Recognising women in education: From left, Waikato Graduate Women Trust Administrator Vivienne Evans, Professor Janis Swan, Rene Englebrecht and Professor Ann Mc Kim.
University of Waikato student René Englebrecht is the first recipient of the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women prize.
The $1000 prize was established last year and will be awarded annually to the most outstanding female student in their third year of study towards an engineering degree.
The NZFGW is affiliated to the International Federation of University Women which works to empower women and girls through lifelong education for leadership and aims to assist the advancement of women in higher education.
Inspiring other young women
René says "It is wonderful to receive recognition in a male-dominated field such as engineering. “It also serves as motivation to keep doing what I love doing to possibly inspire other young women.”
René is enrolled in the University of Waikato’s Materials and Process Engineering programme of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours. She has completed the first three years of the programme and 400 hours of industry placement and is currently completing the second 400 hours with PDV Engineering Ltd, a consulting process engineering company.
Support from NZFGW
The prize is a welcomed financial boost for René as she heads into her fourth year. “I have now been adopted into the NZFGW family which serves as a support that I can draw from for the rest of my career.”
Professor Janis Swan, who heads Engineering at the University of Waikato, says René’s academic ability has been recognised by various scholarships and prizes already and that she is a good role model for women considering engineering as a career.”