Full STEM ahead for CQUni Cairns

Published:10 September 2018

CQUni Cairns has acquired a space to house a new engineering lab to boost opportunities for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) study in the region.

CQUniversity is getting ready to boost opportunities for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) study in the region thanks to several new projects to support course delivery.

The new projects will include a sports science precinct, aviation training facility and a heavy equipment engineering lab.

CQUniversity Cairns Associate Vice-Chancellor, Jodie Duignan-George explained that the infrastructure projects would see the University grow its city footprint and facilitate better direct engagement with industry.

“As Australia’s most engaged university it ultimately makes sense to co-locate with industry and ensure that our focus reflects the future needs of the region”, Ms Duignan-George said.

“The new sports science education and research precinct at the Cairns Basketball Stadium is in collaboration with the Cairns Taipans and Cairns Basketball and the aviation training and research hub will be based at Cairns Airport. When completed both projects will be the only facilities of their kind and will allow the University to delivery education, training and research that is completely embedded in industry.”

Ms Duignan-George also explained that student demand for STEM courses was also driving the University’s investment in new facilities.

“Demand for STEM-related courses is growing across the board and CQUniversity is responding to this demand and the needs of our communities and industry.

“A good example is that CQUniversity has offered a full engineering course since the Cairns Square campus opened and students can choose to specialise in civil, mechanical or electrical engineering.

“Prior to us offering this course in Cairns, students would need to relocate south to complete an engineering degree, so it has proved to be a very popular course.

“Due to this demand we have recently established a heavy equipment lab worth more than half a million dollars on Buchan Street, Portsmith.

“This new lab provides students with access to classroom and breakout spaces plus equipment such as a Universal Testing Machine, concrete compression machines, and thermodynamic and soil testing equipment,” said Ms Duignan- George.

“We are finding that engineering continues to be a very popular course offering across the University, thanks in part to the fact that CQUniversity’s engineering school is ranked amongst the top 300 in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Subject Rankings.

“On top of this, our engineering graduates are in high demand with CQUniversity graduates enjoying some of the best employment outcomes in Australia.

“National Quality Indicators in Learning and Teaching (QILT) data shows that 83% of CQUni engineering graduates find full-time employment within three months of graduation and that their average starting salary is $75,000 (a figure that is well ahead of the national average of $63,000).”

“I think our graduates are in such high demand because CQUniversity places such a strong emphasis on work integrated learning and industry collaboration, not just in engineering but across all of our learning disciplines,” said Ms George.

CQUniversity will unveil the sports science teaching and research facility and the new aviation training facility in the coming months.