Swinburne’s 2020 UG Industry Program: Project showcase
Like many other things, our Undergraduate Student Industry Program was impacted by the pandemic in 2020. But people and the program adapted, and just as previous years the program was a success for all. Here, the students, and a student supervisor from the Swinburne University of Technology tell their tale of the year.
For the 2020 program, Swinburne had 35 students involved, working in various-sized teams on 8 projects.
‘The projects ranged from promoting active commuting to development of data-driven city logistics platforms,’ said Dr Hadi Ghaderi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Management and Marketing, and the co-ordinator for Swinburne in the Undergraduate Student Industry Program.
Dr Ghaderi is a strong advocate for the program.
‘Swinburne has a strong focus on developing programs that prepare our students for the careers of future. This is how we teach, and we are proud of it. The iMOVE provides the opportunity for students to work on real-word problems and interact with industry partners in a dynamic way.
‘Students are exposed to challenges that are similar to those they will face in their career. While these projects allow the students to improve their hard skills, but also a great opportunity to enhance soft skills through effective communication in diverse teams and with external parties, meet strict deadlines and present their work to a wider community in a professional manner.
‘This year we had a group of smart and enthusiastic students, who really made the effort to deliver their project on time with high quality. The level of teamwork and coordination with their supervisors and industry partners was extraordinary.’
Industry partners able to access smart, fresh minds
Having an industry partner involved with each of the projects is in the DNA of the program. For the universities, it develops and strengthens linkages with industry, it delivers industry-ready graduates, and promotes the institutions’ expertise. For the students, it’s the real-world experience, new technical and soft skills, and chances to meet potential employers.
Fiona Marshall, is the Director of Sales and Strategy at Freight People, one of the 2020 industry partners for Swinburne in the Undergraduate Student Industry Program.
What does she see as the benefits for industry of the program?
‘Freight People has benefited from being able to access smart students who are keen to challenge the way current processes are done. They come into the project without experience, which means they can look at problems in a fresh non-corporate approach. This is a refreshing way to look at problems differently, as often existing employees will think within the existing limitations of an industry or corporation – but students don’t have that limitation.
‘The students were easy to work with. In future I will make sure we work even closer together as I can see that is how you get the best outcome.’
Dr Ghaderi praised the industry side of this education triangle, and the capabilities and potential of his students.
‘The industry partners provided a lot of support to the students to ensure the projects remain industrially relevant and practical. At the same time, students developed solutions, which can be potentially used by the industry partners when further developed. Also, the industry partners are exposed to a group of talented students for future employment and internship opportunities.’
Connecting and learning
Saikiran Solanki was one of the students working with Freight People and found the industry access and advice invaluable.
‘Marshall and Fiona provided us insights as what the final application should look like, how will it be used in the industry and what importance our project holds. I think it’s imperative to research how the industry works before starting work in any industry. In this program we went a little further than that, by being essentially embedded in a company for the year.
‘The head of technology at Freight People reviewed our project and told us what features would be necessary for it to be successful. I feel that this experience has given me a headstart.’
Fellow student Marcus Valentino agreed.
‘The iMOVE program gave me the opportunity to connect with and learn from a real partner in the industry. This kind of learning experience is something I would have otherwise have had to wait to experience after my degree, so I already feel a bit ahead of the curve and a lot more confident in knowing what to expect after I graduate.’
The students’ range of projects
There was an interesting mix of projects across the Swinburne cohort:
- A low-cost labelling solution for product authentication
- Promoting active commuting
- Accessible public transport experiences
- Supporting well-being on public transport
- Data-driven operation research for cleaner production in logistics and transportation
- Smart City logistics based on minimal information sharing for maximising returns and reputation of business alliances
- Dashboard of intelligent last mile delivery in city logistics by Integrating multiple crowd movements by parcel lockers
- Australian Freight Carbon Calculator
As part of the program students submit a video presentation of their projects. Of those projects, three were presented with awards in the 2020 Undergraduate Student Industry Program awards.
Those three videos are embedded below: