Engineering the next generation

Raytheon Australia invests and inspires its future workforce

Cosette Wheeler (left) learns practical skills with Wayne Arnold, a senior mechanical engineer, in one of Raytheon Australia’s engineering workshops.

Cosette Wheeler spent four months at Raytheon Australia as an intern, where she experienced real work and learnt about capabilities in defence industry.

Wheeler, a final year Mechatronics Engineering student, spent many years dreaming of becoming an engineer; combine this passion with two decades of investment in developing a truly sovereign workforce and comprehensive capability for Australia and it becomes a recipe for success and development.

Raytheon Australia employs approximately 700 skilled engineers and technicians, bolstered by program managers, integrated logistics support, sustainment and training experts, technical governance specialists and corporate professionals.

The importance of inspiring the next generation of engineers does not go unnoticed at Raytheon Australia, where they foster success by ensuring they have the right people in the right roles and providing them with continuous development.

Through their internships and graduate programs, they provide development opportunities to advance individual professional, technical and leadership skills.

Wheeler’s success at Raytheon Australia as engineering intern, highlights the importance of industry experience. While interning at Raytheon Australia, Wheeler learnt what it means to play a role in the defence industry and supported the Raytheon Australia mission of being a trusted partner and supplier of the Australian Defence Force. She developed practical, real-life skills in systems engineering and left with a new interest in design engineering, Wheeler said. 

We asked her to share her story.

What aspect of working for Raytheon Australia did you love the most?

Definitely the working environment. In my first week, many people came by my desk to introduce themselves and explain what they do. It really helped me to settle into the company, and it also gave me the confidence to ask questions and find out more about other engineering roles within the company. I learnt a lot about the company just by talking to different people in different areas, and I was even able to find practical tasks in different disciplines.

I really enjoyed the encouragement to try out other engineering roles and having the responsibility of completing real-world work. I came into this internship hoping to gain some practical experience in a number of different engineering roles, and I came away with more practical experience than I had originally expected.

You spent some of your time working on safety engineering, problem solving and hardware. What did a day in your life at Raytheon Australia look like?

Every day at Raytheon was different for me. I would start each day working on a systems safety task, a design report or a CAD drawing. Occasionally, I would strike up a conversation with a colleague that would lead to me learning a new skill or being assigned a new task relevant to that person’s expertise. I was also lucky enough to visit the labs and the workshop.

You mentioned you had a friendly work environment, encouraging colleagues and interesting projects, tell us more about your Raytheon Australia support network.

My support network was made up of my Raytheon Mobile Threat Training Emitter System team, the colleagues in my cubicle, the people I sat with at lunch, my supervisors, the head of engineering and a number of other individuals who helped me settle into the company. They helped me to develop my practical skills and encouraged me to learn as much as I could. The approachability of my colleagues really gave me the confidence to ask many questions and understand my projects.

Share with us some of the exciting projects you worked on.

I was assigned to the MTTES project where I was given the task of writing a design report. I had to analyse a problem on the Mobile Radar Threat Simulator, which is one of the systems in MTTES, and analyse the previously proposed solutions and determine whether to implement one of those solutions or suggest my own. It was a little daunting, at first. as I felt like I had a limited experience with the equipment involved but my teammates were very encouraging and gave useful advice to help me analyse, research and form a better design. I was proud of the work I did and my ability to apply the skills I had learnt.

I also learnt how to use Creo, which is a CAD package, and was able to use my new modelling and drawing skills on a component for the Collins Class Submarines and another for MTTES. It was really enjoyable and definitely helped me to improve the existing CAD skills I had gained from my university course.

What is your advice for other aspiring engineers?

I would encourage people to be willing to jump at opportunities when they present themselves, ensure they are not afraid to ask questions and keep a positive mindset. They should not only get to know the company and its employees but should also explore the other engineering roles outside their discipline, even if they have their mind set on a particular engineering role.

Published On: 04/22/2020
Last Updated: 05/01/2020