Master's degree builds submarine expertise

Collins class submarine

A rejuvenated Master of Marine Engineering (MME) program – backed by the expertise and resources of ASC, Australia’s submarine company – is seeing dozens of postgraduate students at the University of Adelaide prepare for a career building and sustaining Australia’s current and future submarines.

This year 49 students are undertaking the Master’s by course work in submarine design (naval architecture and maritime engineering), sustainment, supply chain, project management and related subjects, within the University's School of Mechanical Engineering. The program, offered every two years, has grown from 27 students in 2017 and nine students in 2015.

The students are drawn from industry, Defence and recent graduates, as well as French exchange students from the prestigious French Grande Ecole d’Ingénieurs ENSTA Bretagne, which last year signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Adelaide. In the program each student completes an individual project developing a submarine concept design using professional tools.

The ramp-up in enrolments for the Master’s course reflects the place Adelaide will occupy at the centre of submarine and major warship design and construction in coming decades, under the bi-partisan approach to the naval shipbuilding industry.

Newly appointed course director, Associate Professor Eric Fusil, said the Master’s students were highly motivated.

“We are at the start of a historical and challenging build-up in the submarine sector in Australia. The students are drawing on an incredible wealth of real-life experience in terms of submarine engineering at ASC – Australia’s only established submarine company,” said the University of Adelaide’s Associate Professor Fusil, a former submarine designer with both Naval Group of France and ASC in Adelaide.

ASC provides internationally recognised subject matter experts with experience working on more than ten submarine classes from UK, France, Spain, Sweden and Australia.

Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley welcomed the recommitment to the MME program in 2019: “ASC is the repository of more than 30 years of experience and knowledge that has been honed and updated to ensure the Collins Class remains a regionally superior submarine for the nation. So it’s a natural fit for ASC and the University of Adelaide to be collaborating in this area,” he said.

“ASC has the people and expertise to not only help design and build the RAN’s future submarine platforms, but also to develop the skilled workforce required to deliver Australia’s naval shipbuilding plans in coming decades.”

The Master of Marine Engineering, delivered by ASC and the University of Adelaide, is among few postgraduate courses available in Australia in marine engineering, and is the only one in submarine design.

In recognition of the high standards of achievement, students are being offered free membership with the prestigious Royal Institution of Naval Architects and the students’ best projects are presented to the Submarine Institute of Australia Technical Conference, SubsTec.

Defence, Cyber and Space is a key industry engagement priority for the University of Adelaide.

For details on the suite of Marine Engineering programs co-developed by ASC and the University of Adelaide visit and search ‘Marine Engineering’.

Tagged in engineering, defence, marine engineering, postgraduate, defence industry, skills, workforce, workforce of the future, future skills