The Materials Science PhD candidate, Richard Buerstmayr, has received the scholarship from Pietro Bergamaschi’s ongoing generosity to give back to UNSW. The scholarship itself dates to 1967, where Bergamaschi arrived in Australia from Italy with a degree in industrial chemistry and an aspiration for better opportunities. Bergamaschi, at the time, was unable to speak English, yet he was interviewed for a job at the UNSW School of Metallurgy. It was his hard work and focus caught the attention of Professor Greig Wallwork, who realised the potential Bergamaschi had as a postgraduate research student. Wallwork created a scholarship especially for Bergamaschi, so he could pursue a higher research degree. Bergamaschi graduated in 1970 with a Master of Science. Ten years later, when he saw Wallwork again at a retirement dinner, he made an offer to repay the scholarship and funded the Pietro Bergamaschi European PhD Scholarship.


Richard Buerstmayr is the second PhD candidate to receive this scholarship. Originally doing his undergraduate and masters at the University of Leoben. Buerstmayr’s PhD at UNSW involves the development of nickel-based alloys for applications in aircraft engines. Specifically, Buerstmayr’s research focuses on René 41, the alloy used in the mercury space program for its exceptional ability to retain its strength in high temperature environments. Whilst tackling challenges with the alloy, like processing and fabrication, Buerstmayr has had time to build his relationship with Bergamaschi. Along with Lorenzo Travaglini, who was the first recipient of the Scholarship, Bergamaschi and his wife kindly invited Buerstmayr to various events. The generosity of Bergamaschi has helped our dedicated PhD students, and it is without a doubt that Buerstmayr is at the calibre of excellence.

So, congratulations to Richard Buerstmayr for a successful Scholarship.