Second-year university student, Jordan Ritchie, has become the first Australian recipient of Ford's Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship, the company announced this week.
Named after the Blue Oval's former boss, Alan Mulally, who guided Ford through the global financial crisis of last decade, the Leadership in Engineering Scholarship was established in 2014 and is made up of a $1 million fund to be distributed in $100,000 increments to be distributed every year for ten years.
The fund will support the awarding of ten $10,000 scholarships to outstanding second- or third-year engineering students at ten partner universities around the world - one scholarship per school.
Jordan Ritchie, a second-year student at Victoria's Deakin University, is one of only five recipients outside of the United States, and is also the first Australian to be awarded the scholarship.
As part of the program, Ritchie will be connected with Ford's corporate science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) strategic initiative, which aims to support a new generation of leaders in these disciplines.
"I’ve always been set on engineering as a career choice and I was extremely appreciative that a company as large as Ford would take notice of me," Ritchie said.
"I’m fascinated by the research and development Ford engineers do here in Australia and around the world – it’s very exciting stuff, so I’m keen to learn more and experience it firsthand."
"For me, the biggest future trend I’d be interested to pursue is electric vehicles (EVs), although I’m currently participating in Deakin’s Eco-Marathon team project, which is based around developing a special vehicle that can achieve the highest possible fuel efficiency," he added.
Ritchie will also be connected with Ford's Blue Oval Scholars database and initiative, which allows the company to maintain ongoing relationships with scholarship recipients.
"At Ford, we are very interested in promoting and fostering STEAM, leadership and particularly innovative thinking, which I believe Jordan has demonstrated through his application process and wider studies,” said Jessica Selvay, Business Office Supervisor, Strategy and Special Projects, Ford Asia Pacific.
"We are keen to establish this relationship with Jordan and see that we can support him throughout the scholarship, allowing him to focus on his studies while also exploring all facets of what Ford does within the engineering space."