About the Department of Engineering

The Department of Engineering has a proud history as one of the oldest engineering providers in Australia.

We work closely with industry to ensure our education programs – offered at La Trobe’s Melbourne and Bendigo campuses – equip graduates with the practical and technical skills needed to succeed in a dynamic, fast-paced profession.

Our goal is to produce graduates of the highest calibre who have gained real world experience through Work Integrated Learning, industry projects and regular contact with industry leaders.

We are also educating the next generation of regional engineers, supplying Victorian industries with a graduate pipeline and skilled workforce capability. Our Engineering and Technology building opened in Bendigo in 2019, a state-of-the-art facility that allows our students and researchers to collaborate with industry on initiatives of regional, national and international significance.

“The Department of Engineering has a unique partnership model with industry that allows us to produce exceptional engineers and research outcomes,” says Head of Department, Professor Hossam Aboel Naga (pictured). “Together, we are creating a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth.”

Industry-led education

The Department of Engineering offers education programs that give students the theoretical and practical skills required to set them up for future career success.

Our efforts are reflected in our Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching rankings. In 2021, the Department was ranked first in Victoria for graduate employability.

Our Work Integrated Learning program is sector-leading and embedded in our engineering degrees. Students undertake a six-month placement with a company, learning on the job while simultaneously completing a capstone project.

We partner closely with industry, training a future engineering workforce in a range of areas including manufacturing, defence, food, agriculture and water.

We also have over 25 regional partners in Victoria’s north. These placements help to strengthen the professional ties between regional students and their local communities.

The result: The Department of Engineering achieves 95% in overall employment outcomes for graduates, with 90% employment for regional students post-placement.

Find out more about our student experience and facilities. Hear from our students about our Work Integrated Learning program.

Research for the real world

Our researchers are experts in collaborating with industry – tackling the problems of today to create solutions for tomorrow.

The Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia ranks our engineering research as above world standard and civil engineering research as well above world standard.

Department researchers are also key players in several strategic initiatives in regional Victoria, including the Central Victorian Advanced Manufacturing initiative and Bendigo's Smart City bid (in collaboration with the City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Manufacturing Group).

These industry collaborations have positioned us as a leader in engineering research in regional Victoria.

And, we are involved in several Cooperative Research Centres including SmartSat and SmartCrete.

Our research aligns with La Trobe’s Sustainable food and agriculture and Resilient environments and communities research themes.

Focusing our efforts

Our research is grouped into six key areas:

Extreme engineered metals, ceramics and composite

Our researchers are creating materials with extreme properties, developing advanced devices that allow us to interact directly with the world around us, and creating new processes in advanced materials and manufacturing.

Geotechnical engineering

Our researchers are investigating the behaviour of saturated and unsaturated soils under different conditions, working on ground improvement research using chemical or thermal processes, and optimising underground structures including foundations, walls and tunnels.

Advanced polymer and composite materials

Our researchers are dedicated to both fundamental scientific and industrial oriented research, focusing on the design, creation, processing and performance of advanced polymer and functional composite materials.

Robotics and embedded sensor systems

Our researchers are developing and using functional prototypes for industry, creating robotics to perform repetitive and dangerous jobs in industry, and equipping them with sensors to collect and analyse data.

Computational mechanics and machine learning

Our researchers are using computational methods to develop micro/nano structures for industry and machine learning models in civil engineering. They are also experts in finite element methods and isogeometric analysis.

Advanced electronic digital platform technologies

Our researchers are creating and deploying autonomous reconfigurable systems that operate in remote and hazardous environments – from outback Australia, to Antarctica, and space itself.

Find out more about our research, or contact the Department.

Find out more about the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, and read our Statement of Strategic Intent.