Partnership the perfect formula for chemistry students to gain hands-on experience

20 FEBRUARY 2023

Partnership the perfect formula for chemistry students to gain hands-on experience

A Charles Sturt AgriPark partnership is giving chemistry students in Wagga Wagga the chance to gain valuable hands-on experience.

  • Chemistry students get hands-on experience with industry partnership in Wagga Wagga via AgriSciences Research and Business Park (AgriPark)

Charles Sturt University chemistry students Alexandra Bastick and Drew Raynes are learning valuable on-the-job skills with Greatcell Australia in regional NSW.

Greatcell Australia is a Charles Sturt AgriSciences Research and Business Park (AgriPark) partner based in Wagga Wagga. The business’s state-of-the-art Pilot Plant has enabled Bachelor of Science students Ms Alexandra Bastick and Mr Drew Raynes to apply the specialist skills learned during their study in a real world laboratory environment.

The integration of industry work placement in courses is one of the reasons Charles Sturt is ranked the number one University in Australia for undergraduate employment.

“Charles Sturt is unique in that it’s the only Australian university that has a compulsory chemistry work placement for students,” Associate Professor of Chemistry with the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences Paul Prenzler said.

The internships were supported by the Generation STEM Links program, part of Generation STEM, a 10-year initiative to attract and retain NSW students in STEM which is managed by CSIRO and funded NSW Government’s $25 million endowment to the Science and Industry Endowment Fund. Generation STEM Links managed the recruitment process from start to finish and provided financial support to Greatcell Energy.

“The Generation STEM program is a wonderful example of collaboration between government, industry, and academia to develop our future industry leaders,” Charles Sturt Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Mark Evans said.

The triple-helix approach of industry, government and research is at the heart of the AgriPark and this is an example of the opportunities that can arise when they intersect, creating opportunities for advanced STEM training and education in regional Australia for jobs in regional Australia.

“We value our partnership with Greatcell Australia and are excited our students have had the opportunity to apply their specialist knowledge and skills within regional NSW,” Charles Sturt Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Michael Friend said.

The knowledge and practical experience learned through their study at Charles Sturt ensured Ms Bastick and Mr Raynes were well equipped to hit the ground running.

“We were expecting that it would take them a couple of weeks to come up to speed, but after the first couple of days they were actively contributing to the productivity of the team,” Greatcell Australia CEO Mr Paul Moonie said.

Media Note:

For more information, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or

Photo caption: Students Alexandra Bastick and Drew Raynes show Associate Professor Paul Prenzler their work. Picture by Jackie Cooper at Jack of Hearts Studio 

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Wagga Wagga Charles Sturt University Science