30 industry and community partners now offering student projects

17 May 2018
The University of Sydney's industry and community project units will expand in Semester 2, giving students even greater opportunity to work on authentic, real-world problems set out by 30 leading industry, community and government organisations.

As part of the Sydney Undergraduate Experience, the University has deepened its partnership reach with industry and community organisations, providing students with the opportunity to shake up the traditional course structure and undertake a project set by industry partners within their degree.

The first cohort began in Semester 1 2018, challenging students to solve genuine problems, make real industry connections and bridge the gap between theory and application. This time, the University has secured partnerships with 30 industry and community organisations, including AirBNB, CSIRO, Blackmores, ANZ, Public Defenders, Allianz, NSW Parliament, Westmead, Telstra and Westpac.

“Interdisciplinary collaboration and diversity are such buzzwords these days, they’re often used without a genuine appreciation of what is involved, and this unit allows you to experience what it is really like,” said Longen Lan, a fifth-year Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws student who is currently completing his project on sustainable energy with the industry partner AGL. “I think undertaking an industry and community project unit from any degree is an enriching experience and would encourage everyone to find space for it in their degree progression.”

Industry and community projects available for Semester 2 include:

  • partnering with Westpac to examine AI’s role in banking, 
  • working alongside Public Defenders to review cases of possible wrongful conviction, 
  • investigating how government policy should respond to autonomous vehicles, and 
  • partnering with City Recital Hall to research the future of live music performance.

In collaboration with the industry partner and an academic lead, students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds work together in a group. Throughout the semester, students research, analyse and solve a problem set by the partner organisation. At the end of the semester, students present their project findings to the industry partner.

“What is rewarding in this course is seeing how students can take their expertise, work with others, and tackle a real and significant problem,” said Dr Maryanne Large, Associate Professor of Innovation and Commercialisation and one of the project supervisors.

“Often people feel a bit powerless about the problems of the world, because they are so big and intractable. In this course they can learn to take apart those problems, and see how we could approach solving them. That’s empowering.”