Flinders University has welcomed the Australian government’s decision to allocate 330 Commonwealth Supported Places for the Nuclear-Powered Submarines Student Pathways program, which will enable more Flinders students to pursue STEM careers in the emerging nuclear-powered submarines industry.
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Stirling said the Commonwealth’s investment of over $28 million in Flinders places was recognition of the University’s leadership and innovation in AUKUS education and research, and a coup for South Australia’s burgeoning workforce development and shipbuilding capacity.
“Flinders is proud to be at the forefront of developing Australia’s AUKUS capability and workforce and is ready to support the nuclear-powered submarine program through an expansion of our teaching, research and innovation programs,” Professor Stirling said. “Our university AUKUS with The University of Rhode Island and The University of Manchester uniquely positions Flinders to enhance research and education activities in nuclear science and technology, and to facilitate student and staff mobility and exchange. Furthermore, Flinders is the only Australian university to strike a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the US Naval Undersea Warfare Centre (NUWC), which will enable us to access cutting-edge facilities and expertise, and to collaborate on projects of mutual interest and benefit to Australia and the US.”
The government’s decision to award a significant number of STEM Commonwealth supported places to Flinders comes as the University hosts a delegation from The University of Rhode Island this week, as part of preparations for launching Australia’s first undergraduate nuclear major next year.
“Our major can be taken as part of a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science and combines our existing strengths in advanced manufacturing and digital technologies with The University of Rhode Island’s undergraduate nuclear expertise to create a program that will deliver engineers and scientists who understand modern manufacturing in a nuclear context,” Professor Stirling said. “We are also progressing degree apprenticeships in Australia and have developed a format that enables students to study for their degree whilst simultaneously gaining paid industry-led work experience within the sector, helping to fast-track the future submarine workforce. These are just some of the many opportunities Flinders offers to enable more students to pursue careers in AUKUS – spanning apprentice degrees, micro-credentials, short courses, executive education, diplomas and degrees – to ensure our graduates are eminently employable and ready for an immediate start in the defence sector,” Professor Stirling said.
With ambition to play its part in growing South Australia’s pipeline of job-ready graduates, Flinders University has recruited an additional 15 academic staff in critical STEM areas of engineering and computing to support course delivery at the University’s new Adelaide city campus. “Our investment in key academic personnel will cater for student growth, while boosting the support and experience our students receive,” Professor Stirling said. “We thank the Federal Government for investing in Flinders’ innovations, creating opportunities for students to embark on careers in the single largest infrastructure initiative this nation has ever seen.”
Source : APDR