Two UOW physics students engaged in hands on learning in the lab.

UOW secures hundreds of places to train STEM workforce of the future

UOW secures hundreds of places to train STEM workforce of the future

Wollongong to play a key role in growing the skilled workforce and Australia’s STEM capabilities

The University of Wollongong (UOW) welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of additional Commonwealth supported places in STEM courses to help grow the skilled workforce required to deliver the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine pathway.

UOW has been allocated an additional 425 Commonwealth supported places in STEM-related courses, designed to attract more students to train in engineering, mathematics, chemistry and physics.

UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson said UOW received the third largest allocation of places nationally and is well placed to train the future workforce, as an educational institution of choice for engineering and technology students, and to partner on ground-breaking research to support defence initiatives in the region.

“Australia needs a highly skilled STEM workforce into the future, and UOW stands ready to turbocharge our capabilities to deliver educational opportunities for more young people in STEM,” Professor Davidson said.

“We have world-class teaching programs in engineering, mathematics, chemistry and physics, including nuclear physics and medical radiation physics, and our longstanding relationship with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has delivered significant collaborations in training and research.

“This allocation of 425 Commonwealth supported places is testament to UOW’s excellence in STEM fields, as well as our broad-ranging expertise in defence industry.”

To receive the additional STEM places, universities were assessed against a range of criteria, including their plans to support the expansion of enrolment levels and initiatives to increase participation of students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Industry and Engagement) and Chief Security Officer for the Defence Industry Security Program Dr Paul Di Pietro said UOW has the necessary skills and capability to make a major contribution to the submarines program in both training and research.

“UOW has a strong track record working with industry, government, universities and other partners, such as ANSTO, to deliver solutions and technology to the challenges faced by Defence,” Dr Di Pietro said.

“We have delivered more than $20 million in defence-related research since 2008. UOW has robust teaching and research capabilities in energy sciences, fabrication, intelligent polymers, automation, cyber security, radiation physics and integrated intelligence that align with Australian Defence priorities.”

The world-leading Centre for Medical Radiation Physics research team within the School of Physics is dedicated towards the development of semiconductor detectors and dosimeters, designed and modelled for clinical, space and nuclear radiation environments, as well as quality assurance and radiation protection applications in radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and high-energy physics.

The Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), headquartered at the UOW Innovation Campus, has a well-established partnership with the Royal Australian Navy and is a globally recognised academic centre of excellence for ocean governance and fisheries management, maritime security, marine dispute resolution and maritime crime prevention.