FORMER Tamworth woman Liz Killen has been awarded the 2016 Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Engineering.
Ms Killen recently graduated from the University of New South Wales with a degree in chemical engineering and her scholarship will allow her to complete a Masters of science communication at the Imperial College in London.
Ms Killen said the discipline focused on making science more accessible and engaging to the general public.
Originally enrolled in a science teaching degree, Ms Killen said she was “passionate about increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) literacy of Australian society,” and particularly the uptake of STEM subjects in schools.
“Less people are doing science-based degrees [but] about 75 per cent of new jobs require skills in science and maths,” she said.
The ex-Tamworth local’s passion for science was ignited by her teachers at Oxley High School.
Ms Killen said a number of her classmates had gone on to achieve great things and it was a testament to the school and its staff.
She also said there could be more awareness in rural areas about potential careers in science for young students.
The scholarship allows Ms Killen to study abroad at a university of her choice.
She said she had looked into overseas study before receiving the scholarship but it wouldn’t have been viable without this help.
The prestigious scholarship, awarded by the Menzies Foundation, will cover tuition fees and provide funds for living expenses for the duration of the degree.