New de­grees fill a gap

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FLIN­DERS Univer­sity will of­fer two new de­grees next year to help meet de­mand for engineers in two im­por­tant growth ar­eas.

The univer­sity says its new elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing de­gree will tar­get two of the high­est growth ar­eas for em­ploy­ment in the state – re­new­able elec­tri­cal en­ergy pro­duc­tion such as wind farms, and elec­tri­cal drive sys­tems of the type used on sub­marines.

Flin­ders Univer­sity’s dean of Com­puter Sci­ence, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics Pro­fes­sor John Rod­dick says the new de­gree will help meet lo­cal and na­tional de­mand for engineers.

‘‘ This de­gree has also been tai­lored to di­rectly en­hance the eco­nomic ca­pac­ity of South Australia and will tar­get two of the high­est growth ar­eas,’’ he says.

‘‘ It is clear from any num­ber of sources that the sup­ply of pro­fes­sional engineers is not keep­ing pace with de­mand – there is an es­ti­mated short­fall of about 40,000 skilled engineers across the coun­try – and thus grad­u­ates of the de­gree will be highly sought af­ter.

‘‘ Flin­ders is also launch­ing a unique com­bined Bach­e­lor of En­gi­neer­ing (Elec­tri­cal) with Bach­e­lor of En­gi­neer­ing (Me­chan­i­cal) de­gree to re- flect the cross­over be­tween the two dis­ci­plines.’’

Matthew Kokegei com­pleted an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in com­puter sys­tems en­gi­neer­ing be­fore be­gin­ning a PHD. Kokegei is de­vel­op­ing a con­trol sys­tem to di­rect an au­ton­o­mous un­der­wa­ter ve­hi­cle, cur- rently be­ing de­vel­oped by the univer­sity for mar­itime sur­vey­ing and sur­veil­lance.

‘‘ There’s a lot of tech­nol­ogy-based com­pa­nies here in Ade­laide – like at Maw­son Lakes, the DSTO (De­fence Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Or­gan­i­sa­tion), and ASC. There’s a lot of de­fence-based en­gi­neer­ing here,’’ he says.

In 2013, Flin­ders will also in­tro­duce a new Bach­e­lor of Math­e­mat­i­cal Sci­ences de­gree, fo­cused on solv­ing evolv­ing prob­lems re­lated to is­sues such as cli­mate change, ground water us­age and in­fec­tion con­trol.

- Giuseppe Tauriello

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