Generous graduate gives back

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A donation from a generous graduate has established a new scholarship for high-achieving undergraduate students to study engineering at the University of Newcastle.

Catherine and Peter Tay High Achiever Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship

The Catherine and Peter Tay High Achiever Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship is being launched today. Worth $32,000 over four years, the scholarship will be awarded to the highest ranked commencing student in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment with an ATAR of more than 99.0.

Mr Tay – who has travelled from Singapore with his wife for today's launch in Newcastle – completed a double degree in industrial engineering and economics at the University in the 1970s through a Singapore Colombo Plan Scholarship (CPS) from the Australian Government.

"For many of us, the Colombo Plan Scholarship represented our only opportunity to study overseas and even to achieve a university education," Mr Tay said.

"The CPS was a stepping stone for me into a successful career, and now it is time for me to give something back to the Australian people and the University.

"Catherine and I are proud to help talented local students stay in Newcastle for their engineering studies, and gain their higher education at one of the best engineering faculties in Australia."

Mr Tay has been instrumental in bringing about the creation of three scholarships at the University, and the revitalisation of a fourth. Through garnering the support of fellow Singapore alumni, he has attracted more than $500,000 in donations for these scholarships.

Based in Singapore, Mr Tay is a corporate advisor engaged in business development and coaching business leaders, and serves on the boards of companies in the food and education industries. Mrs Tay worked for more than 30 years as an executive assistant with the Law Faculty and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor's Office at the National University of Singapore.

The Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle is a world leader in research and teaching. It placed in Australia's top five in the Australian Government's 2012 Excellence in Research (ERA) Australia exercise and this year, its civil and structural engineering programs ranked 59th in the global QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Event details: The Catherine and Peter Tay High Achiever Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship will be launched at 3pm, Thursday 19 September in the Gallery of the University of Newcastle.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the University can contact the University of Newcastle Foundation on 02 4921 7453 or visit the website at

About the University of Newcastle Foundation: The University of Newcastle Foundation aims to encourage philanthropic support for the University of Newcastle. Donations help fund student scholarships and prizes, academic positions, research and community projects.

  • Katie Porritt, External Relations
  • Phone: +61 2 4921 5972

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