Work Integrated Learning

graduate engineer

Each of the school's Bachelor of Engineering programs requires students to undertake a minimum of sixty (60) days industrial training.

The objective of industrial training is to prepare you for future employment in your chosen engineering discipline. Industrial training enhances the academic material studied at university by allowing you to practise what you have learned and to develop key professional attributes, providing an opportunity for every student to:

  • experience the discipline of working in a professional engineering organisation
  • develop understanding of the functioning and organisation of a business
  • interact with other professional and non-professional groups
  • apply engineering methods such as design and problem-solving
  • develop technical, interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written.

It is also an opportunity for employers to make early assessments of potential future employees – a demonstrated commitment and ability to take responsibility, make sound decisions and apply technical skills could set you apart from other candidates for the job.

Refer to Engineering students industrial training before making arrangements, to ensure the industrial placement complies with the requirements of the degree program. All industrial training must be approved prior to starting to ensure that the work undertaken is relevant to your degree of study. 


Acceptable areas of industrial training

Students may be employed in any capacity associated with the development, design and/or manufacture of products including: production, quality control, chemical analysis, plant maintenance, design office duties or research in materials processing, materials engineering and materials characterisation. It is desirable that the student be assigned to some member of the technical staff in the plant who will give general guidance on the work to be undertaken. Whilst difficult, it is desirable to obtain experience in a range of activities including design, analysis, experimentation, production and other on-site activities. It is important that students make the most of their industrial training by soliciting varied and challenging projects from the employer. Research and development is valid training for an engineer and such work is done in companies, research organisations (such as CSIRO and ANSTO) and universities. Projects associated with the Taste of Research Summer Scholarships in the Faculties of Science and Engineering may be acceptable as industrial training.

Student story

Ishita Puri, 5th year Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Science and Engineering)/Master of Biomedical Engineering student, talks about her industrial training experience:

As a Materials Science and Engineering student, I wanted to gain some laboratory experience prior to commencing my Honours thesis. I was fortunate to be selected to intern at the National Measurement Institute (NMI) in Lindfield, Australia over the 2017/2018 summer.

Through a formal interview process, the members of each department at NMI discussed with candidates their interests and skills to allocate them projects. I was accompanied by four engineering students, across various disciplines and universities. I formed new friendships and learnt about reproducing images pixel by pixel, electrical circuit boards and determining calibrants for different machines from the other interns.

I was allocated the Nanometrology project, which involved preparing and analysing titanium dioxide powdered samples. Titanium dioxide is found in toothpaste and paints – so it is commonly ingested or inhaled. My research was done in collaboration with FSANZ and ANSTO to determine whether titanium dioxide suspended in solution is harmful to rats, and by extension, humans.

I referred to previous protocols and conducted research to develop a method to prepare the titania solutions. I was trained on various characterisation instruments and learnt how to efficiently analyse the results. After conducting trials with numerous methods, I was able to refine my experimental method. Doing so, I accurately prepared and analysed my samples. The results were sent to Western Australia to be further analysed.

From accurately pipetting solutions to dispersing nanoparticles by ultrasonic disruption, NMI allowed me to master basic laboratory skills. Additionally, I had to manually calibrate the instruments, allowing me to gain a deeper understanding behind the mechanism of the process, which is vital for research. These techniques greatly assisted me with my Thesis experiment as I was able to draw on my past experience when preparing solutions and operating instruments.

Under the supervision of Dr Asa Jamting and Dr Victoria Coleman, I was exposed to a professional but friendly environment where I was able to learn iteratively and independently repeat the experiments to produce reliable and valid results.

The week before our Christmas break, the staff at NMI organised a wonderful Christmas lunch and picnic at Lane Cove National Park. It was a great opportunity to get to know my colleagues more personally and network with NMI staff across different departments. I would love to be part of another project offered by NMI as there is a vast array of research topics, a friendly environment and opportunity to further my skills.

My experience at NMI was challenging but extremely rewarding. As I was new to the instruments, equipment and research, I found it daunting to implement my own method and execute it. At times, I had to think on my feet, especially when altering my method after unsuccessful trails. Even though it was difficult to conduct an experiment without being able to predict the outcome or be certain about the accuracy of the results, the experience was unforgettable. I am proud of my achievements as I was able to produce results to be sent to ANSTO and FSANZ for analysis.