Exposure to Professional Practice (EPP), or Industrial Experience (IE), provides an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on training and experience in real world situations. Additionally, through exposure to current practice, students can reflect on, and appreciate the linkage between curriculum and practice. The EPP / IE requirements for the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment degrees are as follows:
- At least 12 weeks for all Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degrees, for the purpose of Engineers Australia accreditation.
- At least 12 weeks for the Bachelor of Surveying (Honours) degree.
- At least 16 weeks for the Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) (Honours) degree, for the purpose of accreditation with the Australian Institute of Building (AIB).
Students find and negotiate their own EPP / IE, which is subject to approval in the student placement system SONIA.
Documents and Forms
- All students will need to download and read the FEBE EPP & IE Manual (PDF, 201KB)
- Pre-approval, portfolio management and final assessment are to be managed in SONIA
- SONIA Student User Guide (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Alternative IE Attendance Certificate (PDF, 198KB) for events, coursework & extra-curricular programs
When you submit your industrial experience for pre-approval in the SONIA system, you will be asked to identify if it will be paid or unpaid.
- If you are paid for your industrial experience, you will be covered by the relevant company's insurance.
- If your industrial experience is unpaid, you will then be covered by the University's Liability and Personal Accident Insurance for Students.
If you are thinking about undertaking your EPP / IE overseas, you should complete the Pre-Departure Tutorial. This online tutorial is for students considering a short term overseas experience and examines travel warnings, health risks, and provides pre-departure advice.
The University of Newcastle works with providers to enable you to find a relevant opportunity, such as Project Everest, Projects Abroad and CISaustralia. There is also funding available to support you. Visit the study abroad website to find out more.
Frequently Asked Questions
A/Prof. Tom Honeyands
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Prof. Mark Stewart
Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Medical Engineering & Software Engineering
E | SEECIndExp@newcastle.edu.au
A/Prof. Willy Sher
Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
Dr Ho-Sung Kim
A/Prof. Xiaoli Deng
It can be challenging and rewarding to find an appropriate placement. While the University is unable to organise your employment, the Careers Service can provide some guidance for students looking for placement opportunities. Some of the services that they provide are:
- The CareerHub, an online portal with discipline related work and work experience opportunities.
- Information about job searching strategies.
- Drop-in and appointment based resume and application checking as well as an interview preparation service.
An Engineering Register developed and provided by the Newcastle Division of Engineers Australia that lists information about local companies such as contact details, work experience availability and discipline.
To increase your chances of finding the right placement you should also join the accrediting professional bodies of your degree (many of whom offer free student memberships), go to professional networking events and build relationships with the contacts you make, attend career fairs and most importantly, don't give up!
While there is certainly an advantage to gaining paid employment, there is no requirement for you to undertake paid work. This aspect of your industrial experience is negotiable between yourself and your employer and will have an impact on the type of insurance you receive.
All industrial experience (IE) applications are to be entered on our online system, SONIA.
To log in, go to the SONIA website and click FEBE. Your username and password are the single sign-on credentials that you use for other UON systems (your student number and password).
The procedure for IE is as follows:
- Before you start an industrial experience placement you must seek approval for your placement. Please note that any hours completed prior to obtaining approval will not be counted.
- If your site already exists in SONIA you will be able to request a placement by selecting your site from the list. If not, you will need to enter details and await site approval from your IE Coordinator.
- Once your request for a placement is approved by the IE Coordinator you will complete an IE Application form in SONIA. This is forwarded to your site for approval.
- If your site agrees to host you, the IE Application form is forwarded to your IE Coordinator for signoff.
- You will then be notified and can begin your placement.
During or at the completion of IE placements, all Engineering and Surveying students are to complete a ‘Learning Journey’ form in SONIA. This form allows students to reflect on their placement and guides them through documenting activities undertaken or observed that demonstrate attainment of competency elements relevant to your program requirements.
Students studying Chemical Engineering are also required to fill in a student log book during their Industrial Experience, see your IE Coordinator for details.
Construction Management students are not required to complete a 'Learning Journey' report, you are only required to submit letter/s of confirmation from your site in the SONIA system.
Students should aim to submit their industrial experience for approval in SONIA prior to their final semester of study to easily facilitate graduation. If you have questions about the deadline for being considered for a University Medal then please contact your Program Advisor.
If you have already completed sufficient industrial experience to meet your program requirements, you do not need to submit anything on SONIA. Your hours will be counted toward your requirement. If you have not already done so you should submit your completion documentation (confirmation letter/s from employer, verification cover sheet (PDF, 71KB) and for Engineering and Surveying students, the IE report) to your IE Coordinator.
If you have PARTIALLY completed your requirements or are CURRENTLY on placement, there is no need to seek pre-approval retrospectively. You should complete your placement(s) and then submit the IE report in SONIA (instructions are in Step 4 of the Student User Guide).
If you are yet to commence any EPP / IE, you must seek pre-approval before commencing placements. This pre-approval should be sought via SONIA as per the instructions in the Student User Guide.
If you believe your circumstances do not fall clearly into any of the above, please contact your IE Coordinator for clarification on how to proceed.