The defence prime has renewed a partnership with Regional Development Australia and the University of Newcastle, aimed at supporting the Hunter region’s future workforce.
Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA), Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter, and the University of Newcastle have re-signed the ‘Altitude Accord’ — a partnership established in 2018, designed to support the development of the skills base of the Hunter region’s future workforce, and foster student interest in STEM careers in the defence industry.
The Altitude Accord engages students at the University of Newcastle in activities that address real-world industry problems, providing them with direct access to Lockheed Martin Australia’s resources.
This has included producing a virtual lecture series presented by Lockheed Martin Australia engineers working on defence projects like the Future Submarine Program, and a simulated training system for the Royal Australian Air Force Pilot Training.
Lockheed engineers Weetek Foo and Richard Yeng (supported by Daniel Tucker), and David Harrison, each presented an hour-long guest lecture aimed at informing and motivating the 100 first, second, and third-year students.
RDA Hunter’s director of regional development and executive officer, Trevor John, said the partners would continue to provide similar opportunities in the years ahead.
“We really enjoyed bringing LMA engineers and University of Newcastle students together through this new lecture series in 2020,” he said.
“We have been working for many years to build an industry-skilled workforce in the Hunter and projects like the Altitude Accord help us achieve this.
“We look forward to continuing the partnership in the future.”
Lockheed Martin’s chief engineer, RAAF Pilot Training System, David Harrison, added, “As well as the lecture series, I was involved in LMA’s STELaRLab (short for Science, Technology, Engineering Leadership and Research Laboratory) component of the Altitude Accord scholarship tour last year.
“Programs like this are invaluable.
“Studying engineering is intense, so being able to provide real-world context and motivate students with stories about its phenomenal contribution is really rewarding.”
Joe North, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive, said the Altitude Accord has provided the prime with the opportunity to engage directly with engineering students.
“We’re able to showcase the career opportunities available in the Hunter, which helps us build regional capability and a homegrown highly-skilled sovereign workforce,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to adding more site visits and hands-on experiences for students as part of the Altitude Accord partnership when face-to-face activities resume in 2021.”
University of Newcastle pro-vice-chancellor of the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Professor Brett Ninness, thanked Lockheed Martin engineers for their support.
“Our engineering undergraduates find direct interaction with industry experts an extremely valuable and enjoyable addition to their regular programs,” the professor said.
“Real-world examples of the theory they’re learning add context and relevance for students and prove inspiring and motivating.”
He concluded, “We’re looking forward to building on our partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia and creating more opportunities for our students to interact with its industry leaders.”