Recent workshops run by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET), in collaboration with Engineers Australia and a consortium of university educators, have heard that engineers regard enabling skills such as project management, working with teams and preparation of business cases, as critical to the successful implementation of energy efficiency projects.

A series of three workshops were conducted in April to obtain industry and academic perspectives on how to improve the teaching of energy efficiency to engineering undergraduates.

Representatives from industry (both energy using companies and energy consultancies), Engineers Australia’s Technical Colleges, university engineering educators and engineering practitioners attended the workshops. Issues raised included:

  • the need for graduates to have a greater level of capability in energy efficiency before they commence work in companies
  • the importance of enabling skills such as project management, working with teams, communication and preparing business cases, in addition to technical skills,  to getting engineering energy efficiency improvements considered and implemented in companies
  • the need for engineers to work across engineering sub-disciplines, and other disciplines, and to employ systems approaches when considering energy efficiency
  • the need for greater industry/university collaboration
  • the need for professional development in energy efficiency for practicing engineers.

Consultation will also be used to consider how links between industry and universities can be strengthened to support teaching and skill development outcomes which meet industry needs.

For further information on the skills development work being conducted by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, contact Luiz Ribeiro at luiz.ribeiro [at] ret.gov.au .

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