18 October 2020

Alcoa champions future female engineers


Kate Leekong - 2020 Alcoa Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship Recipient small
Kate Leekong gained invaluable industry connections as the 2020 recipient of the Alcoa Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship.

Alcoa of Australia is continuing its long-running support for aspiring female engineers with applications now open for the Alcoa Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarships.

As an industry leader in diversity and inclusion, Alcoa was the first company to initiate specific scholarships for women studying engineering at Curtin University more than a decade ago.

The scholarships, named in honour of a former Alcoa engineer, aim to increase the number of females in the profession.

2020 scholarship recipient Katie Leekong, who is currently studying Chemical Engineering at Curtin University in Perth, urged other students to apply saying it was an amazing opportunity to build industry connections and alleviate the financial stress of studying.

“Engineering is so much more than what is taught at university and it is really important to connect with different companies and industries so you can talk to skilled engineers and gain an understanding of where you want your degree to take you,” Katie said.

“Through this scholarship, I was fortunate to be mentored by one of Alcoa’s senior chemical engineers. She gave me invaluable insight into how my degree could be applied to alumina refining and mineral processing in general, as well as professional development advice that will be crucial in my journey to becoming an engineer.

“Especially during such uncertain times, it was reassuring to know Alcoa had my back and helped me to strive for my absolute best in my studies.”

The one-year scholarships, valued at $5,000 each, are open to full-time female students at Curtin University enrolled in their second, third, fourth or fifth year of studies. Eligible engineering courses include Civil and Construction, Chemical, Electrical and Electronic, Mechanical, Mechatronic, Mining, and Metallurgical.

Applicants should demonstrate academic merit, leadership skills, a passion for their course of study, and interest in fields aligned to Alcoa career opportunities.

The scholarships also provide opportunities for women to further their careers through practical work experience, allowing them to gain first-hand insight into the company’s operations.

Alcoa has a proud history in Western Australia, employing about 3,800 people across its two bauxite mines, three alumina refineries and support offices.

More information about the Alcoa Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship is available via the scholarship page on the Curtin University website – curtin.edu.au. Applications close on 5 March 2021.