Science and engineering doctoral students are being enlisted to help solve real-world industry problems while exploring potential career options.
First-year University of NSW PhD student Negin Sarmadi, 29, is in the group of 20 to 32 students who will take part in the four-month program starting in July. The students, from universities around the country, will work in virtual teams of five to eight across four projects.
ANSTO has partnered with the Australian Council of Deans of Science Council of Deans and the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering to connect the students with four companies: Airbus Australia Pacific, Thales Group, BlueScope Steel and Romar Engineering.
At BlueScope Steel, Ms Sarmadi will work on helping develop practical solutions to reduce corrosion in steel products.
“This is a great opportunity for me to build connections with industry partners while I am doing my PhD,” she said.
Ms Sarmadi, 29, completed her mining engineering undergraduate and masters degrees in Iran before moving to Australia a year and a half ago to do her PhD. Her university supervisor encouraged her to apply for the program because the BlueScope project was closely related to her area of research in processing minerals.
Her father, who also works as a mining engineer, encouraged his daughter to pursue the same career and supported her seeking further opportunities abroad.
“He noticed I was good at mathematics and he told me, ’continue doing whatever you want … and I will support you,” she said.
Ms Sarmadi, who lives in Sydney, says her mother worked hard to establish herself as a doctor in Iran and had also been a strong role model.