer and electrical engineering.

The Rocket Lab Scholarship was founded to encourage students from Mahia and the greater Wairoa region to pursue university studies in science, technology, mathematics and engineering.

The scholarship covers up to $20,000 of tertiary education fees for up to four years of study, and includes hands-on mentoring from Rocket Lab.

Arianna says the scholarship will give her the freedom to focus solely on her studies and pursue her passion for engineering.

“The scholarship will play a huge role in forging the kind of future I want for myself and hopefully help others in our area to do the same,” she said.

“My family are farmers in Mahia, so I’ve always been around heavy machinery. I also ride motorbikes a lot for mustering around the farm, and have to be aware of hydraulics, electrical and cooling systems too. I like learning how things work and improving them.”

Mr Beck said supporting the growth of science, engineering and technology careers in New Zealand is crucial to continuing a culture of innovation.

“Bright, dedicated and passionate students like Arianna are going to be the drivers behind tomorrow’s innovation. We’re proud to support and mentor students while they develop the skills for this future,” he said.

The Rocket Lab scholarship was founded in 2017 to support the community surrounding Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula. It is designed to foster continued excellence and innovation among New Zealand’s next generation of science, technology, mathematics and engineering leaders.

Applications for the annual scholarship open in term four each year at rocketlabusa.com.

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: With plans to study engineering and specialise in mechatronics, Wairoa College year 13 student Arianna Ormond is the first recipient of a Rocket Lab scholarship worth $20,000. Picture supplied