St Andrew's College Rhodes Scholar-elect 2018 - St Andrew's College

St Andrew’s College Rhodes Scholar-elect 2018

Rowing at the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston
October 21, 2017
1st XI Cricket vs Grey High School
October 23, 2017
Rowing at the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston
October 21, 2017
1st XI Cricket vs Grey High School
October 23, 2017

St Andrew’s College Rhodes Scholar-elect 2018

Mrs Shelley Frayne, Chair of the St Andrew’s College and DSG Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee is delighted to announce that Mr Aaron Michael Graham has been selected as the Rhodes Scholar-elect to Oxford University in 2018.

Aaron matriculated from St Andrew’s College in 2012, and in 2016 completed a BSc in Mechanical Engineering with First Class Honours at the University of Cape Town, being included on the Dean’s Merit List every year. He is currently completing an MSc in Mechanical Engineering focusing on Continuum Mechanics and Finite Element Methods.

Aaron Graham 3

It was in the residential life of UCT that Aaron immersed himself and played a transformative role. He was afforded the distinction of being recognised as the “Best Sub-Warden” as a result of his work in the Disciplinary Portfolio and the subsequent fundamental shift towards greater self-discipline and reduction in disciplinary incidents. He was also a driving force, as Treasurer and Executive House Committee member, of redirecting funding towards outreach and “in-reach” (providing support for students who were struggling financially, socially or academically) and he subsequently became the Residence Treasuries Facilitator tasked with training Treasurers and serving in an advisory capacity on the Residence Treasurers Council.

In a concerted move to address the toxic beliefs around masculinity and to interrogate gender roles and the pervasive rape culture prevalent in South African society, Aaron was involved in the organisation and successful execution of a “Men’s Event” which posed the question, “What does it mean to be a man?”.

Aaron is a long distance runner, regular sailor with the UCT Sailing Club, and was a member of the UCT Fencing Club Committee. He has also qualified as an Officer in the South African Navy and is a member of the University Reserve Training Programme, training with the South African Defence Force during his vacations.

Aaron intends to read for a DPhil in Engineering Science at Oxford in which he will focus on the material characterisation and accurate Finite Element Method (FEM) modelling of soft biological tissue during impact events. This research will feed into improving motor vehicle design, and improving protective gear for sporting, military and industrial applications.

Aaron is a young man of clear purpose, intense energy, and candid sincerity. His incisive intellect manifests itself in an interesting and creative way of looking at global issues. We have no doubt that he will leave his mark on the world both through the fruits of his academic studies and through the impact of his social conscience.  Our school communities warmly congratulate him on being selected as the Rhodes Scholar-elect.