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Students benefit from Council and CQU partnership

CQUniversity student Daniel O'Driscoll
CQUniversity engineering student Daniel O’Driscoll discusses plans for a new footpath and footbridge along Bargara Road with Civil Designer Jamie Schokman.

When CQUniversity student Daniel O’Driscoll first came to Council, he was the recipient of a Bundaberg Regional Council engineering scholarship.

For Daniel this was an excellent opportunity to help towards his university fees and gain practical experience during his 12-week placement.

Now heading into his fourth year, Daniel is back for a six-month placement, learning more within the area of design and civil works.

“At the moment I’m getting a wide variety of projects to work on including verge sealing, bus stop and footpath upgrades, traffic management plans and upgrades for stormwater infrastructure such as culverts.

“The foundations I gained in Council’s Autocad design process in my first-year placement is helping me this time around.”

Being born and bred in Bundaberg meant that Daniel was keen to enrol in university locally and the Co-op partnership Council has with CQUniversity is something he’s extremely grateful for.

“I wanted to stay in Bundaberg because my family is here, so the scholarship program has been very good for me.

“After I graduate in 2022, I’d like to gain as much experience as possible in the industry and am interested in applying for Council’s graduate program that offers placement of two years in design, two years in civil works and one year in contract supervision.

“Council also supports the successful applicants in gaining RPEQ (Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland) status which means I will be able to sign off on other engineers’ designs and plans.”

Head of Undergraduate Engineering for CQUniversity Dr Benjamin Taylor said this partnership with Council has brought many benefits.

“Our students who have completed a placement within local government often mention how valuable such an experience was to help them comprehend the breadth of challenges faced by civil engineers,” he said.

“The Council scholarships have also allowed us to secure students of a high calibre straight out of school.

“In the past we had talented students from regional areas heading on to metropolitan centres to gain undergraduate qualifications.

“This was despite CQUni being ranked as a national leader for employment outcomes and starting salaries in engineering.

“It then becomes increasingly difficult to recruit high quality engineers back to the regional areas, which we must do to ensure our communities prosper.

“Also, in the field of engineering, it’s important to understand the local context such as land use and development opportunities and students from the regions understand this.”

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