School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Statement of Strategic Intent

The Department of Engineering is part of the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

It contextualises our part in achieving the University’s mission: To be known for making a positive difference in the lives of our students, partners and communities.

The School proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands at all sites where its activities are located, recognises the ongoing connection to Country of local communities, and values the contributions Indigenous people make to its activities.

Harnessing our state-wide footprint to become a STEM leader in education and applied research

The School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences offers high quality teaching and research programs to advance knowledge in engineering, computing, mathematical and physical sciences.

Our goal is to strengthen our state-wide footprint – through partnerships in metropolitan and

regional communities – to become a STEM leader in education and applied research in Victoria.

We will develop a course portfolio that is future-focused and innovative, and meets the needs of students, industries and communities.

We will offer students outstanding placement opportunities and exposure to industry projects through our Work Integrated Learning program. We will encourage our students and staff to engage locally, nationally and internationally.

We will collaborate with partners to ensure our offerings equip graduates with the skills and capabilities necessary for long-term career success. We will achieve sector-leading graduate employability and supply industry with a skilled workforce pipeline.

We will make innovative, game-changing discoveries and solve interdisciplinary problems that will transform future societies.

And, we will optimise our research capability in key areas of strength – including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, smart sensor technology, mathematical modelling, advanced manufacturing, sustainable infrastructure, X-ray science, materials science and quantum computing – to develop solutions for healthcare, agriculture, transport, logistics, infrastructure and sustainable environments.

Our research aligns with La Trobe’s five research themes: Sustainable food and agriculture; resilient environments and communities; healthy people, families and communities; understanding and preventing disease; and social change and equity.

Impact: We will produce graduates and research outcomes that make a valuable contribution to technologically-focused societies and industries.

Reputation: We will build capability and continuous improvement in teaching, research and partnerships to make us a leading school in engineering, computing, mathematical and physical sciences.

Equity and access: We will offer a range of pathways into qualifications that meet industry needs, prepare our students for successful careers, and help to redress the gender imbalance in STEM disciplines.

Culture: We will embody La Trobe’s cultural values – accountable, connected, innovative and caring – in the way we work with each other, our students and our communities, celebrating our diversity and inclusiveness with respect and fair-mindedness. We share the University’s commitment to promoting equal opportunities and support for all students and staff with the focus on six key pillars: cultural, disability, gender equality, indigenous, LGBTIQA and life stages.

Engagement: We will build strong and lasting partnerships with our students, alumni, key stakeholders and communities in Victoria, as well as nationally and internationally.

The School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences is comprised of a strong team of academics and professional staff who work together to support our core missions of teaching and research.

We will continue to champion a workplace that is safe, inclusive, and supports health and wellbeing. The University’s cultural qualities will underpin everything we do and everything we strive to be.

We will promote equity, diversity and inclusion to make us an employer of choice for academic and professional staff. We will improve the gender inequity in STEM disciplines.

We will collaborate, share ideas, and drive new innovations that further strengthen our work and impact. We will create a culture of shared practice that encourages best practice.

We will support the University’s workforce strategies. We will achieve our professional goals, focus our organisational capability, and provide flexibility in the way we work and teach in a post-COVID world.

We will recognise and celebrate the achievements of our staff and students, co-partnering with them to create a culture of excellence and inclusiveness. We will engage so that our stakeholders are informed, and staff and students have professional visibility within and external to the School.

KPI

We will know we have succeeded in our goal to develop a positive culture when we continue to improve the Employee Experience as measured by a La Trobe Employee Experience Survey.

The School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences provides students with opportunities to engage with industry through Work Integrated Learning, industry placements and industry technology certifications.

We will continue to develop education programs that are innovative and relevant. Our students will learn from a diverse range of academic and industry leaders to ensure they build expertise and capacity in the high demand areas of engineering, computing, mathematical and physical sciences.

We will develop programs to support students from different backgrounds, create majors, specialisations and pathways in our courses that reflect current practice and industry demand, establish joint and double degree programs in multidisciplinary areas. We will offer innovative and engaging online courses and initiate short courses and micro-credentials for upskilling and reskilling graduate students and professionals.

We will create a student experience that encourages our students to

learn, collaborate and question their own ways of thinking, and that supports their journey to become some of the most employable graduates in the country. We will improve our facilities to ensure we offer students an educational experience that embraces contemporary innovations.

We will support the retention and career development of female students to increase female participation rates in STEM disciplines.

We will establish an Engineering and Technology Hub in Bendigo to lead our teaching programs across Victoria, where our academic staff, students, graduates and industry partners will work together to grow the future regional workforce. We will adopt advanced hybrid delivery approaches suited to students in the regional context.

We will welcome international students into our courses, supporting their journey to be globally employable graduates.

We will strive to ensure that our graduates are industry ready. We will offer students outstanding

placement opportunities and exposure to industry projects. We will work closely with partners to ensure that placements are relevant and of the highest quality.

Our students will receive a comprehensive education in professional environments and receive the theoretical and translational knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen careers.

KPI

We will know that we have succeeded in our goals when we achieve and maintain the position of top 12 Universities in Australia for graduates in employment (graduate outcome survey) and overall experience (student experience survey) across all our disciplines, and when consistently 90% of all of our students have direct experience with industry in their courses.

The School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences is comprised of a strong team of researchers who are working on translational, and transformative, outcomes in engineering, computer science, mathematical and physical sciences.

Our research portfolio will focus on areas of strength – including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, mathematical modelling, advanced manufacturing, sustainable infrastructure, X-ray science, materials science and quantum computing – to enhance our performance in key fields and allow us to be focused, yet multidisciplinary.

Our prestigious research centres and innovation node - the Centre for Technology Infusion, the Cisco Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, the Centre for Materials and Surface

Science, as well as the Cybersecurity Innovation Node, will continue to lead major industry and government research projects and partnerships.

We will support the recruitment, retention and career development of female academics to increase the representation and visibility of women  in STEM disciplines.

We will become a one-stop-shop in digital innovation and technology, offering world-class computing and technological solutions that make a difference to the communities we serve, in Melbourne’s North and regional Victoria, nationally and internationally.

We will enhance our capacity to support entrepreneurship, innovation and digital transformation for the benefit of our staff, students, industry partners and the greater community.

We will work cooperatively with our partners to understand their needs, bring together the right capabilities, manage projects efficiently, act with integrity, and turn research results into translational outcomes.

We will create an outstanding research environment, where academics will have access to the world-class facilities and infrastructure needed to make world-class discoveries.

We will use our state-of-the-art facilities – in particular, La Trobe’s Engineering and Technology building in Bendigo – to optimise collaboration with Victorian industry, to push the frontiers of applied knowledge and innovation, and pave the way for further economic growth.

This interface between research, industry and learning will enhance the graduate experience, supporting students to develop their collaborations, increase their employability and make a difference to their future careers.

KPI

We will know we have succeeded in our goals to create impact and achieve recognition when we attain Excellence in Research for Australia ranking ‘above world standard’ or ‘well above world standard’ in all our discipline areas, and double our overall research income with twice as many staff engaging with industry to better impact our communities.