10 March 2023

Murrumbidgee Regional High graduate wins prestigious Flavourtech engineering scholarship

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James Laviano in front of sign

James Laviano outside the University of Newcastle. Photo: Supplied.

A 2021 Murrumbidgee Regional High School graduate has been awarded The Flavourtech Andrew Craig Engineering Scholarship, which enables him to pursue his mechatronic engineering studies at the University of Newcastle.

James Laviano was awarded the scholarship based on his academic achievements, extracurricular activities and his passion for engineering.

James, who has always been interested in how things work, says that he chose to pursue engineering because he enjoys problem-solving and finding solutions to complex problems. He plans to use his scholarship to study mechatronic engineering, with a focus on automation and control.

“I’m really excited to have received this scholarship,” James said. “It’s a huge honour, and it will help me achieve my goals of becoming an engineer.”

Flavourtech is a Griffith business that works with coffee producers, wineries and food manufacturers to refine and enhance their products, improving both taste and quality.

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Their scholarship was established as part of an initiative to support students who are based in the Griffith region. The program aims to invest in local talent and reduce the financial barriers for those enrolling in undergraduate engineering studies at a university of their choice. The selection committee looks for students who have shown leadership in our community and have a passion for using engineering to solve real-world problems.

The scholarship is named after one of the founders of Flavourtech, Andrew Craig, who helped develop the Spinning Cone Column technology in the late ‘70s and commercialised it from Griffith. This began the Flavourtech story and since then many engineers have made Griffith their home and helped take Flavourtech technologies to the rest of the world and made it an award-winning company.

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Flavourtech general manager, Leon Skaliotis, said: “We were very impressed with the standard of all the applications we received. We selected James as his personal values resonate with our own company values. He also has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve with his engineering degree, and we believe he has the potential to make a significant impact in the field.”

James said he understood engineering was “a challenging field, but I’m ready for the hard work and opportunities that come with it”.

“Thank you Flavourtech, this scholarship is a huge help, and I’m so grateful for all the support and encouragement from my family, teachers and mentors.”

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