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Curiosity paves the way for Monash Rhodes Scholar

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1 November 2012

2013 Rhodes Scholarship recipient Geoffrey Pascoe is congratulated by The Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria
2013 Rhodes Scholarship recipient Geoffrey Pascoe is congratulated by The Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria

Monash University graduate Geoffrey Pascoe has won the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for study at Oxford University where he plans to help drive a revolution in transportation.

This is the fourth year running that a Monash graduate has taken out the Victorian arm of the program.

Geoffrey, who has completed a Bachelor of Computer Science with class honours, and is due to complete his Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering/Bachelor of Science at Monash this year, will undertake a Doctorate in Engineering Science at Oxford’s Mobile Robotics Group.

Inspired by the potential to transform transportation technology, Geoffrey aims to contribute to reductions in pollution, congestion, accident rates and travel times. He tackled research projects in machine learning and robotics during his undergraduate degree and will pursue this area further at Oxford.

Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ed Byrne congratulated Geoffrey on his scholarship.

"I wish Geoffrey all the best with his studies at Oxford, where I have no doubt he will emulate the successes of other Rhodes Scholars," Professor Byrne said.

"The University's wonderful track record with the Rhodes Scholarship program is an indication of the talent we attract and nurture, and the fact that the University's ideals align with those of the scholarship program."

Geoffrey said he has been passionate about engineering from a young age. He distinctly remembers, at nine years old, being fascinated by mechanics of a cable car.

“l’ve always enjoyed learning about science but it wasn’t until my honours year in computer science that I really found my passion for research," Geoffrey said.

"I found it tremendously exciting to be figuring things out and trying new things for myself, rather than simply learning what others had done.”

Geoffrey said he was honoured to have been selected as the 2013 Victorian Rhodes Scholar and excited by the opportunity.

"I want to be working on ideas and technologies that will change the world and will have a real impact on peoples' lives," Geoffrey said.

"The skills that I will gain through working in one of the world's foremost robotics laboratories will set me in good stead to solve the big problems that will shape the future."

The oldest and one of the most prestigious international graduate scholarship programs, the Rhodes Scholarships were established in 1903, under the will of Cecil Rhodes. Applicants for the scholarship are expected to demonstrate exceptional academic achievements, character, leadership and commitment to service. The express goal of the program is to develop the leaders of tomorrow.   

Recent Monash University Rhodes Scholars include Victor Finkel (2011), Evelyn Chan (2010), Anthea Lindquist (2009), Farnaz Sabet (2005), Lucas Bluff (2004), Geraldine Buckingham (2003) and Nathan Grills (2002).

For further information about the Rhodes Trust, visit the Rhodes House website.