Jacinta Allan and John Brumby look at the future of technology. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Bendigo is now home to a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility for teaching the next generation of engineering and technology experts.

The four-storey steel and glass structure – with high-tech teaching spaces and experimental laboratories – is part of La Trobe University’s $50 million Bendigo campus redevelopment project.

The third level is home to the state government funded Bendigo Tech School, which opened last year, inspiring young people to study STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) through school and beyond.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan MP, officially opened the Engineering and Technology building on Friday.

In attendance were chancellor of La Trobe University, John Brumby AO, vice-chancellor, Professor John Dewar, as well as members of the La Trobe and Bendigo communities.

Professor Dewar said the facility is designed to help students develop best-practice knowledge and skills and, ultimately, forge careers at the cutting edge of industry.

“We know that many jobs of the future are in engineering, advanced manufacturing and information technology,” Professor Dewar said.

“This building will offer high-tech learning spaces, and access to specialised equipment, to help students develop the critical skills they need to succeed in these fields.

“As a hub for our industry partners, it will also give students exposure to cutting-edge industry practice, and networking opportunities that will be vital in securing future work.”

La Trobe’s Head of Engineering, Associate Professor Hossam Aboel Naga, said the building will also be used to push the boundaries of research excellence.

“The high-tech laboratories are equipped for experiments in manufacturing and industrial engineering, advanced materials, civil engineering and robotics,” Associate Professor Naga said.

“For example, researchers will explore, analyse and process advanced and composite materials and, ultimately, create new ‘materials of the future’ with extreme properties, to improve the way we live.”

A stand-out feature of the purpose-built facility is a strong wall and floor space, that allows civil engineering students to conduct multi-axis structure testing for simulating real-world loading scenarios.

La Trobe students studying industrial engineering, civil engineering, information technology and computer science will be based in the building.

La Trobe’s Bachelor of Industrial Engineering equips students with the skills to embrace advanced automation, artificial intelligence, digitalisation and data analytics, across fields including aerospace, electronics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

Members of the public are encouraged to
tour the new Engineering and Technology building at the La Trobe Bendigo Campus Open Day, on Sunday, August 25, from 10am to 3pm.