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Deakin Vice Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, today welcomed the Federal Government's announcement of funding for the university's new Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET) at Geelong Waurn Ponds campus.
The $55 million state-of-the-art engineering facility has been announced as a successful project for funding under the Gillard Government's Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund (EIF).
EIF Funding of $21.5 million has been provided and Deakin will contribute the remainder.
“This is very welcome news not only for Deakin but for the Geelong economy and for the broader south-west region as this centre will bring new skills to the region, providing opportunities for the engineering jobs of the future,” Professor den Hollander said.
Deakin lodged its funding application in partnership with the Gordon Institute of TAFE earlier this year.
CADET will emphasise product design and development through virtual and physical modelling, simulation and prototyping and will offer programs for young people right from Year 8 through to PhD level.
“Through this centre we hope to build aspiration for careers in engineering, particularly amongst young women who are currently under-represented in the profession,” she said.
“To ensure that our programs hit the mark, we have been working closely with Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College and Belmont High School as strategic partners to design the educational program for CADET.
“This project is a great example of secondary, vocational and tertiary education working together to design programs that will be applicable for all sectors and building the skills base to address a need in the community,” she said.
Secondary schools from across the south-west region and beyond will use the centre to demonstrate to students the opportunities that are available in an engineering career.
The centre will also provide for enhanced articulation pathways between the VET sector and Deakin.
In developing the concept for CADET, Deakin drew on new and emerging pedagogies in Asia, Europe and the United States and the new facility will have an emphasis on design with a problem-based learning approach.
“Australia has a critical shortage of engineers to cope with the demand for major infrastructure and technology projects and this centre will go some way to addressing that skills shortage in the Australian economy,” Professor den Hollander said.
“We have been encouraged by the widespread support for our bid from across the Geelong community and from organisations such as Engineers Australia,” she said.
Professor den Hollander said that CADET was a project that was important to Geelong with its economy in transformation.
“This is the future,” she said.
“CADET will help to build the skills across the region for the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow.”
Economic modelling by the City of Greater Geelong suggests that, during construction, the project will generate up to 187 new jobs in Geelong with an economic impact of around $160 million.