A third-year mechanical engineering student who grew up in the Burdekin has won a new $10,000 scholarship with Wilmar Sugar and Renewables. 

Tyler Corlis, 20, said he was honoured to receive the Undergraduate Engineering Scholarship, which includes paid work placements with Wilmar Sugar and a direct application pathway into the company’s Graduate Program.

The scholarship was open to James Cook University Bachelor of Engineering students who were on track to complete their degree in 2024.

Head of Sugar and Renewables Shayne Rutherford congratulated Tyler on winning the scholarship and said he hoped it provided valuable financial and vocational support in Tyler’s final year of study.

“As someone who also received a scholarship while at university, I know how much weight it takes off your shoulders, especially in your final year when you’re doing your thesis,” Mr Rutherford said.

“We’ve designed this scholarship to not only give students financial support, but also access to real-world engineering experience in one of Queensland’s most important industries.”

As part of the scholarship, Tyler will complete two paid work placements at Wilmar mills.

He has already spent some time at Macknade Mill in the Herbert region, having started work on his thesis under the supervision of Manager Design Engineering, Paul Britton, and two university lecturers.

“My thesis involves the computational simulation of fitting tapered keys into large mill gears to improve the fitting process,” Tyler said. “My goal is to develop a more accurate procedure for fitting the keys and, hopefully, improve the reliability of mill gearing.”

Tyler said the scholarship would definitely take some pressure off during his final year at university.

“The financial support means I’ll have more time during the year to learn and study for exams so I’ll take more away from uni. I’ll also be able to get involved in some meaningful project work at Wilmar sites."

Tyler said he was keen to forge a career in the sugar manufacturing sector.

“I’ve always been around the sugar industry and find sugar mills really interesting. There are a lot of different aspects in a mill, so much that goes on and so many different machines.”