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Student and innovation

National Graduate Innovation Forum

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Date Wednesday 10th November 2021
Nil - By Invitation Only
New Illawarra Road
Lucas Heights NSW 2234
Student Application
Industry Challenges Information
Student Participation
Voluntary - Online
Key Date - Applications Submitted Extended
5th July 2021
Key Date - Virtual Event Launch
12th July 2021
Key Date - Virtual Midway Industry Check in
13th September 2021
Key Date - Final Event
10th November 2021

The first National Graduate Innovation Forum will connect current PhD students with industry representatives to apply scientific thinking to today's real-world industry challenges. 


Science and Engineering PhD Students from all Australian universities are invited to join. The virtual forum will commence on 12 July 2021 and culminate in a final event on 10th November 2021

The Graduate Innovation Forum has been developed by ANSTO,  the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) and the Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) 

Interested students are required to complete their application form and provide their resume by 5th July 2021 9:00am.

The projects will be undertaken remotely with students accessing their university's facilities (when needed) and working with business mentors from ANSTO, AINSE and ACDS.

Each project will have approximately eight students working together on one of four industry challenges.

The challenges include

  • devising practical solutions to reduce or eliminate galvanic corrosion arising from the use of dissimilar metals in steel (BlueScope Steel)
  • take real-world data and build a software post-processor for visualisation of a medium-speed additive manufacturing process (Romar Engineering)
  • use information resources to calculate likely radiation doses and event probabilities for different types of components or develop to continuously monitor electronic components subjected radiation (Airbus) and
  • improving the characterisation of two aspects of ceramic processing of the piezo-material lead zirconate titanate: raw ingredient milling and product sintering (Thales group)

Full details of projects below

Current students are welcome to apply for more than one project but will only be assigned to one. Once assigned to a project, students will have the opportunity to meet with their Industry partner to gain a deeper insight into their industry challenge. 

In the first week following the launch, an ANSTO facilitator will deliver a design thinking workshop for each team to help develop a framework for the project. 

Students will have a virtual midway check-in with their Industry partner to discuss their progress, concluding with a final event on the 10th November 2021, where students will formally present their recommendations to their Industry partner. 

Students will be mentored by ANSTO and AINSE staff and ACDS Committee personnel throughout the program.

Student Application Form

Application due 5 July 2021 - 9:00am

Young students of robotics preparing robot for testing in workshop

Why get involved?

PhD student participants will

  • Develop new networks across Industry, Government and Academia
  • Access to High Profile Industry Partners
  • Boost career prospects through real world application
  • Broaden your perspective of career opportunities
  • Grow working in team skills in virtual environment
  • Be mentored by highly skilled professionals


Key Dates

  • 5th July 2021 - Now Extended - Applications submitted
  • 12th July 2021 - Virtual Launch 
  • 13th September  2021 - Virtual Midway Check in with Industry Partners
  • 10th November  2021 - Formal Student Presentations
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How to Apply?

  • Choose project
  • Fill out application form
  • Email -
    • Completed application 
    • 2 page curriculum vitae (CV)
    • Copy of student ID card
    • Copy of university insurance certificate
    • Proof of Australian citizenship (Thales project only)

If successful students will be required to return the completed Student Undertaking form within 48 hours of being notified

Students are only eligible to participate in one project

For more information