Brendan Cottrell, winner of the $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship, begins his studies in engineering science at SFU this fall.

2015 Schulich Leader Scholarship winner Brendan Cottrell

September 29, 2015

Winner of the $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship 2015, Brendan Cottrell begins SFU this fall in the engineering science program. Selected by SFU for his high school academic prowess and exceptional community engagement, Cottrell is one of two high school applicants to receive a Schulich scholarship to pursue an undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

Established by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich with $100 million in 2012, the scholarships encourage 50 of Canada’s best and brightest high school students to attend university to become future pioneers in global scientific research and innovation.

By Allen Tung, SFU University Communications

It runs in the family. Brendan Cottrell is following in the footsteps of his parents Joanne and Paul, SFU alumni who both graduated with science degrees specializing in marine biology.

Brendan is choosing a different path though, opting to enter the Faculty of Applied Sciences’ engineering science program this month because of its research and co-op opportunities, and the ability to set his own path.

“It’s a high intensity program that prepares students for the high tech world of the future, which I want to be a part of,” he says.

“The most appealing aspect for me was being able to personalize the program to suit my interests.”

As a student at Elgin Park Secondary School in Surrey, Cottrell won several top student awards in mathematics and sciences. In Grade 11, he was the recipient of the SFU Faculty of Applied Sciences’ Math 11 Excellence Award.

He also established his own tutoring network, volunteering his time to help several different students, multiple times a week.

“I found tutoring a fulfilling way to help other students while also keeping up on my own studies,” he says.

Outside of the classroom, he played on several school sports teams, and played 13 years with the community Coastal FC soccer team.  He also volunteers for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, helping raise awareness about the human-induced dangers orcas face.