Meet our John Monash scholars

We are proud to support the educational goals of these talented individuals in the fields of Sustainability and Engineering, who are likely to play an important role in Australia’s future.


Marianne Haines

Marianne Haines Marianne has a Bachelor of Biological Science, majoring in Microbiology and Biochemistry from La Trobe University. With her scholarship Marianne will study for a PhD in Geoscience at the University of Calgary. She will focus on developing biotechnology that harnesses bacteria, fungi, and algae to create new sources of sustainable energy.

Through her volunteer work in school outreach programs, Marianne hopes to inspire the next generation of young scientists.

Marianne plans to work at the intersection of industry and academia.


Catherine Richards

Catherine Richards Catherine has a Bachelors of Civil Engineer and Environmental Engineering, two University Medals and graduated from the University of Newcastle with First Class Honours. Catherine is an outstanding sportswoman, in which she was a sponsored rider and ambassador for kite-boarding, and she is actively involved in science, technology, engineering and maths leadership and education.

With her Origin Foundation scholarship, Catherine will study for a PhD in engineering at the University of Cambridge in England. She hopes to help bridge the gap between science, business and policy-making to ensure an environmentally and economically responsible future for humanity.


Emma Howard

Emma Howard Emma is an aspiring atmospheric scientist and talented mathematician. She has a Bachelor of Philosophy with First Class Honours and the University Medal from the Australian National University. She was a member of Scouts Australia, earned the Queen’s Scout Award and is active in encouraging sustainable living practices in those around her. With her Origin Foundation scholarship Emma is hoping to undertake a PhD in Geography and the Environment, using her studies to help predict future climate more accurately and better understand its economic and humanitarian impact.


Jack Muir

Jack Muir Jack has a Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) with Honours from the Australian National University. He is active in the Australian Conference of Undergraduate Research, has worked with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), and student science and engineering organisations.

With his scholarship Jack will study for a PhD at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), using tomographic imaging to better understand the Earth’s mantle and core. Jack hopes this will provide benefits for minerals exploration and other geophysics challenges.


Kumaran Nathan

Kumaran Nathan Kumaran, recipient of the 2014 Origin Foundation John Monash Scholarship, has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, with 1st Class Honours and the University Medal from the University of Newcastle. He is a committed ice hockey player, and is very active in engineering leadership. Kumaran will study for a DPhil in Engineering at Cambridge and is passionate about finding storage solutions to support Australia's renewable energy future.


Kate Smith

Kate Smith Kate has a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts (Environmental Studies) from the University of Melbourne. She speaks five languages, and is currently studying Chinese in Taiwan. She has considerable experience volunteering for environmental and social causes, including in China and Chile. Kate was Victorian and National winner of the Pride of Australia Young Leader Medal in 2009. With her Origin Foundation scholarship she is studying recycling and reuse of water at Tsinghua, a world-ranked engineering university in Beijing.

Chris Lowe

Chris Lowe Flight Lieutenant Chris Lowe holds a Bachelor of Engineering with first-class honours and the University Medal from the University of New South Wales, which he attended through the Australian Defence Force Academy in the Chief of Defence Force Student Program.

He has been a member of the Royal Australian Air Force since 2005, and was deployed to Kandahar in Afghanistan for the majority of 2011. Through the Australian Defence Force he has helped provide humanitarian relief following the Queensland floods, Cyclone Yasi, the Victorian bushfires, Padang earthquake and tsunami, Samoa tsunami, Pakistan floods and Haiti earthquake. He is an outstanding rower and active footballer.

With his Origin Foundation scholarship Chris has obtained a Masters in Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he conducted research with the Aerospace Controls Laboratory for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.


Kate Griffiths

Kate Griffiths Kate was awarded the Origin Foundation John Monash Scholarship in Sustainability. Kate completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) with first-class honours and the University Medal from the Australian National University. She received numerous prizes during her academic career and has conducted research at the ANU, CSIRO, Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens and the University of Copenhagen.

Kate has been active in promoting science as a Science Ambassador, a tutor of indigenous students and in her current work with the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. She is a Queen's Scout, a runner and triathlete, and a top AFL umpire. At Edinburgh, Kate is studying plant taxonomy and biodiversity, before returning to Australia to contribute to the conservation and management of Australia's vulnerable ecosystems.

Visit the Sir John Monash Foundation website