Build a global career with STEM – without going abroad (yet)

Max Capobianco is finishing up a double degree in Engineering and Business at RMIT. During his studies, he has interned in Germany and worked alongside world-leading experts in advanced manufacturing. Image: RMIT University

Dream of changing the world? Discover how STEM can kickstart your global career

Are you a big picture thinker, looking for a career that transcends international borders and tackles global challenges? A STEM degree will equip you with skills that are not only sought after by employers and industries worldwide, but will be crucial for solving some of our planet’s biggest challenges.

Sure, international travel remains on hold thanks to COVID-19, but the pandemic is also just one example of a global challenge requiring international cooperation, and STEM-skilled grads in everything from vaccine science to software engineering are tackling the challenges.

But you don’t need to have finished your degree to take advantage of the global opportunities that come from studying STEM – and that’s even before international exchange programs and internships are back on the table.

READ MORE: 5 ways to keep it real during your STEM degree

Work with international partners to produce game-changing technology 

Consider 3D printing technology – also known as additive manufacturing – which involves using a machine to create solid objects layer by layer, often much faster, cheaper and more accurately than traditional manufacturing techniques. This technology (and the STEM professionals behind it) has had world-changing impacts in everything from rapid prototyping in industrial design, to printing life-saving medical implants and making prosthetics more accessible and affordable for the developing world.

RMIT University in Melbourne – ranked in the top 20 globally for universities under 50 years old – has an Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) where students and researchers are working at the forefront of 3D printing technology in Australia, and the facility recently partnered with Europe’s leading 3D printing institute, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS. 

The partnership will support the transformation of Australian manufacturing, not just through student exchanges (eventually), but also PhD supervision and joint research projects that focus on using advanced 3D printing technologies.

“RMIT’s commitment to additive manufacturing teaching and research is not only producing the next generation of engineers, but also helping industry adopt new advanced manufacturing technologies, making them more competitive globally,” says Professor Milan Brandt, Technical Director of the AMP facility.

In 2019, Milan was named a ‘Centenary Hero’ by Engineers Australia for his work on developing Australia’s first locally produced 3D-printed spinal implant, working with surgeons to enable life-changing treatments for spinal patients. The project’s success has since taken Milan and his team in a new direction, designing next-generation implants for bone cancer patients. 

Out of this world career potential

Max Capobianco is finishing up his double degree, the Bachelor of Engineering (Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics) (Honours) / Bachelor of Business (International Business) at RMIT, where he has worked in RMIT’s AMP facility alongside world-leading experts like Milan. 

“I was attracted to studying my course as it aligns with the future of Australia’s economy, focusing on the implementation of advanced manufacturing processes to diversify Australia’s capability on a world scale,” he says.

During his course, Max spent a year on an internship with Continental in Germany – a multinational automotive parts manufacturing company. He is now taking his STEM career not just global but out of this world – developing and leading the RMIT Rover Team, which is designing and building a semi-autonomous Mars Rover with the aim of competing in the US for the University Rover Challenge. 

“RMIT has provided me with many opportunities to develop my skills outside the standard learning environment,” he says.

“RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct provides the opportunity to learn from some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, with some of the best equipment.”

This article was produced in partnership with RMIT University. If you’re finishing Year 12 and ready to decide what’s next, check out other cool STEM opportunities at RMIT here.

Gemma Chilton

Author: Gemma Chilton

Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.


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