Nelson engineering student awarded Freemasons scholarship

Charlie Norton of Nelson with Freemasons grand master Mark Winger. Charlie was awarded a $6000 Freemasons university ...
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Charlie Norton of Nelson with Freemasons grand master Mark Winger. Charlie was awarded a $6000 Freemasons university scholarship at Parliament's Legislative Council Chamber.

Engineering student Charlie Norton enjoys solving difficult problems, so much in fact that his thesis is focused on optimising the radiology booking system at Auckland's North Shore Hospital. 

Norton, who grew up in Nelson, is in his honours year studying engineering science at the University of Auckland and he has been recognised as one of the country's top university scholars with a Freemasons scholarship.

While working on a hospital booking system might not seem like engineering, Norton had chosen engineering science as a specialty, which involved mathematical modelling and creating algorithms to solve problems. 

"I really enjoy the challenge of it and also the wide range of applications, you can be doing something with hospitals one day and electric vehicles the next day."

In the case of the hospital's booking system, he said it was a surprisingly difficult problem as it required people to be booked for scans weeks in advance while also leaving room for emergency patients to be slotted in.

"At the end of this I end up with a really cool skill set that can be applied to a lot of things, whether or not they be engineering applications or more business focused or more socially focused, there is a lot of scope there." 

Norton spent two summers working at Nelson Pine Industries to clock up the 800 hours of work experience needed for his engineering degree.

He was also heavily involved in volunteering and June is heading to the Global Youth Summit in Switzerland

Norton said he enjoyed the chance to meet "incredible people" and spark change within society.

"The idea is to go and meet incredible people from around the world and work on a sustainable development goal and your ideas and programs you start there will filter back to all the countries."

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He had also created a website this year called The Opportunity Space, to help connect talented youth with opportunities for growth and development. 

Norton said he felt "lucky" to receive the $6000 scholarship which would be a huge help in his final year of study.

"It basically means that I can spend more time focused on study and my extra curricular things like volunteering as opposed to chasing dollars which is quite nice."

 - Stuff

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