Written by Laura Watson
AMSI Media and Communications Officer

As they race to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, the defence industry is increasingly turning to specialised research to accelerate idea development and innovation.

Independent engineering and project management consultancy, BMT Design & Technology recently discovered the benefits of in-house access to dedicated onsite research skills with AMSIIntern and funding support under the program’s partnership with the Defence Science Institute (DSI). A value-add that, according to Senior BMT Design & Technology Engineer, Aidan Depetro, perfectly complements engagement with Defence Materials Technology Centre DMTC, DSI and DST Group.

“While BMT already values and actively invests in research and development, the AMSIIntern program has shown us how effective a dedicated project-focused researcher can be,” Aidan said.

For the defence, maritime and industry leader this came in the form of Swinburne University of Technology PhD student, Sergei Chichin. Sergei was matched to BMT by the all-discipline, all-sector internship program to apply his specialised computational mechanism design skills to optimise development of an in-house design tool.

“Sergei’s specialist optimisation and software design knowledge helped us overcome major hurdles in the automation of compartment arrangement and incorporation of in-house knowledge into the design tool,” explains Aidan.

For Sergei the project was an opportunity to make theory come to life and help solve a real-world challenge.

“It was really exciting to apply my computer science and applied mathematics knowledge to address challenges in unrelated fields, such as naval engineering. This exposure to industry is invaluable for students, who like myself, are transitioning into research careers,” explains Sergei.

As Sergei’s academic mentor, Swinburne Intelligent Systems Professor, Ryszard Kowalczyk, has been particularly impressed by AMSIIntern’s benefits for students and research engagement.

“It is a unique internship program that offers placements and opportunities for PhD researchers to work on industry-led research and experience practical R&D in corporate environments,”

According to Professor Kowalczyk, he is benefiting from the stronger relationship with BMT Design & Technology, stating, “better understanding other’s needs and capabilities has opened opportunities for further research collaboration.”

The results speak for themselves, with the company considering the design tool as an opportunity for future business enterprises.

“At this stage, the tool will be used internally to rapidly generate and evaluate designs for a range of clients but commercial ventures are a possibility down the track,” says Aidan.

*This internship was co-funded by the Defence Science Institute as part of its ongoing partnership with AMSIIntern to give Australian business the leading edge in defence.


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