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Lockheed, RDA Hunter, University of Newcastle to grow future defence workforce

A new partnership between Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA), Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter and the University of Newcastle will help to develop the “future high-value skills” of a new generation workforce.

The ‘Altitude Accord’ will bring “transformative developments” to undergraduate curriculum at the University of Newcastle, by supporting the development of targeted initiatives needed to “develop the advanced defence industry technologies that are required to operate, sustain and maintain the fifth-generation era of defence capability”.

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“The ‘Altitude Accord’ initiative will focus on growing a local workforce to support the sustainment of Australia’s first squadron of highly advanced F-35 fighters and Australia’s largest regional economy. We understand the importance of the Hunter to our wider economic and national security interests,” said Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Vince Di Pietro, AM, CSC.

“We are actively working with RDA Hunter and the University of Newcastle as industry partners to raise the technology base in this region of Australia and to help develop innovative Australian high technology businesses so that the Australian Defence Force, and our future fleet of F-35s, remain at the leading edge of technology.”

LMA funded RDA Hunter to facilitate the accord, with an investment of more than $40,000 over two years to deliver:

• Scholarships for 10 University of Newcastle first year aerospace systems engineering students to attend a fully-funded Lockheed Martin Australia education and research program tour, which includes a tour of the STELaRLab in Melbourne, Endeavour Centre in Canberra and the Williamtown RAAF base;
• LMA’s commitment to collaborating with the University of Newcastle on the curriculum design of the undergraduate aerospace degree;
• Facilitation of closer working connections between the University of Newcastle and the STELaRLab based at the University of Melbourne; and
• Upcoming opportunities for a university lecture series featuring LMA’s Australian and international industry experts.

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“This partnership will facilitate productive collaborations between industry, research, education and government to create opportunities and attract investment to the region,” said RDA Hunter director of regional development and executive officer Trevor John.

“We welcome the opportunity to build on our already strong partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia through the Altitude Accord.”

University of Newcastle acting deputy vice-chancellor, research and innovation, Professor Deborah Hodgson, also welcomed the initiative, saying, “the Altitude Acord is a significant opportunity for the University of Newcastle to contribute to the development of the future skilled workforce of the Hunter region, through educating our future aerospace engineers and progressing research and innovation that will directly benefit the industry,”

”It is especially exciting that in the inaugural year of our Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (honours), up to 10 students will secure a scholarship through the Altitude Accord that will provide them with opportunities to engage with our partners, either at their leading facilities or through engagement with their Australian and international experts”.

Lockheed, RDA Hunter, University of Newcastle to grow future defence workforce
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