An engineering student from The University of Auckland is the only New Zealander this year to be awarded a STAR scholarship from the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Samuel Cheng, a student with the Department of Engineering Science, was one of three students from the Southern Asia Pacific Region awarded the scholarship which is worth more than $8,000.
The STAR scholarships support undergraduates pursuing degrees related to the oil and gas industry for up to a maximum of four years. This year the Society of Petroleum Engineers, an international forum of around 100,000 professionals engaged in oil and natural gas exploration and production, awarded 37 scholarships worldwide.
Samuel says he was “over the moon” to have won the scholarship especially since he was competing against other students in the Southern Asia Pacific region.
“As an applicant from New Zealand, where the industry is relatively small and petroleum engineering is not offered as a taught specialisation in universities, I thought my chances of winning were rather slim.
“The fact that I was actually hand-picked to receive this scholarship has really motivated me to keep working hard for what I want,” says Samuel.
The awards committee when choosing the recipients considered many aspects including academic records, leadership and communication skills, interest in petroleum engineering as a profession, and contributions to the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Samuel began studying science at The University of Auckland but decided to change to a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) after one year of study.
“I guess I always wanted to be an engineer, but never realised it until I started a science degree and weighed up the differences between the degrees with friends who were studying engineering," he says.