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IMCRC-APR PhD manufacturing intern partnership finishes up

Manufacturing News

The Innovative Manufacturing CRC and Australian Postgraduate Research Intern (APR.intern) program have announced the successful fulfillment of a partnership that began in 2019 and delivered 23 PhD student internships, with nine students securing ongoing employment at their host companies.

The three- to six-month internships were sponsored by the IMCRC – which is finishing its work this year – and were focussed on lifting digital technology adoption within SME companies. According to a statement on Thursday from IMCRC, each internship addressed “specific business challenges using smart technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, automation, robotics and additive manufacturing.”

The final co-funded intern, Bui Quoc Huy (Tony) Nguyen from Swinburne University, was singled out in the release as bringing electronics and information technology expertise into Norden Body Works.

Norden converts buses for wheelchair accessibility, and Nguyen’s help is credited with accelerating the company’s R&D on an IoT-enabled solution for the company.

“In addition to delivering tangible benefits for our business and customers, this internship will help an Australian researcher get industry-literate and career ready. It’s a win-win situation,” said the General Manager of Norden, Leo Driessen.

APR.Intern National Program Manager Lisa Farrar said the partnership with IMCRC had won “overwhelmingly positive feedback” from both industry partners – 90 per cent of which were SMEs or start-ups – and universities.

“The subsidy that IMCRC provided has undoubtedly strengthened industry-university collaboration within the sector,” said Farrar.

“Upon completion of the internship, 87% of industry reported that project outcomes were directly implemented in the company, and 75% reported they were seeking co-funding to continue the research.”

Nine of the interns secured ongoing work in the company that hosted them, with all but one doing so in a new role created for them.

Picture: supplied

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