PM meets first undergrad nuclear engineering majors

In a historic leap towards bolstering Australia’s nuclear capabilities, Flinders University has launched the nation’s only undergraduate nuclear engineering major. This groundbreaking course is designed to develop the skilled workforce vital for constructing and maintaining the AUKUS fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

The pioneering program is delivered in collaboration with The University of Rhode Island, a global leader in undergraduate nuclear education with strong ties to the United States’ Virginia Class submarine manufacturing industry.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with the inaugural class of Flinders students at the University’s Tonsley innovation campus, emphasising the significance of this groundbreaking education.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the program follows Flinders’ landmark ‘university AUKUS’ agreements last March with leading nuclear science and technology universities in the United Kingdom and United States.

“Our agreements with The University of Rhode Island and The University of Manchester enable Flinders to deliver a comprehensive suite of the world best nuclear education in South Australia,” Professor Stirling said.

“Our degree contributes further value to AUKUS by offering advanced manufacturing components which are essential for working in the nuclear power industry.

“I congratulate our inaugural class of undergraduate nuclear engineering students, whose pioneering spirit and commitment to Australia’s sovereignty make them true Flinders trailblazers.”

Member for Boothby Louise Miller-Frost, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling have congratulated Australia’s first undergraduate nuclear engineering students

The initial cohort of students, comprising undergraduates and professionals from defence and industry backgrounds, has commenced their nuclear education with curriculum modules on nuclear reactor engineering, design and safety, and naval power and propulsion, all available as standalone micro-credentials.

Prime Minister Albanese, addressing the students in Flinders’ Factory of the Future in the Tonsley Innovation District, commended Flinders University and acknowledged that the University’s AUKUS programs were well underway.

“It’s going to be really exciting for South Australia going forward, being out there to support AUKUS,” he said. “These are good quality jobs, well paid, secure – so well done all of you and best of luck.”

Since forging strategic alliances with the key US and UK universities last year, Flinders University has been granted additional Australian Government funding for hundreds of students.

Under the nuclear-powered submarines student pathways program, Flinders was allocated 330 commonwealth supported places, with these places supporting students undertaking Flinders’ undergraduate nuclear engineering major.

Notably, Flinders University also stands as the only Australian university to join forces with a key United States Navy research centre, after signing a landmark Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Naval Undersea Warfare Centre (NUWC) Division Newport.

“NUWC Division Newport is the US Navy’s full-spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, and fleet support centre for submarine warfare systems and other systems associated it the undersea battlespace,” Professor Stirling said.

“The CRADA marks a significant step forward in advancing collaborative research between the United States and Australia in the field of undersea technology.

“Flinders researchers are wasting no time in collaborating with NUWC Division Newport’s undersea experts to combine our complementary skills, capabilities, and technologies to address critical Navy challenges and opportunities at an accelerated pace.”

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