A top masters student at the University of Waikato is the inaugural recipient of the Sir William Gallagher Cyber Security Scholarship worth $25,000.
A former student at Whakatane's Trident High School, Sjoerd de Feijter, is studying towards a Master of Cyber Security (MCS) and says the award offers more than just money.
As well as financial support, the scholarship, for which applications close in April each year, provides work experience in one of the world's fastest growing industries through a research project at Gallagher.
Sir William Gallagher presented the award at an official ceremony held at the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (FCMS). He says as the world moves toward an increasingly cyber environment, his organisation understands the importance of investing in continuous research and supporting expertise in this developing industry.
"We are pleased to be building on our partnership with the University of Waikato and are excited to work closely with the recipient of this scholarship," Sir William says.
Sir William is a long-standing supporter of the University of Waikato and Hamilton-based Gallagher is one of the world's leading technology innovators in physical security systems.
Sir William helped open the University's cyber security lab in 2013 and Gallagher is a partner in the MBIE-funded STRATUS project (Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Transparency and User-centric Services in the Cloud) headed by Waikato.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says the scholarship is just one example of the Gallagher family's support of the University and it highlights the strong relationship between the University's cyber security programme and the technology industry.
"There is huge demand in the market for people trained in this area and from the University's point of view it's an area where there are great research opportunities and accelerating pathways to good jobs for our students," says Professor Quigley.
Sjoerd says he's honoured to receive the award and thankful for the opportunity to further his studies in cyber security.
"The cyber security programme at the University of Waikato truly is one of a kind," he says.
One day he hopes to be a cyber security technician for the Government Communications Security Bureau and working for Gallagher is a big foot in the door.
The Sir William Gallagher Cyber Security Scholarship was established in 2015 to support academically talented students studying towards a Master of Cyber Security (MCS) qualification at the University of Waikato. The value of the scholarship is $25,000 for students undertaking a 180 point MCS and $20,000 for a 120 point MCS, to cover tuition fees and a stipend.
Applications for the 2016 scholarship close 12 April 2016. Applications will be available online.