Industrial Experience

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. IE is a core requirement for graduation.

The IE requirements for the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment degrees are as follows:

Degree - University of Newcastle, AustraliaTotal Weeks
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Degrees12
Bachelor of Surveying (Hons)12
Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) (Hons)16
Master of Professional Engineering Degrees*12
Master of Professional Engineering (Geospatial Engineering & Surveying)12

* MPE students in the 1 year program are not required to undertake IE

Degree - University of Newcastle, SingaporeTotal Weeks
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) (Singapore)12
Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Hons) (Singapore)12
Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) (Singapore)16
Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) (Hons) (Singapore)16

*MPE students in the 1 year program are not required to undertake IE.

Students find and negotiate their own IE, which is subject to approval in the student placement system SONIA.

Documents and Forms

Login to SONIA

Medical Engineering Students

Placements at NSW Health Sites

Students wishing to undertake placements with NSW Health (for example, John Hunter Hospital) are required to meet NSW Health verification requirements. NSW Health will not accept students who are not fully verified, and the process can take 4 weeks or more. Please submit your documents well in advance of your proposed placement dates.

Students should follow the steps outlined below:

1. Complete the application process as described in the SONIA IE Student Process.

2. Apply for NSW Health verification as described here. The submission process is described here.

3. Email with the following information:

  • full name;
  • student ID;
  • date of birth;
  • NSW Health site;
  • proposed placement dates.

The placement cannot be arranged with NSW Health until you are fully verified.  

4.  Students will be notified via email when the placement has been accepted.


When students submit industrial experience for pre-approval in the SONIA system, they will be asked to identify if it will be paid or unpaid.

Study Abroad

If students are thinking about undertaking Industrial Experience overseas, they 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 students to find relevant opportunities, 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

Aerospace Systems Engineering

A/Prof. Phil Clausen
T |
+61 2 4921 6202
E |

Chemical and Renewable Energy Engineering

A/Prof. Tom Honeyands
T |
+61 2 4033 9216
E |

Civil Engineering

Prof. Rob Melchers
T | +61 2 4921 6044
E |

Environmental Engineering

A/Prof. Patricia Saco
T | +61 2 4921 6157
E |

Computer Systems Engineering & Software Engineering

Prof. Ljiljana Brankovic
T | +61 2 4921 6054
E |

Construction Management

Dr. Chethana Illankoon
E |

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering

Dr. Joel Ferguson
T | +61 2 4921 7848
E |

Electrical & Electronic Engineering & Medical Engineering

A/Prof. Lawrence Ong
T |
+61 2 4921 5385
E |


A/Prof. Xiaoli Deng
T | +61 2 4921 8988
E |

PSB Academy Singapore
Mechanical Engineering (PSB Academy Singapore only)

Dr. Yit Yan Koh
E |

Electrical Engineering (PSB Academy Singapore only)

Dr. Chiang Liang Kok
E |

BCA Academy Singapore
Civil Engineering (BCA Academy Singapore only)

Dr. Md Akhtar Hossain
E |

Construction Management (BCA Academy Singapore only)

Dr. Chethana Illankoon
E |

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:

  1. Before you start an industrial experience placement you must seek approval for your placement.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. If your site agrees to host you, the IE Application form is forwarded to your IE Coordinator for signoff.
  5. When your IE Application form reaches stage ‘3 of 3’ you 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 & Renewable Energy 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 required to complete an 'IE Report’ in SONIA. On this IE Report is a field where you can attach letter/s of confirmation from your host/employer.

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, your hours can be counted toward your requirement. The only form you need to submit on SONIA is the Learning Journey Portfolio (for Engineering and Surveying students), OR the IE Report (for Construction Management students). Instructions can be found in Step 2 of the Student User Guide.

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 2 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.

The IE Host Factsheet explains that students undertaking unpaid industrial experience placements are covered by the University’s Personal Accident & Injury and Public Liability Insurance policies. Students on paid placements are deemed to be employees of the host organisation and as such are entitled to coverage under the host organisation’s insurance policies. Students may wish to provide this factsheet to their host/employer.


The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.