Engineering leads the way with new vision for industry engagement

10 Aug 2020
Industry engagement

The Faculty of Engineering has launched its new approach to Industry Engagement  

The development of solar energy, fraud detection and mining the moon have more in common than you might realise. They’re all examples of partnerships between external organisations and researchers at UNSW Engineering. Since its inception, the Faculty has had a long and successful history of engagement with industry. This has led to significant contributions to solving some of the world’s grand challenges, affirming our proud position as the number-one ranked Engineering university in Australia. 

Partnerships with external industries have always been central to ensuring engineering research is relevant and impactful to society. In addition, it provides opportunities for students to gain vital real-life experience, resulting in industry-ready, employable graduates. Good industry engagement aims to build strong, supportive relationships and work towards mutual benefits, based on trust and innovation.  

Although industry engagement and student placements have been ongoing, there was a shared view that the Faculty would benefit from a single and unifying approach. Led by Professor Ian Gibson, Associate Dean, Industry and Innovation, a group of both professional and academic staff began work in 2019 to develop the Industry Engagement Plan. This aims to provide the Faculty with a clear direction – bringing to life an exciting vision for the future of industry engagement. 

The plan provides simple, practical steps  in order to make this vision a reality. These are based on its three pillars: maximising student experience, delivering research outcomes, and ensuring the Faculty is easy to work with. Each pillar recognises the value of UNSW’s three key components (our students, our research and our external partners) and proposes a number of goals that will support the Faculty to realise its targeted outcomes in: 

  • Building partnerships and long-term relationships 

  • Creating scalable and sustainable solutions 

  • Integrating and aligning efforts with other relevant parts of the University. 

In addition, the plan moves to reinforce equity, diversity and inclusion; support academic freedom; and ensure that national and international legal and security obligations are met. 

“I’m really proud of the Engineering Industry Engagement approach and the work that has gone into it,” Acting Dean of Engineering, Professor Stephen Foster said.  

“It’s truly the efforts of the whole Faculty and I am excited to see the impact that it will have on our future ventures.” 

UNSW Engineering is excited to launch this document with key industry partners in August and September 2020.  

Looking to the future, an Industry Engagement Committee with representatives from all the Engineering schools is being established. This group will help to prioritise and make decisions,  share information, act as ambassadors within the schools and coordinate activities as they are rolled out. 

While the plan provides a future road map for the Faculty, the aim is for it to be a living document that continues to evolve and adapt with the changing needs of the Faculty.  

If you’d like to find out more, visit the Industry website or contact Ian Gibson.