Graduates and research underpin defence future

Monday, 5 March 2018

The University of Adelaide will play a key role in supporting one of Australia’s major defence capabilities, following the announcement today that BAE Systems Australia has won a $1 billion defence contract.

The contract is to upgrade the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), an over-the-horizon radar network critical to safeguarding Australia.

The University of Adelaide will work with BAE Systems and the defence sector, undertaking research on the upgrade and future development of JORN, including surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

The collaboration with BAE Systems will also produce skilled graduate engineers for the defence workforce.

"The University of Adelaide is proud to build on its outstanding defence track record, in partnership with BAE Systems and the defence sector, in support of this critical project for Australia," says the University of Adelaide's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Rathjen.

“The commitment by BAE Systems to contribute up to $10 million to support the creation of new defence-focused courses and targeted research and development, as well as scholarships and industry placements, will be a winning initiative for STEM students and our graduates.

“Such an investment in skilled graduates and innovation, with a direct partnership between the University of Adelaide and industry, is vital to underpin advancement in defence and our economy,” Professor Rathjen says.

The University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks, says: "The University of Adelaide is Australia's leading university on defence engagement with government and industry. The commitment our University has made to defence places Adelaide at the forefront of research and development and consultancy, across a broad spectrum of discipline areas.

"We are a foundation partner in the BAE Systems’ Joint Open Innovation Network (JOIN), which will now support 60 graduate positions and will establish an Innovation Laboratory at the University of Adelaide – a facility that enables industry and the University to work together to advance defence technologies.

"The BAE Systems JOIN Engineering Scholarship was also introduced at the University of Adelaide last year to support and encourage STEM studies and interest in defence as a career. This is a field of research and education that will remain vital to the future prosperity of the state and the nation, and one that benefits greatly from a strong alliance with both government and industry," Professor Brooks says.

The University of Adelaide is also:
• Researching the human machine interface used by JORN operators
• Undertaking a $4.5 million contract to develop the world’s most precise clock – the Sapphire Clock – to enhance precision timing and JORN's target detection
• Introducing a new defence major in 2019 across a range of engineering degree programs.

The University's Defence Research and Innovation Network, established last year, will also see researchers from Defence Science & Technology Group and industry working on campus alongside University staff and students.


Contact Details

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084