A Warwick Senior High School graduate is packing his bags for Oxford University after winning the prestigious and highly sought after Rhodes Scholarship.
Caleb McKenna, 23, graduated Warwick Senior High School in 2018 where he was the ATAR Dux, school captain, and a member of the school’s Australian Rules Football Specialist program.
Following his interest and passion for STEM, Mr McKenna went on to study at the University of Western Australia where he gained a Bachelor of Philosophy, majoring in Engineering Science and Physics. He is currently undertaking a Master of Professional Engineering.
The Rhodes Scholarship is another win for Mr McKenna whose list of achievements include the Fogarty Foundation Scholarship, representing Australia at the Weizmann Institute of Science, being an ambassador for the WA Government’s Take2STEM program, and being involved in the IMechE UWA Student Chapter and the UWA Aerospace Team.
He also co-founded not-for-profit organisation Enitiate, and has worked as an undergraduate engineer in Fortescue Metals Group’s Rail Department where he co-invented a patent for a novel rollingstock asset.
Mr McKenna said he planned to continue studying engineering science at Oxford.
“I hope to look at floating offshore wind as the next step for renewable energy generation,” he said.
“I think development in renewable energy generation technologies is a really crucial step towards the climate change fight and moving towards a clean energy future.”
The Rhodes Scholarship is the world's most distinguished and oldest graduate scholarship. It is awarded based on academic excellence, as well as talents including creative or sporting abilities, traits such as courage, kindness, and strength of character.
In being announced Rhodes Scholar for 2024, Mr McKenna joins an impressive list of past recipients, including former Prime Minister Bob Hawke (1953), former Premier Geoff Gallop (1972) and former WA Governor Kim Beazley (1973).
Warwick Senior High School principal Lesley Wintle said Mr McKenna was an outstanding student.
"Warwick Senior High School is very proud of his achievements. His win demonstrates that students from any school can aspire to tertiary education and to being the best in their courses," she said.
"Caleb will continue to do well at Oxford and we look forward to hearing of his future successes.”
Governor Chris Dawson congratulated Mr McKenna on his achievement.
“It was not an easy decision for the selection committee. Each candidate was worthy of being a finalist for the outstanding contribution they have already made to our community, and for that which is yet to come,” he said.