Innovative Digital Diploma scoops national defence award

Flinders University is delighted to have won, in partnership with ASC Shipbuilding, the prestigious Training and Mentorship Program of the Year in 2020 for the Diploma of Digital Technologies in Defence Connect’s Australian Defence Industry Awards.

The Diploma of Digital Technologies was launched in March 2020 by the Minister for Defence and Defence Industry and is currently upskilling 51 shipbuilders from ASC Shipbuilding, BAE Systems Australia, equipping them with digital skills for modern shipbuilding, supported by the Federal and State Governments.

Throughout the program, students develop future focused skills in innovation and industry 4.0, cybersecurity, digital design, design for manufacture, cyber-physical systems, robotics and automation. They also undertake projects in industry 4.0.


Flinders University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says the award is recognition of Flinders University and ASC Shipbuilding applying research and teaching expertise across digital systems to equip workers to meet future demands in the defence industry.

“2020 has been a challenging year but it has not slowed Flinders University down in our commitment to deliver what is now a nationally award-winning program to equip students with skills of the future workforce in such uncertain times.”

“This recognition is a testament to Flinders University’s strength in defence and engagement with the sector, including our expertise in workforce innovation, business management and engineering across the whole supply chain for the defence industry. I am delighted to see our research making an impact in this nationally significant sector”.

Flinders University Professor in Innovation & Program Director Giselle Rampersad says the recognition highlights successful partnership between university, industry and government and also the importance of Australian organisations being able to use digital technologies to boost sovereign manufacturing capacity in a cost-effective fashion to enable them to manufacture critical products and be competitive globally.

“We thank our collaborators, students, teams across partnering organisations and government for its support and look forward to building on this success into the future. We plan to expand the program to include SMEs and organisations from a broad range of sectors from defence to manufacturing, health, energy and construction, which will also benefit from digital upskilling, a key skill in the economic recovery and beyond.”

“Skills such as innovation and industry 4.0, cybersecurity and digital transformation are critical for a range of workplaces for international competitiveness.”

The program was delivered by Flinders University in partnership with TAFE SA with all 51 participants in the inaugural program having maintained high academic standards.

“The students work on projects which will feed into the Hunter Class Frigate innovation program, which will drive practical advanced manufacturing solutions to real-world issues within the shipyard”, says Managing Director of ASC Shipbuilding, Craig Lockhart.

“Students will transition into roles within the Hunter program which, without the Diploma, would not have been achievable. We are anticipating a significant shift of these workers from test and activation and production roles into design, engineering, production management and integrated logistics support.”

Flinders University was a finalist in two additional categories at the Defence Connect’s Australian Defence Industry Awards, including Veteran Support Program Of The Year for the Military Academic Pathways Program and Academic Institution Of The Year.


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College of Science and Engineering Defence