The 2020 STEM Defence + Innovation Program has continued over the last couple of weeks that has seen the participating students make exciting progress on their ideas and projects. Students from the three schools also participated in a virtual Airforce Experience session with RAAF WLM personnel on Friday 26 June 2020.
Virtual Workshops: Friday 19 & Saturday 20 June
The second round of virtual workshops facilitated by The Business Centre were held on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June took a deep dive into business areas including IP, prototyping, funding and goal setting. The Business Centre facilitators, Lena & Martin guided the students through each of these topics and educated them in techniques to help transition their innovative ideas and prototypes to commercially available products.
Included in the Saturday morning virtual session, the students we joined by ME Program alumni and former STEM Defence + Innovation student, Thomas Vidler to hear about his experience in the program and how it shaped his learnings through school to his University studies. Thomas was part of the pilot STEM Defence + Innovation program in 2018 and is now in his second year of an Aerospace Systems Engineering degree at the University of Newcastle.
A student participating in the program said hearing from someone who has been involved in the program was a very valuable experience.
“Hearing from someone who has been where we are now and the learnings he took from this program through to his University studies was inspiring.”
Virtual Airforce Experience: Friday 26 June
On Friday 26 June the STEM Defence + Innovation students participated in the Virtual Airforce Experience with RAAF WLM personnel as part of the program.
The students were joined by FLGOFF Chris Rees-Jones, FLGOFF Jovana Selmes, FLTLT Michael Woolcock and special guest logging in from Texas, WGCDR Darren Clare who discussed their career in Defence, how they got to where they are today and the importance of STEM in Defence.
WGCDR Clare is Australia’s first Commanding Officer of the 3SQN, home of the F-35A in Australia and joined the virtual session from Texas where he is currently preparing to transfer more Joint Strike Fighter’s back to Australia.
The students also had their first taste for pitching when they introduced their ideas and projects to RAAF personnel for comments and feedback.
RDA Hunter’s Skilled Workforce Manager, Rick Evans said the opportunity for the students to have one on one conversations with RAAF personnel was a highlight of the program.
“The opportunity for the students to meet with RAAF personnel virtually and present their ideas and projects was a definite highlight so far. To see the students’ progress throughout the program to confidently pitch their projects and receive constructive feedback and suggestions proves the program’s worth”, Mr Evans said.
RDA Hunter would like to extend its thanks to RAAF personnel for taking the time to dial into the session and engage with the students.
We are looking forward to the continued development of the students and their ideas as we look towards the final pitch event in late July.