Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentFaculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Industrial experience

Industrial Experience provides an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on training and experience with real world situations. The Industrial Experience 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 AIB, ABIS, AIQS, RICS, SISV and CIOB.

Students find and negotiate their own work experience, which is subject to approval by the Faculty Board. There is a range of exciting experiences with industry leaders for you to pursue, many within close proximity to the University and some offering paid positions. Keep an eye and ear out for potential placements; it's never too early to start looking.

In the past, students have worked with local government councils, professional consultancies as well as mining and steel companies, which has involved doing everything from site investigations to designing entire structures.

Timing of industrial experience is a personal choice but needs to be completed prior to graduation. Many students opt to complete their placement during semester breaks, any time after their second year of study. Contact your Industrial Experience Coordinator for more information.

Study abroad

If you are thinking about undertaking your industrial experience 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. You can also apply for short-term study abroad experience grant, or an OS-HELP loan to help financially support you taking your industrial experience overseas.

Documents and Forms

If you are preparing to undertake industrial experience, you will need to download and read the Industrial Experience Manual (PDF, 436KB).

Prior to commencing your experience, you will need to complete both the Industrial Experience Pre-Approval Form (PDF, 105KB) and the Industrial Experience Health and Safety Form (PDF, 59KB).

When you complete your experience, you will need to complete the Industrial Experience Verification Cover Sheet (PDF, 71KB).

Frequently Asked Questions

All Engineering degree programs at the University of Newcastle (including Combined degree programs with at least one Engineering degree) are accredited by Engineers Australia (EA) and require participation in a minimum of 12 weeks of approved industrial experience before completion of studies. This experience can be accumulated through a single 12 week block, or a number of shorter periods totalling at least 12 weeks.

The Construction Management degree is accredited by the Australian Institute of Building (AIB), the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS), Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

If you are undertaking a Construction Management degree, from 2012, you are required to complete 16 weeks of approved industrial experience before commencing your final year of study. This experience can be accumulated through a single 16-week block, or a number of shorter periods totalling at least 16 weeks. It is important that you gain a suitable range of experience including both on-site and office work.

It can be challenging and rewarding to find an appropriate placement. While the University is unable to organise your employment, the Careers Service may be able to assist some students with obtaining opportunities for industrial experience. 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 engineering associations and societies (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!

As well as this, Engineers Australia has an Engineering Employment Handbook available on its website for members. As a University of Newcastle engineering student you are eligible to join this organisation for free. According to the EA website "the Handbook contains listings from over 165 organisations and each listing provides the organisations engineering disciplinary area of interest, the type of work available, application methods, direct contact details and closing dates." This would be particularly useful if you're searching for a placement outside the Hunter region.

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.

You need to complete the Industrial Experience Pre-Approval Form  and the Industrial Experience Work Health and Safety Form  and submit them to your Industrial Experience Coordinator

At the end of each block of practical work you must provide your Industrial Experience Co-ordinator with:

  1. A statement of your experience signed by your employer/s, on an official letterhead from the host organisation.
  2. A report on the work carried out for each block of practical work undertaken, confirm your report length with your industrial experience co-ordinator.
  3. An Industrial Experience Diary maintained for the duration of (all blocks of) the practical work. No standard format is required but there are some suggestions provided below. The Industrial Experience diary must be available for review with the final report.
  4. A completed Industrial Experience Verification Form.
  5. Please note that some disciplines, such as chemical engineering, provide students with a log book in place of a diary. Contact your Industrial Experience Coordinator for more information about discipline specific requirements.

You need to submit your completed report to your Industrial Experience Co-ordinators in order to graduate from University. If you hope to graduate at the March/April ceremony you must normally hand in your completed report by early January and by early July for the September/October ceremony. Please note that Graduation ceremony dates are different each year and the submission deadlines for completed IE reports are subject to change at short notice. Students are advised to submit their completed reports as early as possible.

If you're enrolled at UON Singapore you must also submit a pre-approval form, along with a UON Singapore specific cover sheet, to the school office at UON Singapore. As well as this, submission of all materials by students enrolled at UON Singapore should be made to the school office at UON Singapore.

To get the best from a period of industrial training it is essential to develop an enquiring attitude leading to keen observation of what is being done and a suitable curiosity as to why it is being done in that particular manner. Material for the report will be based primarily on work you carried out, but may also include:

  • Observation of, and enquiry about, work being done by others
  • External sources such as technical literature, training lectures etc

To collect this information you are required to keep a diary. This diary record is not a suitable form for the report, and should contain much more material than will be included in your report. During the period of training many jobs may be carried out so it's usually better to give a general description of the work and confine detailed appraisal to one or two tasks.

Examples of information to be gathered and written in diary

  • A general description of the project or projects being undertaken, including names of principal and contractors.
  • A general description of the work you did.
  • A detailed description of at least one of your major tasks, showing where the task fitted into the project, the form in which you received information, calculations, drawings and, if possible, an evaluation of the final result.
  • Description of some features of special interest in the project or other related projects.

Additional comments may cover:

  • Management structure of principal's and/or contractor's organisation
  • Work Organisation-Allocation of jobs to people or machines. Control of materials, time and costs.
  • Construction equipment-Type and number of major items of construction plant.
  • Labour relations and personnel-Skill classification of workers. (Wage structure, incentives, union activity, morale. Training for plant operators, supervisors.)


A work placement log-book, report or portfolio – as specified by your Industrial Experience Coordinator - may be required at the completion of your industrial experience.


A work placement report may be required at the completion of your industrial experience. Please refer to the Construction Management Blackboard site for details.

Report writing guide

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) have developed a comprehensive report writing guide (PDF, 1.5MB) to help you prepare your report.


Chemical Engineering

A/Prof. Tom Honeyands
T |
+61 2 4033 9216
E | tom.a.honeyands@newcastle.edu.au

Civil Engineering

Prof. Mark Stewart
T | +61 2 4921 6027
E | mark.stewart@newcastle.edu.au

Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Medical Engineering & Software Engineering

E | SEECIndExp@newcastle.edu.au
Your enquiry will be directed to the appropriate coordinator for your degree by the school admin team.

Construction Management

A/Prof. Willy Sher
T | +61 2 4921 5792
E | willy.sher@newcastle.edu.au

Environmental Engineering

Prof. George Kuczera
T | +61 2 4921 6038
E | george.kuczera@newcastle.edu.au

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering

A/Prof. Phil Clausen
T | +61 2 4921 6202
E | philip.clausen@newcastle.edu.au


A/Prof. Xiaoli Deng
T | +61 2 4921 8988
E | xiaoli.deng@newcastle.edu.au