Partnership provides training and research commercialisation opportunities

Engineering's partnership with COFA and AOS brings research and training opportunities to Bendigo

The Department of Engineering’s partnership with Ceramic Oxide Fabricators (Australia) Pty Ltd. (COFA) and Australian Oxytrol Systems Pty Ltd. (AOS) has provided research, training and commercialisation opportunities in Bendigo since 2017.

COFA manufactures and exports alumina and zirconia based ceramic products for scientific and industrial applications, while AOS designs and manufactures oxygen sensors for industry.

The partnerships are a meeting of minds and expertise.

COFA and AOS provide commercisaliation and market experience, while La Trobe brings technical and problem-solving competencies via its outstanding Work Integrated Learning program.

Six-month Work Integrated Learning projects – embedded in La Trobe’s engineering degrees – are undertaken at each organisation, providing students with on-the-job industry experience and enabling significant and rapid commercialisation outcomes.

COFA and AOS also fund several industry PhDs and Master of Engineering places.

“Through COFA and AOS, engineering students design mechanical, hardware and software components for new commercial products and upgrades, and provide development capability including simulation and analysis,” says La Trobe’s Dr Peter Moar.

In one project, engineering students placed with COFA and AOS designed and developed a new product line in an extremely efficient manner, and it is now exported across the globe.

“As a successful advanced manufacturing company in Bendigo, we know how important it is to have access to job-ready engineering graduates,” says COFA General Manager, Peter Crowhurst.

“The partnership generates high level technology jobs and provides skilled graduate engineers to the region,” adds Dr Moar. “And, it embeds industry experience within teaching and research at Bendigo.”

“Our collaboration is proof that industry and universities can successfully partner in research, training, and commercialisation. We will continue to grow our collaboration by increasing research activities, and establishing more Work Integrated Learning and industry PhD placements.”