Southern Cross Uni launches engineering at Gold Coast campus

Published 5 September 2022
Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus exterior and car park Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus

Southern Cross University has announced a major expansion of its engineering program at the Gold Coast campus from February 2023.

The introduction of undergraduate degrees and a new postgraduate professional degree at the Gold Coast represents a significant addition to the University’s established engineering program and responds to the high local demand for skilled graduates in the civil and mechanical engineering sectors. 

The University has offered undergraduate engineering since 2013, with a focus on civil and mechanical specialisations.  

We're offering engineering at the Gold Coast for the first time really because we see there's such a strong need for engineering graduates not just in the immediate Northern Rivers region but particularly in the really high-growth areas around the Tweed and the Southern Gold Coast.

So we know that there's a lot of demand from employers and industry there for both civil and mechanical engineers and we also know from talking to young people on the Gold Coast as well that there's a real interest in being able to access engineering at our Gold Coast campus.

Students will take exactly the same units as they would if they were studying at Lismore or online and an important part of that are units that have these practical components where students do work in the laboratory, they gain skills around laboratory experimentation, as part of their final year, they'll do a research project. Most of our facilities for that kind of work are based at our Lismore campus.

So we've got four main laboratories here at Lismore, and we use those for research and teaching. The one that we're sitting in right now is the water laboratory so we have a large open channel flow simulator commonly known as a flume, so that allows you to run water down and to take various measurements and look at what might happen for example if you put a dam in or a weir or something like that.

Some of the other laboratory facilities we have are around materials testing concrete, timber those sorts of engineering materials, and one which we call the Engineering Futures Laboratory which is largely about things like robotics, 3D printing, we also have facilities in there for creating advanced materials.

The types of graduates that we produce are well-rounded graduates who are really highly valued by industry. So the focus of all of our curriculum is really on those problem-solving skills and being able to bring together lots of different aspects of of information to be able to solve real-world problems.

I think we're in a really fortunate position at the moment where if you're an engineering student you are in really high demand, and I think you're particularly fortunate if you're a Southern Cross student because we find that for the best of our knowledge all of our graduates have jobs and we know that most of our students are working in engineering positions before they finish their study.

Chair of Engineering at Southern Cross University Professor Charles Lemckert said the move to the Gold Coast marked a major milestone. “There is an increasing need for engineers everywhere, and with the growing population at the Gold Coast, we are giving support to that community through our course offerings.” 

“We have top-quality facilities and educators who are engaged with industry leading the program. We have redesigned the courses to provide more of a holistic and innovative approach to engineering education that addresses industry needs. It’s exciting to see the next chapter of engineering at Southern Cross unfold.” 

Southern Cross University ranks consistently in the top engineering universities in the country according to the Good Universities Guide, last year taking out a five-star ranking for overall experience. Additionally, 96 per cent of Southern Cross engineering postgraduates are employed full-time within four months of completing their course. 

Engineering graduates ranked in the top five highest graduate salaries, with a median income of $70,000, as reported in the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021 National Report

International student from Colombia Juliana Saavedra Vasquez, who is studying a Master of Engineering Management and Master of Business Administration at Southern Cross University, said she enjoys studying engineering at the Gold Coast.  

“Being here, studying at the Gold Coast campus is the most delightful experience. There are a lot of beautiful places around, and the weather is amazing,” Juliana said. 

“I have access to a lot of databases and real experience in the field, so I can understand how management in the engineering field works,” she said. “My teachers are lovely, and they are always willing to help me to apply my interests. 

“Studying the Master of Engineering Management has helped me to network with people from multiple engineering areas, and that has boosted me to improve my professional skills to meet the market needs.” 

The expansion of engineering course offerings at the Gold Coast is timely, as the region is currently experiencing a population boom. According to the 2021 Census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Coomera on the Gold Coast had the largest growth for a region in Australia outside of the capital cities, with the population increasing by 11,500 between 2011 and 2021. Similarly, North Pimpama on the Gold Coast had a growth rate of 600 per cent, the highest outside of the capital cities. The Gold Coast currently has a population of more than 630,000, and this is projected to increase to around one million people by 2050, according to the City of Gold Coast.  

Learn more about studying Engineering at the Gold Coast in 2023.  

New degrees at the Gold Coast campus: 

Media contact: Content team content@scu.edu.au