Top scholars recognised for strategically important studies

Students at the University of Adelaide's North Terrace campus

Some of the University of Adelaide’s top students have been honoured with prestigious Playford Scholarships.

Twenty-nine young people have been recognised for their studies in areas of strategic importance to the future of South Australia like engineering, computer science, plant science, biochemistry, finance and mining.

The Playford Trust supports high achieving tertiary students who contribute to the state’s skills, knowledge and research base. Together with partners across industry, government, the education sector and the community, the trust provides assistance for students undertaking undergraduate, Honours or PhD programs at either the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia or Flinders University, or studying through TAFE SA.

The successful students received scholarships valued between $2000 and $20,000 as well as work placement opportunities to help their careers. Forty-six of SA’s most talented students received awards.

The 2022 University of Adelaide Playford Scholarship recipients in each category are:

Playford Trust Honours Scholarship
Jarred Scaffidi-Muta: Master of Philosophy (Chemical Sciences and Medicinal Chemistry). Jarred is researching the development of targeted alpha therapies – therapeutics that target cancer cells and selectively deliver a fatal dose of radiation to tumours without harming healthy tissue.

Nicole Crowhurst: Bachelor of Plant Science (Honours). A passionate science communicator who is researching how the superfood plant Salvia verbenaca, or Chia, responds to drought.

Kaidy Morgan: Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Agricultural Sciences). Kaidy’s honours project investigates the effects of different plant species and their specific traits on soil chemical processes.

Maxim Buckley: Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Molecular and Biomedical Sciences). Maxim is using super-resolution microscopy to image fixed invading malaria parasites.

Coopers Brewery / Playford Trust Honours Scholarship
Joshua Grist: Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Agricultural Sciences). Joshua’s degree will shed light on genetic mechanisms controlling the timing of crucial phases in the growth and development of barley crops.

Nyrstar / Playford Trust Scholarships
McKale O'Flaherty: Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Renewable Energy). McKale wants to contribute to South Australia’s continuing transition towards carbon neutral, sustainable energy consumption.

Amelia Ryan: Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) (Honours) and Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Amelia’s career goal is to work on improving safety outcomes in the minerals industry.

Aurecon / Playford Trust Honours Scholarship
Cammie Williams: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil & Environmental) and Bachelor of Finance. Cammie’s honours research project looks at the increasing bushfire risk due to climate change throughout the Adelaide region.

Playford Trust PhD Scholarship
Samantha March: PhD in Earth Science. Samantha’s PhD is investigating the history of rocks that were once 900 degrees, with the broader aim of resolving their relationship to Australia’s tectonic history.

Playford Trust Regional Science and Engineering Scholarships
Hayden Schultz: Bachelor of Engineering (Engineering Pathways). Hayden aims to have an impact on the development of battery technology, motors and propulsion systems for industry.

Jeff Judd: Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Jeff, who has already been recognised for his academic talents in STEM subjects, is in his first year of university studies, which will prepare him for a career in software engineering.

Lucia Alvarez: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Bachelor of Finance and Banking. Lucia is planning a career in the design and manufacturing of automobiles, with a focus on implementing renewable technologies.

Jade Simpson: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) with Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Jade wants to work in a mathematical environment at the highest level she can achieve.

The Andy Thomas Space Foundation / Playford Trust Scholarships
Piero Jaksa: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) (Major in Aerospace). Piero’s future lies in encouraging international involvement in South Australia’s rapidly expanding space industry.

Gabriela Coelho: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical). Gabriela is naturally passionate and curious learner, who has always shown particular interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Shradha Angrish: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) (Major in Aerospace) with Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Shradha has completed astronaut training at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, and has undertaken work experience at Lot 14. She has also received a Future Physicist Award from the Australian Institute of Physics.

Jaidyn Willis: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical) (Major in Aerospace). Jaidyn’s academic achievements in STEM subjects will be stepping stones to a career in the space industry.

Dylan Worswick: Masters in Aerospace Engineering. Dylan’s fascination with space began after a visit to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery and increased after he was chosen to participate in the inaugural Space Industry Work Experience Pilot Program.

Blake Harder: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical). Blake’s ultimate dream is travelling into space. He would also like to focus on an educational role within engineering and aerospace.

Ultra Electronics / Playford Trust Scholarship
Nivin Jose Kovukunnel: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic) with Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Nivin’s honours project is exploring advanced image classification techniques to detect and differentiate patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 viral pneumonia.

Thyne Reid Foundation / Playford Trust PhD Scholarships
Jack Kelly: PhD in Agriculture (Plant Science). Jack is determined to continue advancing the physiological potential of our staple crop varieties, so he can pass on the benefits to SA’s farmers and consumers.

Alison Roennfeldt: Doctor Degree of Philosophy (Field of study: Biochemistry, specifically hypoxia (the cellular response to low oxygen) and women’s reproductive physiology). Alison hopes to identify new drugs that target the cellular response to low oxygen, and others that could act as better female contraceptives.

OZ Minerals / Playford Trust Honours Scholarship
Claire Faulkner: Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Geology). Claire’s interests focus on geochemistry and mineral systems including conditions at the crust-mantle boundary.

St Ann's Foundation / Playford Trust Residential Scholarship
Dana Hurrell: Bachelor of Science (Advanced). Dana’s dream is to be a secondary school teacher, specialising in chemistry and mathematics.

Chartwells / St Ann's College / Playford Trust Residential Scholarship continuing
Joshua Graham: Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) (Honours). Joshua has already been awarded for his commitment to science, technology and mathematics. A growing interest in physics led him to pursue space science at university.

Chartwells / St Ann's College / Playford Trust Residential Scholarship commencing
Jasper Harding: Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Advanced). Jasper says the correlation between playing a musical instrument to a high level and being a strong mathematician is well established – and he hopes to achieve both.

AusIMM / Playford Trust Scholarships
Lachlan Coathupe: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Chemical). Lachlan is passionate about global sustainability and is keen to make a meaningful contribution towards dealing with the challenges ahead.

Kenny Cao: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Petroleum and Mining. Kenny’s honours project explores the possibility of using 3D printing to replicate core samples in high resolution to test fluid flow.

Jake Rowland: Bachelor of Science (Mineral Geoscience). Jake has a special interest in economic geology and, after graduating, wants to work in the mining industry.

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