Mid-year, every year, HYDAC takes time out to provide engineering faculty students with a ‘facility tour and innovation day’ as well as always being at hand to provide shorter university presentations in person or remotely.
“This collaboration with universities goes back to our early days,” HYDAC National Sales and Marketing Manager Peter Agius says.
“The purpose behind the event is to give students a better understanding of the company and what it has to offer, including a glimpse of its training centre and engineering capabilities, as well as what to expect from workday life in general,” Mr Agius says.
“It’s also about giving back, contributing in any way we can to student advancement!”
The day includes industry stalwarts such as Victoria State Manager David Jonker coaching students as to how to best present themselves for maximum benefit to how the industry operates on the ground.
“There is a strong focus on soft skills, integral as they are in the workplace, as well as the training side of things, with the training department providing an overview of HYDAC’s training courses and the impact of Industry 4.0 on industry,” Mr Agius says.
Virtual reality training session new to agenda
From 2021 HYDAC included a virtual reality (VR) training session, allowing participants to don headsets and enter a 3D wheel lock hydraulic power unit digital simulation for the purpose of learning.
Swinburne University of Technology Associate Professor (advanced manufacturing) Yvonne Durandet comments that she was especially impressed with the addition of VR training to the itinerary.
Eye-opener to see machinery in action
Engineers then present insight into the practical workings of equipment, which is clearly an eye-opener for many students who haven’t had access to modern engineering equipment while studying.
After the morning session, HYDAC treats students to a finger lunch. Thereafter the automation and control engineering department’s team gives presentations on HYDAC’s systems capability, infrastructure, and engineering processes as well as test bench demonstrations.
Case studies, turnkey solutions, and future possibilities are just a few of the subjects touched upon to motivate students as to what lies ahead, Mr Agius points out.
Mr Agius underscores that it’s a “great pleasure” to host university students or execute presentations such as the recent one for Victoria University.
“Students get insight into an industry they’re either not aware of or have never experienced before,” he says.
“This is so unlike the early days when professional graduates for the most part only came to know HYDAC when they saw an advertisement or were invited to an interview. Thereafter they could at times experience a disconnection between what they studied and real life in the workplace.
“However, now when students come for the ‘facility tour and innovation day’ they are massively assisted in their decision as to whether HYDAC is a fit, meaning that when they contact us we can take them seriously.”
No doubt about it: professional graduate program a winner
To make career pathways even more concrete, previously selected applicants of the HYDAC graduate program - which trains and develops graduates into industry professionals within two to three years - give presentations on their career journeys.
They all stand testimony to the extent the program’s organised rotations increase their understanding of all facets of business and practical hydraulics.
Previous engineering student, Christopher Michaels, who completed the professional graduate program, comments that the deciding factor to join HYDAC was seeing the integration between fluid power and electronic control system at a 'facility tour and innovation day'.
“The skills I learned during the professional graduate program are ones that I will carry with me always,” Mr Michaels says.
“As well as taking part in technical hydraulic training, the program emphasises an expansion of business-related skills. Through enquiries, presentations, and proposals, the pathway naturally develops your communication effectiveness and analytical skills.
“Among some of the amazing projects and opportunities that the graduates are exposed to, HYDAC puts a massive priority on investing in your growth to create the best professional version of you possible. So, would I encourage others to undertake the program? Absolutely!”
The event also serves as a platform for HYDAC to find new recruits for its graduate program.
Student comments at the end of the day almost always include how satisfactory it is to see machines in action and understand their competencies; realise the impact hydraulics has on automation and control, including how pressure control and hydraulics interact; get a deeper understanding of Industry 4.0 in relation to industry; experience VR and sustainable training; and hear what HYDAC employees have to say on the professional graduate program, among others.
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