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New collaboration a boost for uni students


Education and industry will collaborate in the best possible fashion following the official opening of the new ResTech facility in the Hunter.

The joint venture, between the University of Newcastle (UoN) and Ampcontrol, aims to accelerate the development and commercialisation of cutting-edge technology and solutions for the energy, infrastructure and resource sectors.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO and managing director of the Tomago-based company Rod Henderson were joined by Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic, Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon and Shortland MP Pat Conroy, the Minister for Defence Industry, at Callaghan Campus launch.

ResTech will provide opportunities for engineering students to work with industry on real-world challenges to become life-ready graduates.

From stand-alone power systems designed to replace the traditional “poles and wires” grid connections to world-first battery electrical vehicle innovation to support the electrification of mining operations, the facility utilises design thinking to solve the most complex problems in energy to assist all sectors in our region, and globally, to decarbonise.

“The university has worked with Ampcontrol over a number of years and ResTech is the result of our strong partnership,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“We are absolutely committed to our regions and perfectly positioned to provide the industry relationships, workforce facilities, leading researchers and technology expertise to help with the transition and innovation of industries across the Hunter.

“We’re also passionate about ensuring our students are work-ready, so the opportunities for our engineering pupils to gain experience at ResTech while working on challenging research projects for industry are invaluable.

“It means they’ll have the practical skills and industry connections to thrive in the workplace when they graduate.”

Mr Husic had the chance to meet with students, such as research and development engineer Tiana Leck, and see the real-world solutions being developed to help make net zero a reality.

Her current project builds critical technology for home Wind Energy Collection, moving closer to allowing people to install their own portable and affordable renewable energy systems. 

“ResTech brings together two entities – Ampcontrol and the University of Newcastle – who are united in their goal to deliver energy solutions, which will help make global net zero a reality,” Mr Henderson said.

“The engineering smarts and advanced manufacturing capability of Ampcontrol, through ResTech, will contribute great value to finding innovative solutions to decarbonise.

“ResTech boasts 24 dedicated research and development engineers, including students.

“Throughout 2023, there have been 16 university pupils undertaking industrial student placements and 16 final year projects being completed through ResTech.

“Collaborating with the best will help us deliver innovation that can transform the world.

“The vital work coming out of ResTech is providing real-world solutions to support the energy transition—both here in the Hunter and beyond.”

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