Josh Weakley, Mia Lock, Ethan Mackay, Kate Kershaw, Audrey Scheu and Angus Barnes at ANSTO

UOW students shine as ANSTO cadets

UOW students shine as ANSTO cadets

Hands on learning experience valuable for future engineers

This year, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) welcomed their first group of University of Wollongong (UOW) engineering cadets in a new program that gives students the opportunity to work in a world-leading research facility.

The cadetship program offers high-performing students experience in an active laboratory, giving them workplace skills to help take their next career steps after they finish their studies.

ANSTO, based at Lucas Heights, is one of Australia's foremost public research institutions, widely acknowledged as a global player in the field of nuclear science and technology.

Senior Professor Gursel Alici, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS), said, “Our faculty is dedicated to enhancing the employability of our students through work-integrated learning experiences such as cadetships, internships, industry projects and experiences, workplace simulations and professional activities.

“We have a successful history of offering opportunities to earn while learning to our students with various industries and companies, for example the cadetship programs with Bluescope Steel, Snowy Hydro, Wollongong City Council, and a recent program in Cybersecurity with Deloitte and TAFE NSW to better prepare our students for life and employability.

“This ANSTO cadetship program offers our students an incredible opportunity to work at a world-class, nationally important research facility while studying their degree.

“We already have a long standing and extensive partnership with ANSTO in nuclear physics, medical radiation physics and engineering asset management. This new cadetship program demonstrates our commitment to building mutually beneficial partnerships with industry and government research organisations. It will provide exciting opportunities for our students to be part of shaping Australia’s STEM and security future.”  

ANSTO General Manager for People, Performance and Capability, Venessa Barrins said the partnership with UOW is an invaluable opportunity to invest in the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers and shape Australia’s nuclear workforce of the future.

“We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have such a high calibre of students who in the first semester, have hit the ground running and delivered outstanding results and achievements.

“We look forward to following their journey working in Australia’s largest nuclear organisation.”

The inaugural group of UOW engineering cadets to ANSTO are Angus Barnes, Kate Kershaw, Mia Lock, Ethan Mackay, Audrey Scheu and Josh Weakley.

Kate Kershaw, a civil engineering student, said the cadetship helped her to apply her classroom learning.

“I have started to experience aspects of my university content coming up in projects that I am participating in at ANSTO, which puts what we are learning at university into perspective and reminds me of the bigger picture and end goal,” Ms Kershaw said.

Ethan Mackay, who is studying mechanical engineering, said the cadetship experience was “eye opening”.

“It's been a great way to test and consolidate my current knowledge as well as being exposed to actual real-world problems and processes. It's been a great opportunity to also meet some industry leaders in their fields and gain valuable insight from them,” Mr Mackay said.

This year's cadets encouraged UOW students to apply for the program in future years.

Mia Lock, a first-year mechatronics engineering student, said the experience was invaluable.

“At ANSTO as cadets we complete rotations through different projects and roles. The exposure helps us learn new skills, meet and learn from different engineers and lets us develop our own interests and strengths within the world of engineering.”

Audrey Scheu, who is in the second year of a biomedical engineering degree, said, “As well as adding depth to my experience at university, this cadetship sparks my curiosity and interest in new topics as I ask myself, ‘how can I apply this?’ ANSTO is a unique place full of innovation that challenges my critical thinking and creativity, making me a more purposeful and active student.”