Unis partner for engineering hub
Western smarts: An engineering facility in the heart of Parramatta
The University of NSW and Western Sydney University have partnered to build an engineering innovation hub in the heart of Parramatta in Sydney’s west to house a joint undergraduate engineering program.
To be completed by 2021, the 15-storey hub would also be home for Western Sydney University’s architecture and business courses, as well as corporate offices.
Eliathamby Ambikairajah, head of school for electrical and telecommunications at UNSW, said the hub and the joint undergraduate program was in preparation for the potentials jobs that the local area would generate.
“If you look at the hub, it has a focus on innovative engineering. The idea is that these skills will help transform industries in the western Sydney area,” he told InnovationAus.com.
“Historically, the area specialised in manufacturing but it has been rapidly modernising. The demand for information technology and infrastructure requirements, and the need for engineering skills will grow, particularly because the building of the new airport in Badgerys Creek will require the support of these skills.
“Physically locating the engineering course in the hub will attract industries who are looking to modernise and upskill their workforce, and stimulate new engagement between institutions and work placement. It may also attract startup companies.”
Mr Ambikairajah added the partnership marks next steps of how universities can collaborate.
“Universities have always collaborated on research but when it comes to education partnership, this is very new and the first step for us at UNSW and WSU,” he said.
Students would spend the first two years of their engineering program at the hub taught jointly by UNSW and WSU staff, before they are then given the choice to continue and complete their degrees at one of the universities of their choice. The courses on offer would be electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and mechatronics engineering.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new hub complemented the state government’s $26 billion infrastructure commitment to Western Sydney that is expected to create 200,000 innovation jobs as result of the new airport precinct at Badgerys Creek.
“Two great institutions [are] promoting an engineering hub which will not only generate job growth in this community, but I believe provide the innovation which is desperately needed,” she said.