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Budding submarine engineers show what they can do in school subs contest

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ASC mentored Le Fevre High School, pictured is student Mitchell Baker. Photo credit: ASC / Russell Millard.

What would be the best way for a budding engineer to learn all about submarines? From the experts of course.

What would be the best way for a budding engineer to learn all about submarines? From the experts of course.

Submarine company ASC is actively supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to meet the shipbuilding workforce needs of the future.

ASC engineers have been mentoring students from Le Fevre High School in Adelaide to prepare for the Subs in Schools competition, which was completed on Friday.


The Le Fevre High students placed second, behind Brighton High School and ahead of The Heights High (Modbury) and will now participate in the national Subs in Schools competition later this year.

 Each team must build a working model of a submarine then steer it by remote control through an underwater course, demonstrating the ability to dive, turn and surface.

This opened with pool tests, followed by assessment of the engineering and marketing aspects of entries.

 ASC chief executive Stuart Whiley said it was vitally important that Australia educates more students in STEM to ensure there was a highly skilled and capable workforce to support the federal government’s naval shipbuilding agenda.

“As an employer of choice, tasked to maintain, upgrade and enhance Australia’s submarines, ASC believes it is imperative to actively foster learning in STEM and create pathways to careers,” Whiley said.

 Students at Le Fevre were guided by ASC engineers Nick Jones, Tom McGovern and Rikus Van Altena, who applied their real-life experience maintaining and enhancing Collins Class submarines.

ASC fosters STEM education in other ways, including hosting a Robot Rumble event in June at the ASC site in Osborne. That gave students the opportunity to test their robots and interact with ASC experts and also learn more about careers in submarines.

That attracted about 80 students and teachers. ASC offers highly competitive entry-level programs for graduate engineers and tradespeople, and an internship program for undergraduate engineering students.

ASC also works closely with universities to shape the next generation of submarine and shipbuilders.

ASC subject matter experts deliver key courses within the Master of Marine Engineering, at the University of Adelaide.

The company employs more than 250 specialist engineers in submarines and the Air Warfare Destroyer program.

Subs in Schools is run by Re-Engineering Australia in association with the Department of Defence.