December 9th, 2013

Stratford Youth Captures National Engineering Scholarship ahead of Youth Development Committee Role

Taranaki secondary education can take a bow with Stratford’s Connor Hobbs winning the Maintenance Engineering Society of New Zealand’s 2014 Engineering Scholarship. Connor was presented with his scholarship, a $5000 grant towards education in maintenance engineering, at the 2013 SKF National Maintenance Engineering Conference in Rotorua by the visiting Chairman of the US Defence Manufacturing Workforce Committee, Joel Leonard.

The Maintenance Engineering Society is a technical group of IPENZ, the Institute of Professional Engineers. One of their many activities is to support and develop engineers, including encouraging career development.

Applications annual Engineering Scholarship were received nationally from students, budding engineers and trades people at varying stages of their education and careers. The standard was extremely high, with some impressive academic achievements and glowing testimonials.

Connor, a New Plymouth Boys High School senior student, outshone national applicants demonstrating a mix of academic, practical and attitude characteristics. According to MESNZ Scholarship Coordinator Bill Sole, “The standard of applicants was extremely high and encouraging across the board. We were highly impressed with all the applicants their records and their engineering intentions. In Connor we saw a mix of skills, endeavour and achievements that gives us great confidence he will make a fantastic engineer.” 

Aside from his studies, Connor sporting interests include volleyball and football. He broke the New Plymouth Boys High School 50 year old senior triple jump record on his way to becoming the Senior Athletics Champion in 2012.

As Head Boarder and prefect at New Plymouth Boys High School, Connor is a natural leader and confident speaker. His participation in the 2012 Global Young Leaders Conference in New York has prepared him well for the role of inaugural Chairman of the newly formed MESNZ Youth Development Committee, a position he graciously accepted at the conference.

MESNZ puts great weight on the need to connect with youth and provide inspiration and opportunities for technical careers. As well as the newly announced Youth Development Committee, the society actively invites secondary schools to attend the annual maintenance engineering conference so students can experience first hand what varied opportunities exist.

After receiving his scholarship, Connor was able to spend the day at the national conference meeting engineers and industry suppliers.