Over several years, leaders in the NSW rail industry identified a skills gap in foundational rail track engineering. Although longer-term employees had skills built over time, there was no formal industry-specific qualification. Engineers couldn't deepen their expertise and employees couldn't validate their existing skills.
The Diploma of Engineering Infrastructure (Rail) was created with the single intent to fill this gap. Backed by Engineering Education Australia, the Diploma is taught by industry facilitators and delivered by the University of Tasmania.
We interviewed a student who has recently completed the qualification, to find out what difference this course has made in their career.
Confidence and strong technical foundations have been two key results for Samiha Najem, one of the first students to take the course. When she enrolled, Samiha Najem was a Senior Manager in Strategic Asset Management for TfNSW. The study sparked Samiha's interest because it gave a comprehensive view of the discipline.
"I was interested in getting exposure to all the aspects of rail track knowledge", Samiha told us.
As well as shoring up confidence in her daily interactions with colleagues across the rail and transport industry, Samiha has now built a technical grounding for the advice she gives. An added bonus was the strong network of peers she was able to build during the course.
"To this day, if I have a question that can be answered by people I met during the course, I have a network that I can call."
The Diploma focuses on rail track, in the context of infrastructure and interaction between rail systems. From this wider background, Samiha can now apply her knowledge to reports and analysis around asset management issues.
"As an example, doing the course helped me understand the background of rail performance measures such as defects. During site visits, I can now piece the puzzle together and see how everything dovetails."
For those considering further specialisation in the Australian rail industry, Samiha says there are many reasons to commit to the Diploma.
"Going forward, I know it's going to help me in every career progression that I go through. Even if you're nervous about taking the leap to study again, there is so much support. I strongly recommend it."
Since completing the course, Samiha has gone on to study a Graduate Certificate in Professional Engineering, as well as moving up in her career: she's now an Acting Associate Director in Systems Integrity.
Pursue your career in track engineering
The Diploma of Engineering Infrastructure (Rail) is now open for enrolment, offered by the University of Tasmania and backed by Engineering Education Australia. The Diploma is suitable for current rail engineers and technicians. Find out more about eligibility and requirements. Learn more >