Alumni Updates

Thomas de la Perrelle – Engineer at Frazer-Nash Consultancy

2019 Nyrstar/Playford Trust Scholarship

I am a mechanical engineer and physics graduate from the University of Adelaide, and am currently working as an engineer for Frazer-Nash Consultancy. Throughout my university studies, I had the valuable opportunity, through my Playford Trust scholarship, to undertake work experience at the Nyrstar Port Pirie lead smelter.

This opportunity allowed me to develop my project management skills and experience in heavy industry. These unique insights have been invaluable in my current work at Frazer-Nash, where I am getting exposed to a wide variety of work and developing my system engineering skills.

This generous scholarship also allowed me to focus on my studies throughout my Honours project, which centred around Methane Pyrolysis – an emerging method of producing hydrogen from methane (natural gas) without carbon dioxide emissions. This work was awarded ‘Best Mechanical Engineering Honours Project’ at the 2021 Ingenuity Honours Project Expo, and I was awarded the University Medal upon graduation.

The contributions from the Playford Trust and Nyrstar have been invaluable in progressing my professional development and helping me get to where I am today. 

More Alumni Updates

Bradley Kirk – Material scientist in sustainable energy

2018 Playford Trust Honours Scholarship / 2020 Playford Trust PhD scholarship
Bradley is a material scientist who currently specialises in the development of organic and inorganic-based semiconductors specifically geared towards energy production.

Susan Lee – Environmental pioneer

2006 Playford Trust PhD Environmental Scholarship
I was the first student to receive a Playford Trust Environment Scholarship in 2006. Studies in the environment tend to include a lot of fieldwork and trips away from civilisation, so the scholarship really helped me with these costs!

Lucas (Tuan) Tran – Energy Engineer

2021 Playford Trust/Cooper Energy Petroleum Engineering Scholarship
In 2017, I came to Australia as an international student from Vietnam to pursue a world-class education in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Adelaide. After finishing my Honours degree, I began my PhD project…

Robert Trott – Exoskeleton and physiological measurement

2017 Playford Trust PhD Scholarship
Robbie is now working as a Research Fellow at the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI) – a national leader in industry and workplace innovation research – and he’s based at Flinders University.

Bec Pedler – R&D technician, Clean Seas Seafood

2019 Playford Trust Regional Science & Engineering Scholarship
Marine mollusc extracts represent an almost entirely unexploited source of broad-spectrum antivirals against human viruses. My Honours project involved assessing the hemolymph (blood fluid) from the Greenlip abalone and Pacific oyster for antiviral activity against Human Coronavirus…

Alexander Makarowsky – Maths modelling and energy

2018 Codan/Playford Trust Engineering Scholarship
The year after winning his scholarship, Alex joined the company that sponsored him – Codan/Minelab Electronics. There he used mathematical modelling to optimise the geometry of metal detector coils.

Joe Kupke – Man of the trees

2018 Playford Trust/TAFE SA Award
At the time Joe received his Playford Trust Award, he was employing just two staff in his arborist business, Adelaide Hills Tree Services. Now there are 10 on the team…

Phiala Shanahan – Professor of Physics at MIT

2011 Scantech/Playford Trust scholarship
In 2020, respected Science News magazine named Phiala one of its Top 10 elite young scientists ‘pushing the boundaries of scientific enquiry’. All of those honoured…

Georgina Duguid – Structural design engineer

2018 Playford Trust Honours Scholarship
Having completed my Bachelor of Civil Engineering at Flinders University in 2018, I am working as a structural design engineer with Mineral Technologies/Downer EDI – the company…


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