UPDATE ON API STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE to "Provide a Sustainable Supply of Quality Engineering and Technology Graduates to the Energy Industry".
API Energy Industry Bursary Program
As The Australian Power Institute (API) is constantly working to support the education and professional development of engineers & technologists in the energy industry across Australia, API offers Bursaries to engineering & technology undergraduates with an interest in areas of engineering relevant to the electric power industry. The majority of bursaries are awarded to 1st year students with a proportion available to 2nd and 3rd years.
As the scale of investment and technological change required in the Australian energy sector builds, it is vital to attract diverse engineering and technology talent is to meet the customer expectations for price, reliability and service of electricity for the future. Therefore, API (along with it’s member companies) seek high quality electrical, mechanical, mechatronics, data science, and renewable energy related engineering students with an interest in power engineering to join the cohort each year.
The bursaries provide a cash value of $4,000 over 4 years plus the opportunity where available of paid employment with member companies during the summer vacations.
"The decision to join the API Bursary Program was the best decision I made. API created invaluable networking experiences and provided assistance with securing vacation work which developed my career beyond theoretical/university expertise" – Current API Bursary Holder.
Applications have since closed on 10 May for the 2019 intake of new recipients and the selection committees (composed of industry representative from each member company in each state) have gone to work reviewing and shortlisting the 142 candidates. API looks forward to awarding the 20 new recipients at the Awards Functions held over July/August in each state.
The T.J. Effeney Award: Inspiring and Supporting the Next Generation of Industry Leaders
In honour of the late Terry Effeney, one of Australian energy industry’s greatest contributors, API along with The Effeney Family, Ergon Energy Network and Energex (as part of the Energy Queensland Group) have created the T.J Effeney Award. This award provides a stipend of up to $20,000 per annum.
This Award was created to support an initiative which Mr. Effeney was strongly passionate about, the importance of supporting next generation of leaders within the industry. This award was designed to support selected recipients (open to API Bursary Holders within their undergraduate career) to undertake a project or program of study in the Energy Sector, either domestically or internationally, to further their professional career development.
This year, the selection committee, comprised of three representatives (1 from the API Board, 1 from Energy Queensland Group, and 1 from the Effeney Family) received 4 applications. The selection committee was very impressed with the array of proposals and creativity in experiences sought by those who applied. The committee came to a unanimous decision to award this grant to an impressive student, Jack Bryant from RMIT in Victoria.
Recipient Jack Bryant stated, “I applied for the TJ Effeney Award to gain further insight into international power systems and conduct postgraduate research activities with experts outside of Australia, whilst developing my professional network. This Award affords flexibility in combining professional development activities within industry and academia, providing me with a range of opportunities across different settings both locally and internationally. This breadth of opportunity really appealed to me.
“A sincere thank you to the API, Energy Queensland Group and the Effeney family for their support of this award.” – Jack Bryant
Congratulations to Jack Bryant for being the first recipient of the T.J Effeney Award. API has no doubt that he will do this award justice when conducting further study overseas before returning to Australia to share his learnings with the API Industry Members and Bursary cohort upon his return.
University of Queensland Women in Engineering: Connecting Young Females to the Industry
On Friday 10thMay, The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Women in Engineering team held an exploratory event known as “WE Explore Day” which allowed 30 female high school students to experience a day in the life of an engineering in the industry in Brisbane. Both Rio Tinto and API Member Companies Ergon Energy Network and Energex ,as part of the Energy Queensland Group, invited the students to their facilities to learn from current industry professionals about how engineers are able to use new technologies to deliver innovative projects and solutions, while spreading awareness regarding the many unique and diverse roles that are available within the field after study.
This was a two day event which allowed the curious group of 9, 10 & 11 year students from All Hallows’ School and Kedron State High School to first attend UQ St Lucia’s campus (the day before the industry visits) for a hands on workshop where they were led by UQ’s cohort of Math & Science student experts to learn about the development of clean water processes, the importance of renewable energies and what kind of technologies are involved when creating rockets and prosthetic limbs.
This event was very well organised and impactful as it allowed the high school students to interact with females from undergraduate students, female university professors as well as female industry professionals creating the broader lifecycle of possibilities within the field.
The Australian Power Institute (API) Chief Executive, Mike Griffin, said API recognises the importance of engaging with females earlier in their study, primary school all the way through to high school, in order to help build the strong pipeline of female engineers to ultimately improve gender diversity for the future”
“I believe programs like the UQ Women in Engineering team are making strong strides to achieve this which is why API (and it’s member companies) are keen to continually support this program both financially and through providing practical engagement opportunities for the young females within industry Mr Griffin said.
Day in the Life of a 7 Year Old: Making STEM Real
The Australian Power Institute has partnered with Applied (the Academy of Technology and Engineering) and Project Manager Jane Smith (FourSmith Avenue) to deliver a program which encourages curiosity in year 2 students in all schools across Australia by providing adaptable, practical and skills-based STEM related activities within their curriculum to raise awareness around future career pathways in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
This is especially important as studies show that in recent years, Australia’s performance and participation in STEM high school subjects and industry careers has continued to decline. This is a worry as extensive reports show that STEM knowledge and skills are critical to Australia’s future economy and social well-being within our communities. Research conducted by the Chief Scientist of Australia, Alan Finkel, identifies that early exposure is critical particularly for females.
Therefore, API along with Applied and Project Manager Jane Smith, have created an in-curriculum 6 module program which aims to create curiosity and awareness of STEM careers – translatable in daily life of 7 year old to promote variety, provide openness to opportunity and encourage thinking about how things happen in the world. API Bursary Holders visited the primary schools to interact with year 2 students and give insight into what kind of jobs are possible through STEM backgrounds.
This program was successfully piloted in 2 schools in Queensland last year (Good News Lutheran and Goodna State School) where post program results showed a shift in thinking/awareness of STEM related careers.