Australia's ambitious multi-billion dollar naval shipbuilding program is set to become the largest commitment this nation has ever made to Defence, comprising the design and manufacture of new fleets of submarines, future frigates and patrol boats.
The success of these major projects is reliant on training highly qualified engineers to solve key research and development questions.
A collaborative effort between the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, the University of Wollongong and Flinders University has resulted in the establishment of the ARC Training Centre for Transforming Australia's Naval Manufacturing Industry.
University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said the centre would deliver research solutions by supporting and connecting postdoctoral and postgraduate candidates with industry, university and Defence.
"This project will feed into the Australian naval manufacturing industry by creating a new cohort of industry-focused, broadly skilled engineers and researchers," Professor Peter Rathjen said.
It provides an opportunity for 10 research by higher degree students and three postdoctoral fellows to undertake a combination of research and professional training in an industrial environment. These researchers will focus on developing advanced techniques to efficiently design, construct and sustain the naval platforms; providing significant economic benefits to the nation.
Australian Maritime College Principal Professor Neil Bose said the project would have far-reaching benefits.
"Each student and postdoctoral fellow will work on a specific industry-driven research project in collaboration with researchers from the three universities and two government organisations involved in the partnership. It includes the training and career advancement of highly qualified engineers needed to support the design and manufacture of the SEA1000 future submarines, whose construction alone will be Australia's largest engineering project," Professor Bose said.
The $3.8 million centre, funded through the Australian Research Council's Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme, is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania, University of Wollongong, Flinders University, ASC Pty Ltd, Babcock Pty Ltd, Defence Science and Technology Group, Defence Materials Technology Centre, Thales Australia Ltd, Austal, Serco Defence and PMB Defence Engineering Pty Ltd.