Engineering Students @ Work

Working in collaboration with engineering firms, the Engineering Students @ Work program provides a week of Work Experience for Year 9 & 10 students. Students are usually hosted by an engineering company and are expected to act as professional employees. They are provided a brief in line with real projects that the company has or is working on. Special attention is put towards designing environmentally sustainable solutions.

Students prepare a professionally written report and create an interactive 3D model. On the final day, students present to a live audience of engineers, teachers and parents.

WGE ES@W Melbourne

Akorn education

Program Background

The Engineering Students @ Work program was launched with a team of students from Santa Maria College hosted by the Engineering firm Norman Disney & Young in 2009. The girls successfully completed their brief to develop concepts for an energy efficient ‘green’ office building. They learned about engineering, gained an insight into the life of a professional engineer and improved their interpersonal skills. The design that the students developed was outstanding!

ES@W Program DVD:

An Engineering Students @ Work team was followed through their week at Norman Disney & Young. This DVD defines the program and the outcomes the students achieve. Pictured in the DVD are students from Catholic Regional College in North Keilor, Eryn O’Mahoney, Teacher at CRC and Peter Koulos from NDY. The DVD was produced by Simon Lindsay, Catholic Education Office Melbourne.

“With a recognised shortage of skilled engineers in the Australian workforce, it is incumbent upon the engineering industry to inform and promote the exciting opportunities and rewards that the engineering profession can offer. The concept of “Engineering Students @ Work” was conceived in 2009 between Norman Disney & Young and Akorn Educational Services and provides the link into schools for students to experience the engineering profession. The objectives of the program are to provide a realistic engineering experience for secondary students, allow students to learn about the diversity and vitality of engineering, work with active professional engineers and develop an understanding of collaborative working.

The students who have participated in this program have all taken task the challenge presented and came up with some novel sustainable design solutions. The real success of the program has been in exposing students to engineering and helping to develop their team work, presentation skills and time management skills. NDY has been pleased with the response to the program and will be continuing this program in 2011 with four schools planned to attend NDY’s Melbourne offices. At the same time we are seeking other firms to join the Engineering Students @ Work program and work to promote and invigorate current students to the exciting opportunities of the engineering profession.”

Engineering Students @ Work

Engineering Students @ Work Challenge

The Engineering Students @ Work Challenge aims to provide a realistic engineering work experience for secondary school students. During the program, they:

    • Learn about the diversity & viability of engineering
    • Work with professional engineers
    • Participate in experiential learning
    • Develop an understanding of and an ability to develop sustainable engineering design solutions

Students develop the following skills and gain benefits such as:

    • Creative thinking and analytical skills to develop engineering projects and solve problems with sustainable outcomes in mind  Student communication skills to enable collaboration in a team situation and to justify their decisions and actions
    • Information and communications technology and learning skills to research, acquire and manage information relevant to project development
    • Interpersonal skills through collaborative working in teams to achieve a common objective
    • Opportunity to learn and use/implement current technology
    • Encourages students to consider engineering as a study path and future career


Students are provided a brief to collaboratively design buildings that form a sustainable satellite community. Models of their buildings are printed using MakerBot 3D Printers.

Extended ES@W Program at St Kevin’s College 

Akorn Engineering Students @ Work

ES@W Challenge 2017

ES@W Challenge 2018

ES@W Challenge 2019

Engineering Education Challenge Catholic Education Melbourne Project Based Learning

What Our Students Say:

I’m one of the students from Santa Maria who participated in the first Engineering Students @ Work at Norman Disney & Young. I’d like to thank you for the giving students like us the chance to experience work in such an exciting field like Engineering. I am emailing to let you know that I’m doing a double degree at RMIT in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science. My future plans are to major in Hydraulics. Before I went to NDY, I had no intentions of being an engineer. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here, already dreaming about becoming an engineer.  And for that I would like to thank you. Please let Peter Koulos and his staff at NDY know how thankful I am for their company hosting our group.

One week of their time has absolutely changed my life .

Thank you so much!”

Sneha Bhattachan

Former Student, Santa Maria College

I’ve never learned so much in one week – not just about engineering, but working together as a team, learning and using organizational skills – I would definitely to it again!

Nhung Tran

Student, Santa Maria College

What our Host Companies Say:

“The real success of the program has been in exposing students to engineering and in helping them tune their academic skills and career aspirations.

 The positive implications are twofold; the program not only benefits the participating students but represents an active and innovative attempt to attract talent to Engineering. With students presented with more diverse career options than ever before, it is important to capture their attention and promote engineering as a valuable and fulfilling career.

NDY has been extremely pleased with the response to the program which now forms part of NDY’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the next generation of engineering professional.”

Sam Aloi

NDY Director and Project Director

“Our involvement with the Akorn Engineering Students @ Work program was initially driven by our strategic and long term initiative to increase the number of female students considering and selecting Engineering as a career option.

After realising the benefits this program provides by allowing students to be fully immersed in a real life engineering project we have now broadened the scope to include male and co-educational schools.

The programs have proven to be a huge success not only for the students involved but also our Engineers who as mentors, are provided with an invaluable opportunity to develop their leadership skills .”

Chris Malan

Director Engineering Operations GM Holden Ltd

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