A passion to bring new biomedical technologies to underprivileged communities has won UNSW Engineering student Pallavi Gosain a $40,000 scholarship created to support Australia's next generation of leaders.

Pallavi, who is doing a double degree in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded the Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship.

The scholarship was created to provide assistance to outstanding students who show potential as future leaders in their field of study, who are involved in their community, and who will be an asset to the nation in future years.

Pallavi has maintained a high-distinction average during her studies at UNSW. The Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering has invited her to join their Elite Student program.

The 20-year-old from Merrylands in western Sydney was also Dux of her year at Girraween High School in 2007 and has worked to raise funds for Unicef and the Salvation Army.

Pallavi said her goal as a biomedical engineer is to develop new pharmaceutical products and better biocompatible materials for surgical procedures.

She also plans to work in developing communities overseas with the organisation Engineering Without Borders.

"I aspire to work with organisations that can bring pharmaceuticals, immunisation programs and treatments to underprivileged communities," she said.

In addition to financial support, the scholarship matches awardees with high-profile mentors. Pallavi will be mentored in her studies by Dr Robert Frater, Vice-President of Innovation at ResMed and a former CSIRO deputy chief executive.

Pallavi's scholarship was funded through a donation by ResMed. She was presented with her award by the Governor of South Australia, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, in Adelaide last month.

UNSW Media Office: Peter Trute | 02 9385 1933 | 0410 271 826 | p.trute@unsw.edu.au