The first four-year civil engineering degree offered in regional New South Wales will be available at Southern Cross University (SCU) from 2013.
The Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) was officially launched yesterday by the University’s vice-chancellor Professor Peter Lee.
Professor Lee said he was excited to expand the range of courses on offer at Southern Cross University.
‘As an engineer myself I see the importance and relevance of a regional university like Southern Cross being able to provide an engineering degree,’ said Professor Lee, who is an Engineers Australia ambassador.
‘The Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) will prepare our graduates for work involving the planning, design, construction and maintenance of facilities like bridges, dams, roads, pipelines and waste-water treatment plants.’
Students at SCU’s Lismore campus can take the degree either full- or part-time. Along with the core subjects, students can choose to study units such as land degradation and rehabilitation, ecotechnology for water management, and environmental information analysis.
Yesterday’s launch coincided with the annual Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge, hosted by SCU and the Rotary Club of Alstonville, and which has been held at the Lismore campus since 2007. This year around 450 students from 16 high schools took part. The challenge aims to increase students’ interest in science, technology and engineering through a series of fun activities.
Special guest at the launch was Engineers Australia chairman Greg Mashiah.
Mr Mashiah said regional areas struggled to attract engineers, particularly when were forced to relocate to the cities to gain their qualifications.
Overall there was a shortage of engineering graduates in Australia, he added.
Support for the Civil Engineering degree has come from local philanthropist David Officer, general manager of the Fuji Xerox Business Centre Northern Rivers.
Mr Officer has established the Fuji Xerox Business Centre Northern Rivers Engineering Scholarship worth $20,000 over four years.
‘Civil engineers are vital for planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure in regional Australia, and we are proud to be able offer our support,’ he said.
More information about the Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) can be found at www.scu.edu.au/engineering.