23 June 2021

Alcoa continues to champion women in engineering


Alcoa is marking Women in Engineering Day on June 23 by awarding its latest women in engineering scholarship, continuing its longstanding leadership in driving diversity and equality in the profession.

Twenty-year-old Kate Leekong, from the Perth suburb of Kallaroo, has taken out the 2021 Alcoa Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship for the second year running, which will support her third-year chemical engineering studies at Curtin University.

Alcoa 2021 Media Release Photo Bev Corless winner
Kate Leekong has been awarded the 2021 Alcoa Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship for the second year running.

Kate said she was honoured and grateful to be awarded the $5,000 one-year scholarship again, which would relieve some of her educational expenses and enable her to focus more on her studies.

“Knowing that Alcoa wants to continue to support me throughout my studies truly means a lot to me. I love what I study and its very reassuring to have Alcoa’s ongoing encouragement and genuine investment in my chemical engineering journey,” Kate said.

Kate said the scholarship also provided a vital opportunity to engage with an industry associated with her future career path and with a potential employer. 

“The scholarship is a great way for me to consolidate my learning and understand how it all fits into real world engineering. Last year, having the opportunity to talk to professional engineers, visit a refinery and receive financial support was an exciting way for me to connect the dots, gain practical knowledge and envision what chemical engineering is all about.”

Alcoa, which operates bauxite mines and alumina refineries in the south west of WA, was the first company to initiate scholarships for women studying engineering at Curtin 16 years ago – a move that inspired other companies to offer similar opportunities.

The scholarships, named in honour of a former Alcoa engineer, aim to encourage and support females studying full-time who are enrolled in their second, third, fourth or fifth year of studies in an engineering degree at Curtin.

Curtin University Director of Student Services Damon Wasserman said Alcoa had consistently demonstrated its commitment to building a female engineering workforce.

“The Bev Corless Scholarship provides for financial and industry experience support of women entering the engineering profession,” he said. “The support from Alcoa helps produce graduates who are job ready and enter the workforce with practical experience to complement their learning.”

Alcoa of Australia Corporate Affairs Director Jodie Read said the Company was committed to providing a supportive community and workplace that fostered and valued the strength and opportunity that came from diversity.

More information about the Alcoa Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship is available via the scholarship page on the Curtin University website – https://scholarships.curtin.edu.au/Scholarship/?id=4803