18 May 2018
Two young students with a passion for engineering have been awarded Ernest William File scholarships for 2018.
Eighteen-year-old Hannah Hudson (Christchurch) and Anton Rufer (Tirau) have been awarded $2000 each towards their first
year of study at the University of Canterbury. The scholarship supports the sons and daughters of members of the Rail
and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) in their first year of a degree at a New Zealand university.
Hannah was last year Dux at Cashmere High School where she studied physics, geography, calculus, chemistry and
mathematics. She also completed 60 points towards a degree at the University of Canterbury as part of its STAR
programme, including two papers on Antarctica.
She is now studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in natural resources engineering.
“I have always been fascinated with how the world works, says Hannah. “Natural resources engineering allows me to
combine this interest with my passion for problem solving and the natural environment. I see an engineering programme as
a way of developing my ability to grapple with some of the most important issues of our time.”
Problem solving has long been an interest for Hannah, who has been involved as a competitor, coach and evaluator with
Future Problem Solving New Zealand, winning the international title for her division in 2016. An effective communicator,
Hannah has spoken at many large public events since she was 14 years old, including TEDxChristchurch.
Sporting interests and dance have also been a large part of Hannah’s life. She has achieved advanced diplomas in ballet
and original jazz dancing, completed a 21-day Outward Bound course, and is learning to surf and ski. As well as the
Ernest William File scholarship, Hannah has received undergraduate entrance, Dux and AIM scholarships from the
University of Canterbury, a Kiwirail scholarship and an NZQA scholarship monetary award.
Also studying engineering at the University of Canterbury is Anton Rufer, who is majoring in mechatronics or software
engineering. “Engineering is a subject I have been passionate about from a young age,” says Anton. “I enjoy being
creative and solving problems, so I aim to get a job that involves these aspects of my personality and puts my study of
engineering into practice, as well as some hands-on work and a bit of a challenge.”
Anton is also a keen sportsman, particularly in rowing and football. He has been a member of the Rotorua Rowing Club and
represented his school at numerous regattas including the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Regatta (Maadi) and
played football both for John Paul College and Rotorua United Football Club. Anton also received a Kiwirail scholarship
The Ernest William File Scholarship was established in 1978 by members of the New Zealand Locomotive Engineers'
Association as a tribute to Ernest William File, the retiring General Secretary of the Association at the time. The
scholarship was adopted and expanded by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union and extended to all members.
The scholarship is administered by Universities New Zealand which manages over 40 scholarships.