Engineering students from the University of Newcastle had a lesson in how high-tech a modern warship is when they toured Navy establishments in Sydney on December 3.

They also learned about the opportunities for engineers in the Navy.

The 12 engineering students and lecturer Professor Peter Gibbons sailed in a small landing craft from HMAS Kuttabul to HMAS Waterhen then returned to Kuttabul to meet with Navy engineers in the destroyer HMAS Brisbane

Professor Gibbons, who lectures in systems engineering, said the tour showcased some of the most challenging and highly integrated systems available to engineers. 

“If a student or professional engineer wants to have great challenges in their career, work with some of the most complex systems on the planet and work with a professional crew, then I think Navy is probably the pinnacle,” Professor Gibbons said. 

“Some of the professionalism I have witnessed on the tour has been the best that I have seen.”

If a student or professional engineer wants to have great challenges in their career ... then I think Navy is probably the pinnacle.

The tour was conducted by Fleet Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer Commander Cadeyrn Okely.

Commander Okely said Navy had a number of entry pathways for future engineers, including supported study and direct entry for those who had a degree. 

“What we offer is not just a stable career, but a diversity of work,” Commander Okely said.

“At an early stage, we’re able to provide good leadership and management experience, but more importantly, we also provide professional as well as personal development.”

Currently working in HMAS Brisbane as a life-cycle engineer, Lieutenant Emily Batista said Navy provided an incredible opportunity. 

“The amount of things we’re able to do as junior engineers in particular, through study or experiences or just being able to be involved in these capabilities, is phenomenal,” she said. 

The students were told the professional development undertaken as a Navy engineer enabled automatic accreditation as a chartered engineer with Engineers Australia.