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UC students to boost physics in industry in new initiative

UC students to boost physics in industry in new initiative

In what may be a New Zealand first, University of Canterbury physics students will get the chance to work in a wide range of industries on real-world business projects, while local industry has the opportunity to gain from students’ up-to-date expertise on subjects as diverse as climate change, cosmology and nanotechnology.

In UC’s new Physics in Industry Projects Scheme (PIPS) students will work directly with potential future employers and experience real business environments first-hand. The scheme, which will be offered for the first time in 2018, will offer a number of industry projects to final year Bachelor of Science (BSc) and BSc Honours physics students.

“This is the most exciting initiative in New Zealand undergraduate physics in many years,” says Professor Mike Reid, the Head of School of Physics and Astronomy, UC College of Science.

In PIPS, final-year students will work in teams on an industry project that has been defined by the client. Besides the client project, the PIPS includes modules which teach skills in planning, writing proposals, writing reports, oral presentation, problem solving, creative and critical thinking, job-hunting, poster design, and hazard analysis, among others. The projects will be run in conjunction with UC’s College of Engineering.

The projects will ensure students gain valuable technical knowledge in a range of areas, with an emphasis on employability, says the PIPS co-ordinator Professor Simon Brown.

“We know that physics graduates already work in a wide range of industries, and this will enhance even further the employability of our students,” Professor Brown says.

“It’s remarkable how, when our students learn the fundamental workings of the universe by studying things like climate change, cosmology and nanotechnology, they also learn the skills that industry wants,”

Students and employers who are interested in participating in the scheme should contact Professor Brown by


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