UNSW Engineering’s new Industry PhD aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry.
A common assumption regarding PhD graduates is that most will pursue a career in academia.
But according to Dr Megan Lord, Academic Director of the Australian Graduate School of Engineering Industry PhD Program and Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering at UNSW, this is the exception rather than the norm.
“More than half of our graduates go into industry upon graduation. The half who stay take up postdoctoral positions at a university, but some will remain in academia beyond that,” Megan says.
“This means that more than 75% of our PhD graduates will eventually end up in industry.”
Recognizing the need to equip graduates with the skills to move on to positions outside academia, UNSW Engineering has recently launched an Industry PhD programme.
“PhD training enables engineers to conduct research in a framework that allows them to innovate and advance their careers,” says Lord.
“Increasingly, engineers are needed to create high-technology solutions to pressing social issues that require a great deal of innovation.”
Industry bodies also stand to benefit from the degree.
“This program gives them the opportunity to inform the training of future engineering graduates. For industry bodies looking to partner with UNSW, we have the expertise and expertise to help them tackle real-world problems. infrastructure.”
Since the Industry PhD program was launched, UNSW and industry bodies are already following along with some cutting-edge research.
“We are currently working with SynGen Inc., a medical technology startup in the United States, to develop treatments to restore blood vessel function,” says Lord.
“We are trying to understand how biomaterials interact with blood vessels so that we can treat people with vascular inflammation, which is especially evident in people recovering from COVID-19. We also want to use these biomaterials to treat diabetic patients to have a healthy vasculature.
One of the PhD students working with Lord will move to the US to conduct research at the company.
“For her, a major drawcard for an Industry PhD was industry involvement and the opportunity to understand how a small company operates while simultaneously building her academic skills. She has seen her PhD translate to industry. Gaining this kind of experience and insight will help our students in making informed career decisions.”
The Industry PhD also includes professional development in the areas of leadership training, commercialization and entrepreneurship, as well as networking and mentoring opportunities with a range of industry partners.
“We are also looking forward to growing our industry-embedded cohort, so students who are employed in the engineering industry can complete their PhDs at the same time. This has implications for the company in terms of employee development and retention. There is profit, and the student’s unique understanding of business can help drive innovation.
From an industry perspective, the program enables companies to explore ideas that aren’t business as usual, Lord says.
“Most companies are really busy with their regular services and products. This program gives them the ability to develop new innovations. It allows for more blue sky thinking and innovating in a way that would happen if they didn’t have the skills or basic If the framework is not in place then they may not be able to do so.
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UNSW Engineering’s Industry PhD reflects a wider national trend towards bridging the gap between academia and industry.
“There is now a government incentive for industry involvement in PhD training,” says Lord.
“This incentive comes through government funding to universities engaged in industry PhDs. While UNSW Engineering started to develop this program about 18 months ago, we are now seeing universities across the country starting these types of programmes. have been
“The Government has recognized the need to involve industry in PhD training so that we can get the best out of our graduates for the Australian economy.”
visit for more information https://www.unsw.edu.au/engineering/our-schools/agse/industry-phd
E-mail [email protected] Industry To express your interest in enrolling or becoming an industry partner in the Ph.D.