Three University of Auckland students have been awarded scholarships to study for their doctorates at one of the world's top universities.

James Gawith, 24, Matthew Conder, 22, and Reece Oosterbeek, 25, have won Woolf Fisher Scholarships to study at the University of Cambridge in England.

Each scholarship has a value of approximately $300,000 and will cover the students' study and living costs.

Reece Oosterbeek, James Gawith, Sir Noel Robinson and Matthew Conder. Photo / Supplied
Reece Oosterbeek, James Gawith, Sir Noel Robinson and Matthew Conder. Photo / Supplied

Mr Gawith, from Wellington, graduated from the University of Auckland last year with an engineering degree, specialising in electrical and electronic engineering.


At Cambridge his studies will focus on inductive power transfer - a form of wireless power transfer for recharging electric vehicles.

Mr Conder studied science, mathematics and chemistry at the University of Auckland and is currently completing his honours degree in maths.

The former head boy of Onehunga High School will study towards his doctorate in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Cambridge.

Mr Oosterbeek has a masters degree in engineering and is a former pupil of Alfriston College in Manukau.

At Cambridge he hopes to study towards his Doctorate in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, researching medical implant material and his goal is to become a research professor in the field of medical materials and surface science.

The University of Auckland's Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon said the students had excelled and the scholarships were a tribute to their natural ability, hard work, and perseverance.

Woolf Fisher Scholarships:

• Sir Woolf Fisher (1912-1975), co-founder of whiteware company Fisher and Paykel, set up the Woolf Fisher Trust in 1960 to recognise and reward excellence in education.

• This scholarship was established in 2004 by the trustees to honour Sir Woolf Fisher who founded New Zealand Steel and, together with Maurice Paykel, the whiteware company Fisher & Paykel.


• The scholarships are awarded to up to three outstanding New Zealand graduate students each year

• Scholars receive ability to study for a doctoral degree at Cambridge University for three or four years, a maintenance allowance of £13,000 (approximately $31765.20) a year, payment of approved University and College fees and an annual London-New Zealand return economy airfare.

• To be eligible, applicants must be aged under 30, have attended a secondary school in New Zealand for at least two years, have graduated or expect to graduate in the year of application with a first-class honours degree from a New Zealand university.

• Applications can be made here: