Wairoa College student awarded inaugural Rocket Lab scholarship

Rocket Lab has announced the recipient of its inaugural tertiary scholarship, with a Wairoa College student taking out the award.

Year 13 student Arianna Ormond demonstrated her passion for engineering throughout a rigorous application process, before being awarded the scholarship to study a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Canterbury. Miss Ormond plans to specialise in mechatronics, an interdisciplinary engineering field that includes aspects of mechanical, computer and electrical engineering.

The Rocket Lab Scholarship was founded to encourage students from Māhia and the greater Wairoa region to pursue university studies in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. The scholarship covers up to $20,000 of tertiary education fees for up to four years of study, and also includes hands-on mentoring from Rocket Lab.

Miss Ormond says the scholarship will give her the freedom to focus solely on her studies and pursue her passion for engineering.

“The scholarship will play a huge role in forging the kind of future I want for myself and hopefully help others in our area to do the same,” she said.

“My family are farmers in Māhia, so I’ve always been around heavy machinery. I also ride motorbikes a lot for mustering around the farm, and have to be aware of hydraulics, electrical and cooling systems too. I like learning how things work and improving them,” she added.

Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, says supporting the growth of science, engineering and technology careers in New Zealand is crucial to continuing a culture of innovation.

“Bright, dedicated and passionate students like Arianna are going to be the drivers behind tomorrow’s innovation. We’re proud to support and mentor students while they develop the skills for this future,” he said.

The Rocket Lab scholarship was founded in 2017 to directly support the community surrounding Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula. It is designed to foster continued excellence and innovation amongst New Zealand’s next generation of science, technology, mathematics and engineering leaders. Applications for the annual scholarship open in term four each year at rocketlabusa.com.