Win-win for PhD students, industry

ECU PhD candidate Paul Jansz (black jacket) with CingleVue’s Michael Garrett.
ECU PhD candidate Paul Jansz (black jacket) with CingleVue’s Michael Garrett.

The Perth-based technology company signed up for iPREP, a unique program that links PhD students with industry partners to solve real world problems.

The program, developed by Edith Cowan University in collaboration with four other WA universities and the Office of Premier and Cabinet, links PhD students with businesses to work on a six-week project during their thesis examination period.

ECU PhD candidate Paul Jansz has been working with CingleVue on ways to develop software applications for the education sector.

�Studying for a PhD can often feel like quite a solitary pursuit, so to be able to work in a team of people with different skills on a problem has been a great experience,� he said.

CingleVue research and innovation lead Michael Garrett said the company was eager to work with students who had recently completed a PhD.

�Clearly by finishing a PhD they have shown themselves to be motivated, dedicated and used to dealing with challenges,� he said.

�Trying to find good employees with the right skill sets can be difficult, so programs like iPREP allow us to pick talent we may be able to offer employment to later.�

�You can spend three years completing a PhD and not pick up any business skills along the way.

�Programs like this not only enable business to access top- quality researchers, but provide those researchers with marketable skills to help them gain employment.�

Dr Garrett, who completed his PhD at ECU, said he would have jumped at the opportunity to take part in a program like iPREP when he finished his studies. �To me, iPREP is a win-win for our business and the PhD students,� he said.

ECU Graduate Research School Dean Joe Luca said collaboration between universities and business was vital to foster and support innovation.