What's your job about?
Nova Systems is a consultant company to a diverse range of industries. As a Graduate Engineer I get the opportunity to experience 3 rotations across different areas of Nova’s capabilities. My first rotation was working in systems engineering to implement new aircraft surveillance radar systems in 9 locations across Australia. Now, for my second rotation, I’m working within in the RAAF F-35A Verification and Validation (V&V) team. As part of this role I work on Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E), where I manage outcomes from test events for Australia’s new F-35A jets.
What's your background?
Originally from Darwin, I always knew I wanted to be an engineer. I considered most specialities, however eventually decided on Aerospace Engineering for its diverse applications in a wide range of industries. I finished high school in Darwin 2014 and moved to Melbourne at age 17 to study at RMIT University. I chose RMIT for its practical application teaching style, which gave me the most hands on experience before graduating.
During my degree I was heavily involved in the RMIT Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Team (RUASRT). As part of this team I worked on different platforms for a range of applications including fixed wing mapping aircraft, heavy payload multirotor systems, climate sensing micro drones and more.
In my 3rd year of university, in an effort to gain industry work experience, I emailed Nova Systems about the submarine project they were involved with in Adelaide. I was then referred to talent acquisition and recommended to apply for a graduate engineering position. Through this pathway I was offered a graduate engineering role in the Newcastle Nova Systems office and signed the contract of employment 12 months before completing my degree.
I finished at RMIT on the 14th June 2019 and started work with Nova systems on the 7th July 2019, giving me 3 short weeks to make the move from Melbourne to Newcastle. I have been with Nova for 6 months now and have learnt more about real engineering projects in that time then I could have imagined.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Nova caters to all types of engineering disciplines. While Nova considers what engineering discipline you studied, they focus more on the goals you have for the future. Because of this, anyone with an engineering degree could be a candidate for my position. For my current rotation, someone with software and systems engineering interests would be ideal.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
Having the opportunity to work on the F-35A Jet just 6 months out of university is incredible. On this project I’m responsible for optimising a test evaluation tool which allows for improved test result management. This gives me to opportunity to learn so much about the F-35A’s test program in Australia.
What are the limitations of your job?
Being a contractor working on a defence base is a very steep learning curve. I had little knowledge of how the RAAF operated before coming onto this project and without Nova’s support it would have been very difficult to learn the protocol and understand the management system.
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