Shaping the Future of Railway: Industry-Student Event
The fourth annual Shaping the Future of Railway industry-student engagement event hosted by Monash Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) in conjunction with the Monash University Faculty of Engineering, took place on Tuesday 10 September 2019 at Monash University, Green Chemical Futures building. This event was again well attended and supported by several senior railway managers and engineers from the Australian railway industry.
The forum was once again organised by Monash IRT to facilitate interaction between railway industry leaders and Monash students as the demand for young graduates within the sector continues to be recognised. The forum highlights career opportunities that the students may not have previously considered.
Monash IRT’s Senior Business Manager, Rob Lambert, Master of Ceremonies for the evening began the forum by introducing, Professor Elizabeth Croft, Dean, Faculty of Engineering at Monash University. Elizabeth took the opportunity to showcase the faculty’s Co-Operative Education Program which has seen a number of engineering students being placed within the railway industry. The program facilitates work experience for high performing undergraduate students and is a three-way partnership between the student, the employer and Monash University. The program provides an opportunity for the student to explore different potential careers and understand what it is to be a working engineer. This enables them to apply themselves to their studies in a more mature and practical way and develop relevant skills and graduate ‘job-ready’. For the employer, it provides them the opportunity to be co-educators, able to grow and develop students over an extended period of time and contributing to a pipeline of well-prepared, experienced, motivated and job-ready graduates.
Attendees heard industry leaders outline major rail projects already underway, plans for the future and some of the challenges they face in the delivery of these projects. The common theme from the railway operators, manufacturers, construction and maintenance companies was that they are seeking to rapidly grow their engineering capacity to meet the tremendous growth in the railway sector.
More than 200 people attended the three-hour event, which included presentations by senior managers and representatives from organisations including John Holland Rail, Engineers Australia (EA), Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), Australasian Railway Association (ARA), Office of Projects Victoria (OPV), Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM), Bombardier Transportation, Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA), Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP), Downer and the Monash Institute of Railway Technology (IRT). At the conclusion of presentations, more than 90 industry participants and IRT staff joined the students in a networking session.