Good things come in twos: Twins; safety points in American football; turtle doves; binary stars; a comfortable, well-worn pair of shoes; nucleotide strands in a DNA double helix; and the University of Arizona’s Peter and Paul Mather, brothers who have been doing things together their entire lives.
The McIntosh scholarship, established by McIntosh Engineering, which was acquired in 2008 by international design and consulting firm Stantec, helps attract new engineering talent to an industry faced with ongoing workforce shortages.
"We feel Peter and Paul Mather hold great promise in the mining engineering field," said Sandy Watson, Stantec US and International Mining vice president, at the presentation of the award, which was held during the annual College of Engineering scholarship reception on April 2 at the Tucson Marriott University Park.
Sharing is nothing new to the brothers, who will be splitting the $10,000 scholarship, which can be extended up to four years.
"There is no one else I would rather split the scholarship with, and no one who has worked so hard to get it. This scholarship will go a long way toward helping us both accomplish our goals," said Peter Mather, the older of the bothers by 16 months. "I plan to gain a sound understanding of mining and management, work all over the world for a respected company, and potentially work my way to the top," he added. "I realize this is quite a goal, but I like to dream big and accomplish much more."
The siblings entered the mining engineering program with different amounts of college credit and are both in their first year at the UA. A couple of things that can be said about Peter and Paul Mather, which likely can be said about all students in the UA mining and geological engineering program, is that they are safety focused and environmentally conscious.
The siblings have lofty goals and both already are deep in mine operations and design research projects.
Paul Mather, whom his older brother describes as always having an air of calm and whose scholarship application essay focused on mining’s potential water use in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, Ariz., is researching ways to improve underground drilling rates.
"The key is to maximize efficiency in underground operations without compromising safety," said Paul, the younger, but taller by two inches, Mather brother.
Older brother Peter’s work focuses on the logistics of mining -- primarily in the areas of mineral supply and demand, risk assessment and sustainability -- as well as data collection and usage.
"In a day and age when we are drowning in data, mining still seems to be miles behind, say, oil companies and banking," Peter said.
Extension of the McIntosh scholarship is dependent upon the students’ meeting pertinent annual academic milestones. In addition to Peter and Paul Mather, Stantec is continuing to support two past scholarship winners.