As a University of Southern Queensland Alumnus and Director of Bluefield Asset Management, the launch of the Bluefield Engineering Scholarship in 2020 was a full-circle experience for Gerard Wood.
“I did my Associate Diploma in the late 1980s through the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (DDIAE) and then started my Bachelor of Engineering Technology in 1991,” Gerard recalled.
“It took nine years to complete the degree in between raising a family and starting a career in the process. At the time the University of Southern Queensland was the only institution to offer an external program and I always planned to work and study simultaneously but it was a long, hard road,” he said.
“There was no financial assistance back then and if I had my time again, I’d probably choose to study full time but only if I could afford it of course or if there was a company like ours offering assistance.”
Bluefield Asset Management is a management service for the mining industry and other asset-intensive industries such as rail, water, and power utilities.
The Bluefield Engineering Scholarship is awarded to commencing University of Southern Queensland students entering a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), Bachelor of Engineering Science or Associate Degree of Engineering.
“We want to support the industry and give back to the community, and we also have a lot of engineers who did their trade prior to going to university and many of us studied through the University of Southern Queensland.
We thought it was fitting to give back via this institution and the University of Southern Queensland was so receptive to the idea and made it easy to setup the scholarship,” Gerard said.
“Our original motivation for the scholarship was to encourage tradespeople to either start or resume university studies and it’s also our hope that the Bluefield scholars get the opportunity to do their practical experience through our business.
This helps us to find good young graduates and to teach them about good practical asset management before they go out into industry.”
The launch of the Bluefield Engineering Scholarship in 2020 was a full-circle experience for Gerard Wood