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Hewlett-Packard Scholar Announced

9 June 2006

Hewlett-Packard Scholar Announced

A passion for computer science has won University of Otago student Bjorn Wells the Hewlett-Packard New Zealand Award for Excellence in Software Engineering for 2006.

The award was established by Compaq Computer New Zealand Ltd (now HP) and the University of Otago Department of Information Science in 1999 to encourage student development in software engineering.

The HP award is offered annually to a final year University of Otago student studying Computer Science or Information Science as a major.

Bjorn, who is in his final year of a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree majoring in Computer Science, underwent a very competitive application process, including an in-depth interview with a panel of University and HP staff, to win the award.

Students are assessed on their academic ability with emphasis on performance in software engineering, technical ability, professional skills, personality and contribution to university or community activities.

“It really came down to his passion and drive for the subject,” says Michael Jongens, Practice Lead at HP Services, who presented the award.

As part of the award Bjorn received $2000 cash and valuable networking opportunities with HP, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of computing equipment.

“To be recognised for my work over the past three years through this scholarship is just fantastic. It has been a great opportunity to meet staff from HP and learn more about the company and its graduate recruitment opportunities – and get a foot in the door at HP,” says Bjorn.

Originally from Nelson, Bjorn was drawn to the University of Otago for its reputation and expertise in the Computer Science field.

“I’ve always taken to logistics and problem solving so computer science was the obvious choice for study,” he says.

While he’s focusing his attentions on finishing his Honours dissertation, which investigates minimising errors in GPS systems, Bjorn says he’ll be actively looking for graduate placements over the next six months.

“Ideally I’d love to work in Nelson but I anticipate that I will be working in Wellington, Auckland or Christchurch - there are so many fields I could go into,” says Bjorn.


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