Clough has long been recognised as a pioneering company in the engineering and construction industry, and it has forged a similar respect in the community for its contributions to supporting its people and making a positive impact. One such contribution is the Clough Scholars Program, established in 1972.

Harold Clough, our former leader, managing director and chairperson, who was also an Alumni of the University of Western Australia, saw an opportunity to give back to the community and reward those who embodied the pioneering spirit. The Clough Scholars Program has since benefited hundreds of students across a wide range of disciplines, including civil/structural, mechanical/piping, electrical, instrumentation and control, and process, as well as construction management and health, safety and environment.

Meet Fiona Abraham, Chemical Engineering student and recent recipient of the 2023 Clough Scholarship!

“I am a first-year engineering student at Curtin University, planning to become a chemical engineer. 

“Most of my family work in the medical field; therefore, I was practically expected to do the same. However, growing up, I was always competent in math and interested in giving back to the community whenever possible. I chose to pursue a career in engineering as it will allow me to find solutions to real-world problems and make a difference, whether large or small.”

Fiona participated in Curtin University's Girls Engineering Tomorrow (GET) Program, one of Clough's proud partnerships supporting the next generation of women in STEM. 

“I followed physics and methods throughout upper school to broaden my career options. However, during year 11, I was one of the only few girls in my physics class. My physics teacher that year motivated me to consider pursuing a career in engineering and suggested I apply for Curtin’s GET Program to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of an engineer. 

“Through the program, I could ask questions to female engineers from all disciplines and adequately understand their daily tasks and struggles throughout their careers. Additionally, through the program, I visited the Pilbara region for a site visit and was provided with better insight into the engineering and construction industry. This motivated me to consider engineering and FIFO work in the future. I believe the GET program significantly influenced my decision to pursue engineering.

“Upon hearing from experienced chemical engineers throughout the two years I was in the GET Program. As I enjoyed learning about chemical processes, I considered pursuing chemical engineering. However, I had not adequately confirmed my decision. At Curtin, students participate in units similar to what can be expected in various disciplines. These units confirmed that chemical engineering would be the perfect fit for me.

“My main motivation to excel in my studies was that I chose a career quite different from my relatives and family friends. This motivated me to excel in my studies as I am therefore always reminded that I could be a role model for girls in similar situations in my family and local community. Additionally, I wanted to pave the way for girls who did not consider pursuing engineering as they believed the job was only for men and could not understand more about the career.

As part of the Clough Scholars Program, Fiona has taken on an intern role at Clough.

“I was forwarded information regarding the Clough Scholars program through the GET Program. The Clough Scholar Program allows me to practice what I learn in university, an opportunity that only a few first-year engineering students are provided with. It also allows me to know more about my future career and understand the work behind the construction of different projects.

“At Clough, I usually would not know what I am working on until I arrive. This makes it exciting to come to work once a week as I can continually expand my skill set, whether on Microsoft apps, Adobe or using different platforms. 

“I have enjoyed being allowed to study while expanding my skill set each day at the office. Since starting work at Clough, I have found the other employees approachable and friendly. This has allowed me to learn from various people, be guided on ways to get things done, and constantly be challenged in areas I do not know much about. I believe over my internship at Clough, I will become a well-rounded engineer through the experiences I gain by working here.

Fiona has already shown an amazing dedication to becoming the best engineer she can be, and we are very fortunate to be part of what we know will be an incredible journey and career.

“I would like to positively influence the world one step at a time in my career. Additionally, in the future, I want to challenge myself each day and expand on my skill set through the different roles in different projects. I would also like to extend my job by becoming a project engineer, and it will allow me to travel to different sites.”