A new course at the University of New South Wales will be the first in Australia to teach telecommunications and systems engineers the skills demanded by the National Broadband Network (NBN) and other emerging technologies.

UNSW's School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications and School of Computer Science and Engineering have teamed up with networking giant Cisco to develop the new postgraduate course in Network Systems Architecture in response to an emerging shortfall in qualified network engineers able to act on opportunities created by communications advances such as the NBN and cloud computing.

Head of UNSW's Professor Eliathamby Ambikairajah said the course is the first of its kind in Australia and the first such collaboration between Cisco and an Australian university.

"In collaboration with Cisco we have come up with a network architecture course that will enable our students to take a high-level view of networking systems and connect engineering design to the business goals of an organisation," he said.

"Students learn about various networking methods and technologies but this new course teaches them how to integrate this knowledge to design, analyse, and verify entire systems that address user and business requirements while meeting cost constraints and future expansion needs."

Kevin Bloch, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said demand for appropriately skilled engineers was rising as technology became more complex and organisations sought alignment between technology investments and business requirements.

"Unfortunately, we have found a lack of sufficient industry training to address these important trends, so Cisco has collaborated with UNSW to create this course that we believe will have widespread industry appeal."

The Network Systems Architecture course will enable engineers to deal with increasingly complex applications and business models, such as e-commerce, data centres and cloud computing, for which new, systems-level architectures need to be developed.

The course, which started on July 22, is available to postgraduates, industry participants and some final-year undergraduate engineering students. Strong demand has resulted in an initial 25 places offered being increased to 50.

UNSW Media Office: Peter Trute | 02 9385 1933 | 0410 271 826 | p.trute@unsw.edu.au