Introducing the AusIMM Education Endowment Fund scholarship winners

  • By Stephanie Somerville, Senior Coordinator, Professional Development

photo of Daniel Travers presenting at 2015 awards night

It is with great pleasure every year that the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) Board of Trustees award the annual EEF scholarships, including the prestigious Sir Frank Espie/Rio Tinto Leadership Award and EEF Premium Scholarships.

The application process starts in August the previous year and students from all over Australia who are studying a minerals related degree are encouraged to apply.

The core theme of the EEF program is to identify future industry leaders amongst our student members and ensure they are offered meaningful opportunities to develop professionally over the course of their scholarship.

To ensure the scholarship program is fulfilling this objective, the Trustees have continued two important components to the EEF scholarship program that were implemented in 2014.

  • Mentoring program
    Leading members of The AusIMM have offered their support to the scholarship program by acting as mentors to our awardees. Mentors will work to extend our awardees’ understanding of the minerals industry, provide advice on career development, offer networking opportunities and support the personal, professional and technical development of our awardees. The AusIMM and the Trustees of the Education Endowment Fund wish to express their gratitude to those members who have volunteered to share their expertise, experience and time with young, aspiring professionals.
  • Field trip intensive
    Scholarship holders will also be offered the opportunity to participate in a fully subsidised field trip. This trip is like no other and is designed to offer students the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the industry through visits to a variety of mine sites, laboratories and geological features, while developing their team work skills through working with students in other disciplines. After completing the trip, students will be providing their local branches, universities and the Trustees with a report outlining their experience as part of their professional development.

The National Scholarship committee had over 60 undergraduate applications to sort with the help of Regional Assessment Panels – AusIMM Branch Representatives who met and interviewed the selected students on the shortlist.

In 2015, the 26th year of the Education Endowment Fund, the EEF announced five Premium Scholarship winners and two Sir Frank Espie / Rio Tinto Leadership Awards. The two leadership awards were presented at the annual AusIMM Congress Awards dinner in April.

We are pleased to introduce the 2015 EEF scholarship winners.

The Sir Frank Espie/Rio Tinto Leadership Award winners

The Sir Frank Espie/Rio Tinto Leadership Award was generously endowed by the Espie Family, in memory of Sir Frank Espie. Sir Frank demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication, and technical management to the mining industries of Australia and Papua New Guinea, and was a distinguished leading member of the AusIMM.

Michael Assmann, Bachelor of Engineering (Metallurgy), Curtin University (WASM)

Michael is currently in the fourth year of his Bachelor of Engineering (Metallurgy) degree at Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM)

Michael has enhanced his understanding of the minerals industry through vacation work at Paulsens Gold Mine and twice at Jundee Gold Mine. Through these experiences, Michael has learnt about the operation of a process plant, metallurgical accounting practises, test work design and safety initiatives and procedures. He is looking forward to commencing a graduate program next year and further developing his skills and knowledge of the mining industry.

Michael is currently the President of the AusIMM Kalgoorlie Student Chapter, completed the John Curtin Leadership Academy program in 2013, likes to keep physically fit and is a keen AFL fan.

Daniel Travers, Bachelor of Science (Mineral Geoscience) (Honours), University of Adelaide

Daniel is in his fourth year of study. He has completed a Bachelor of Science (Mineral Geoscience) at the University of Adelaide and is pursuing Honours in Geology.

To broaden his understanding of the minerals industry, Daniel has undertaken various vacation work placements and internships with a range of companies. This has included open-pit mine geology with IMX Resources, underground mine geology with Newcrest Mining, exploration geology in Mongolia with CWT Mongolia, and also in physical commodities trading with MRI Trading AG in Shanghai.

Daniel studied Mandarin Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing and also received the DEEWR Endeavour Student Exchange Program Scholarship to study Economics and Earth Science for one semester at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin, Hong Kong.

Daniel has been a member of the AusIMM since 2011. He has been an active member of the Henley Surf Lifesaving Club over the last ten years and during this time has served as the junior representative on the management committee and has also represented both his club and South Australia in the Australian National Surfboat Rowers League.

photo of Michael Assmann and Daniel Travers
Chris Colbourne, General Manager Mining & Geoscience, Rio Tinto with award winners Daniel Travers (left) and Michael Assmann (right).

EEF Premium scholarship winners

Carina Daly, Bachelor of Science (Applied Geology) (Environmental Biology) Curtin University of Technology

Carina is currently in her final year of a double degree, Bachelor of Science (Applied Geology) and Bachelor of Science (Environmental Biology).

Throughout Carina’s studies she has worked with Terramin Australia in SA and with an environmental consultancy firm in Perth. She hopes to gain graduate work in WA as a geologist or hydrogeologist, allowing for a combination of her two degrees.

She has been actively involved with the AusIMM Curtin Student Chapter as president and hopes to continue this work with AusIMM upon graduation. Carina has been fortunate enough to represent Curtin at three International Mining Games, and sat on both the New Leaders Conference and National Mining Games committees in 2014, held in Perth.

Fraser Perry, Bachelor of Engineering (Mining)/Bachelor of Science (Earth Science), University of New South Wales

Fraser is currently in his fifth year of study, completing a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) and Bachelor of Science (Earth Science) combined degree at the University of New South Wales. Fraser will be completing an exchange semester at the Western Australian School of Mines in Kalgoorlie later this year. In 2014, Fraser completed vacation work with Independence Group NL at their Jaguar operations. Fraser is currently researching management of diesel particulates using biodiesel in partnership with Independence Group NL.

Fraser is Secretary of the AusIMM Sydney Branch and has been actively involved with the Sydney Student Chapter since 2013. In these roles, Fraser has sought opportunities to strengthen student engagement with the mining industry. Fraser is most excited to be leading a student field trip to Namibia and South Africa in July, where students will visit unique mining operations and develop cross-cultural awareness.

Outside of his studies, Fraser volunteers as a surf lifesaver and is a passionate fly fisherman, teaching fly fishing part-time in Sydney.

Alexander Papaioanou, Bachelor of Engineering (Mining)/Bachelor of Commerce (Finance), University of New South Wales

Alexander is currently in his fifth year of his Bachelor of Engineering (Mining)/Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) at the University of New South Wales.

Alexander undertook an exchange semester studying Mining Engineering at Montanuniversität Leoben in Austria, where he also work as a Mine Planning Engineer on the VA Erzberg Mine Project.

Within Australia Alexander has completed vacation work with the NSW Mines Inspectorate and Independence Group in Western Australia. Alexander is currently employed as a base metals Associate Analyst with AME Group in Sydney.

Alexander is an active member of the AusIMM Sydney Student Chapter holding the position of Treasurer in 2014 and 2015. Alexander is also on the committee of the AusIMM Sydney Branch and has been an AusIMM member since 2011.

Alexander is an avid traveller and has visited numerous mining operations in the USA, Austria, Germany and Poland, allowing him to develop cross-cultural understanding of different mining operations.

Ava Stephens, Bachelor of Science (Mineral Geoscience), University of Adelaide

Ava is completing third year of the Bachelor of Science (Mineral Geoscience) at the University of Adelaide.

Ava has received vacation work with the Geological Survey of South Australia and is undertaking casual research work with the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research and the University of Adelaide. Ava is a committee member for the Adelaide University Geological Society and has joined other organisations to become involved with the industry.

Ava moved to Adelaide to study from the remote outback town of Tibooburra, north-western NSW, where she completed high school from home through distance education. Travelling from a young age, Ava has always been passionate about rocks, geology and Australian landscapes.

Ava is undertaking a student exchange program to Colorado School of Mines later this year.

Heath Wooders, Bachelor of Engineering (Mining), University of Wollongong

Heath is currently in his fourth year of study, completing a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) degree at the University Of Wollongong (UOW).

To diversify his university experience and understanding of the mining industry, Heath has sought to complement his studies with mining field trips, participation in the New Leaders’ Conference and Mining Games and has also represented UOW at the China University of Mining & Technology on a mining, energy and environment summer camp.

Heath is the current Treasurer of the AusIMM Illawarra Student Chapter and has been an active and committed member since 2012. Prior to his role as Treasurer, Heath organised a student’s field trip to central western NSW metalliferous mines and played a role in organising several Students Meet Industry events.

Heath has undertaken two vacation work placements at Arrium Mining’s South Middleback Operations and Glencore’s CSA Mine. Heath is currently undertaking his honours thesis on gateroad development optimisation in underground coal mines and also holds interests in recreational aviation and rock climbing.

photo of 2014 AusIMM EEF scholarship holders on a field trip to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania.
Last year’s AusIMM EEF scholarship holders on a field trip to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania.

The Education Endowment Fund program continues to work towards the four main principles:

  1. Encourage and reward excellence
  2. Enhance engagements between students, industry and academia
  3. Encourage a higher proportion of top students into minerals courses
  4. Increase the profile of careers in the minerals industry

Other disbursements include the EEF Awards for Academic Excellence, various thesis prizes and bursaries and the Bicentennial Gold 88 Endowment. Senior researchers and academics are encouraged to apply for the Bicentennial Gold 88 Endowment, which is in its 26th year. This endowment focusses on the advancement of education and exploration in Earth Sciences specifically for the benefit of economic geology in Australia. By assisting academics in their studies, the EEF increases the engagement between industry and research within the AusIMM.

The Board of Trustees endure to offer a variety of positive educational initiatives including research, mentoring and hand’s on involvement to attract and support the future talent, Australia will continue to produce world leaders in the mining and resources industries.

The Education Endowment Fund relies on company and industry support, not just financially, but by providing mentoring and employment opportunities for these prospective young leaders to be more involved and motivated about the already exciting and challenging resource sector.

For information on becoming a sponsor of the AusIMM Education Endowment Fund please contact Stephanie Somerville on (03) 9658 6138 or

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