South Australian students will soon have access to the industrial design software used to develop Space X, the Mars Curiosity Rover and Maserati cars following a grant from global electronics giant Siemens.
The $450 million worth of software will be made available to the University of South Australia and give students access to programs for 3D design, engineering collaboration, predictive engineering simulation and analytics.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said ensuring students have skills in advanced manufacturing was critical for naval shipbuilding in the state.
“This new venture between Siemens and UniSA will help in creating the workforce base we will need here in South Australia to make the most of the Turnbull Government’s record $90 billion investment in shipbuilding,” he said on Wednesday.
The navy’s nine future frigates and next generation of submarines will be built in Adelaide’s Osborne shipyard.
Siemens chairman Jeff Connolly said the move demonstrated the company’s commitment to upskilling the next generation of the workforce, and benefits both the industry and students
“The days where industry could step back and take finished products from universities are long gone,” Mr Connolly said.
“As the world changes rapidly through digitalisation, we need to ensure that our future workforce is equipped with the right tools to speak the same global digital language.”
The university’s vice-chancellor professor David Lloyds said access to the software would not only benefit students, but enhance the institution’s ability to do research across a number of fields.
“Across space, mining, environment, defence and biomedical technology – it will allow us to model and prototype new ideas and give our students experience of advanced technology in production,” he said.
Wednesday’s announcement coincided with news of more job losses within the local ship building industry, but Mr Pyne was quick to lay blame on the previous Labor government.
Metal fabrication company J&H Williams, which employs 13 staff, was placed in administration because, Mr Pyne said, ship contracts had come too late to save the company.
“If Labor had made the decisions, even a couple of years before, to commission this number of vessels, I’m sure that this company would not be going into receivership today,” he said.