Fifty-three cadet engineers in the Charles Sturt School of Computing, Mathematics and Engineering are employed in a range of engineering roles with regional councils, corporate engineering consultancies, government departments and a construction company.
Engineer-in-Residence and Course Director in the Charles Sturt Engineering program Ms Shara Cameron said it’s good news for engineering students and graduates that civil engineering and construction management (a career path for civil engineers) are listed in a federal government report in late August naming the top 10 in-demand professions for the next five years.
“Charles Sturt University is delivering on its objective to provide engineers for regional Australia, and although graduates have job opportunities all around Australia, they are choosing to work and live regionally,” Ms Cameron said.
“This includes our graduates who are working in Sydney, Newcastle, Canberra, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the South Coast, and across regional NSW.
“Seven are employed with regional councils, six with corporate engineering consultancies, five with government departments or agencies, and one with a construction company. One graduate is studying for a PhD.”
Ms Cameron said the 53 Charles Sturt cadet engineers are employed in engineering roles with placements in the Central West, Greater Sydney and the Central Coast, Wollongong and the Illawarra, Wagga Wagga and the Riverina, Port Macquarie and Taree on the Mid North Coast, Albury-Wodonga, and in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
And for the first time one cadet is working overseas in the UK, gaining engineering design experience in Leeds while continuing his studies.
“Employment of cadet engineers is one of the ways we can sustain the infrastructure boom we are having across Australia,” Ms Cameron said.
“The cadet engineers do four year-long placements while they study online and complete their degree, which is why Charles Sturt engineering graduates are so in demand and we are seeing full employment.”
Charles Sturt cadet engineer Mr Jack McIntyre (pictured) grew up in Lithgow and is in his second year of work placement at Wagga Wagga City Council.
He is currently working in the Engineering Department Design Office on a range of complex projects which encompass the disciplines of roads, pavements, stormwater, forward planning, cycle ways, and rail.
“I have always been interested, in some way or another, in engineering and all things man-made,” Jack said.
“However, civil engineering had not yet grabbed my attention when it came time to consider a career following high school and coming from a childhood with vast exposure to the railways, I was thinking about a degree in mechanical or aeronautical engineering.
“That’s when Charles Sturt Engineering caught my eye and having read what the principles and methods of the course were, I could not imagine completing my tertiary education in any other way; it seemed wholly logical and exciting at the same time.”
Jack has been working at Wagga Wagga City Council as a cadet engineer for more than two years and has enjoyed “… the broad and challenging array of experiences that workplace learning has offered.
“I have received invaluable support and mentorship from some first-rate engineers who are a repository of untold knowledge which I have been able to tap into,” he said.
“Working within local government in regional NSW has been an extremely rewarding opportunity.
“Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the physical improvements that you have made to a community you live in, and I see myself working in Wagga Wagga and regional NSW for many years to come.”
Jack said that as he nears the end of his time as a student, he feels confident and excited about his prospects as a graduate engineer.
“I feel I would be a highly-competitive candidate based on the experience and successes I have already had, and I would recommend Charles Sturt Engineering to anyone who is passionate about a career in engineering and who values work experience.”
As recently announced, Charles Sturt University has partnered with Transgrid to support the next generation of Australian civil engineers through their tertiary education with the launch of the Transgrid Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund.
The scholarship fund will provide $2 million over the next seven years to support the education of 100 civil engineering students at the University in Bathurst.
Ms Cameron said as well as helping these students access learning facilities and teachers, the courses will also expand their career pathways through paid cadetships with Transgrid and other organisations.
“This includes many NSW local councils, which have taken on Charles Sturt Engineering students for long-term work placements, an arrangement which has seen important infrastructure realised in Australian towns and cities,” she said.
The scholarships are available to 100 students commencing either the Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Honours) or Bachelor of Technology (Civil)/Master of Engineering (Civil) courses at Charles Sturt over the next four years.
Applications for the 2023 scholarships close on Friday 25 November and can be made via www.csu.edu.au/transgrid-scholarship.
See also the Engineers Australia discussion paper (March 2022) and a new Engineers Australia report, Strengthening the engineering workforce in Australia (engineersaustralia.org.au).
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