SA defence degree a national first
Monday, 20 November 2006
In an Australian first, a new defence Masters degree will give South Australian engineers an edge over their interstate counterparts.
Eleven ASC personnel from diverse engineering disciplines are the first students to participate in the program, with enrolments now open to the general public for 2007.
Already the degree has generated enormous interest from engineers working in Australia's defence industry, as well as others hoping to gain the additional skills required to enter the defence market.
Speaking at the Masters launch today, ASC Managing Director Greg Tunny said the complexity of engineering projects undertaken on the Collins Class submarines and the air warfare destroyers reinforces the importance of the Masters.
"Our submarine and destroyer programs present us with unique challenges, not least of which is having our staff equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience required to keep the submarines at their maximum capability," said Mr Tunny.
"The Masters degree will greatly accelerate up-skilling and, in time, strengthen Australia's indigenous naval engineering capability."
Professor James McWha, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, said the new degree addresses skills shortages in the defence industry and will provide additional career opportunities for engineers.
"This program represents an excellent example of industry and the University working closely together to create real benefits for the State and the nation," said Professor McWha.
The postgraduate program has been made possible through funding from Defence Materiel Organisation's Skilling Australia's Defence Industry Initiative.
- The Master of Marine Engineering is a postgraduate degree delivered by the University of Adelaide and ASC Pty Ltd.
- Graduates receive a formal University of Adelaide qualification upon completing the program.
- The Master of Marine Engineering is the only degree of its kind in Australia.
- It comprises 12 courses (or subjects), comparable to an 18-month full-time program of study.
- All of the current 11 students are full-time ASC employees, who are studying part-time.
- More broadly, the course will expand in 2007 to provide a similar focus for the entire Australian naval defence industry, in particular to surface vessels in support of the Air Warfare Destroyer Program.
- The postgraduate program fills an education gap for naval defence engineers, qualifies them to higher degree level and provides an incentive to attract new recruits and retain experienced personnel in the defence industry.
- The program consists of three types of courses:
core program courses in either submarines or naval ships; foundation courses in appropriate engineering streams, such as structural, mechanical and electrical engineering; and elective courses.
- A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Marine Engineering will also be offered by the University of Adelaide in addition to the Masters degree.
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