Engineering scholarship recipient sails off to Germany

20/02/2020 | 3 mins

An engineering graduate who is passionate about marine engineering is heading to Bremen, Germany, after being offered an opportunity to work with shipbuilding company Lürssen.

James Walker graduated with a Master of Professional Engineering in 2019 after completing an internship with the German shipbuilder’s subsidiary, Luerssen Australia, and was awarded a scholarship by the Defence Teaming Centre.

“I’m excited to be heading to Germany mid-year and am looking forward to the opportunity to accelerate my learning in the engineering discipline and learn the Lürssen way of shipbuilding,” Mr Walker said.

“Moving to Germany and immersing myself in the hub of shipbuilding will be very beneficial to my career and is an experience that isn’t currently available in Western Australia.

“During my time in Germany, I’d also like to find out more about the culture and learn the German language.”

Mr Walker will spend 12 to 18 months in the country learning unique skills and engineering practices before returning to Perth and working with Luerssen Australia on the $2.57 billion SEA1180 project.

“The SEA1180 project involves the construction of 12 brand new offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Australian Navy, with 10 vessels scheduled for construction over the next 10 years in Henderson, Western Australia,” Mr Walker said.

“When I return to Perth, I’ll be passing on the skills and insights gained during my trip to other Australian engineers as the shipbuilding industry in Perth continues to grow.”

Offshore patrol vessels allow naval organisations to undertake maritime policing, border protection, fisheries patrol and disaster relief operations.

An objective of the SEA1180 project is to develop the skills of Australian engineers by providing scholarships and work experience opportunities with Luerssen Australia in the National Naval Shipbuilding Program.

“I think my passion for engineering stems from when I was a kid,” Mr Walker said.

“I really loved building things with LEGO and was fixated on that for a bit too long.”

Mr Walker said he enjoyed the University’s Master of Professional Engineering course as it allowed him to work on practical projects.

“The great thing about UWA is you’re not just in the classroom doing theory and reading books, you’re out in the field, making industry connections and working on real projects,” he said.

“If you have the drive and are passionate about engineering, UWA definitely has all the avenues for any student to improve their skills in the industry.”

Media references

Nicholas Smith

UWA Media Officer

08 6488 1888

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