Doctoral Internship Program Offers New Manufacturing Jobs

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The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Center (IMCRC) funded 23 doctoral research internships, as part of its partnership with Australia’s national doctoral internship programme, Australian Postgraduate Research Intern (APR.Intern).

The partnership, which started in 2019, was designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) build their advanced and digital manufacturing capabilities in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

With the support of a qualified PhD student for three to six months, SMEs sought to address specific business challenges using smart technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, automation, robotics and additive manufacturing.

Of the 23 interns placed, nine secured permanent employment with their internship partner, eight in newly created positions and one in an existing position.

The 23rd IMCRC co-funded intern, Bui Quoc Huy (Tony) Nguyen, a student from Swinburne University, recently started his internship with Norden Body Works, a wheelchair accessibility bus converter based in Melbourne.

Tony supports Norden in his research on the application of technology to optimize wheelchair passenger transport.

Norden Body Works Managing Director Leo Driessen said Nguyen, with his expertise in electronics and information technology, will help Norden accelerate its research and development (R&D) into an Internet of Things-enabled solution. , which has the potential to provide a commercially viable product to provide benefits to wheelchair accessible bus operators.

“As well as providing tangible benefits to our company and our customers, this internship will help an Australian researcher learn about the industry and prepare for their career. It’s a win-win situation,” a- he declared.

APR.Intern, national program manager, Lisa Farrar, said the partnership with IMCRC has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from industry and academia.

“The IMCRC grant has undoubtedly strengthened industry-academia collaboration within the sector,” she said.

“90% of the companies that used the grant were start-ups or SMEs, which provided them with much-needed support to engage in research collaborations and accelerate innovative R&D.

“At the end of the internship, 87% of industry said that the results of the project had been directly implemented in the company, and 75% said that they were seeking co-funding to continue research. »

IMCRC CEO and Managing Director, David Chuter, said he was proud to uphold IMCRC’s commitment to supporting research collaboration between industry and academia and driving innovation in science. manufacturing.

“By subsidizing the cost of the internship, IMCRC and APR.Intern have enabled manufacturing SMEs to harness the expertise of emerging Australian research talent to solve very specific problems within their company’s R&D,” it said. -he declares.

“It is incredibly pleasing to see that this program not only provides permanent jobs for many students, but also creates opportunities for the majority of companies to pursue or invest in new collaborative R&D projects.

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