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Magazines : Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011
Young, vibrant Deakin University is Australia's fastest growing research institution. Margaret Linley reports LIKE Oxford or Cambridge, Geelong is a university town. Unlike the two great English towns with their venerable institutions steeped in centuries of tradition, Geelong s Deakin University is young and rapidly evolving. From its official beginnings in 1977, the university has quickly cemented itself as an innovator, breaking new ground to become a specialist provider of high-quality distance education and an early leader in disability resources and Aboriginal education with its Institute of Koorie Education. e university has led the way with research, forged valuable links with industry and is, according to Vice- Chancellor Jane den Hollander, a source of economic and creative vitality that leads the way in Australia. " ere are very significant things that Deakin is doing here with good research and training in health, science and technology, Professor den Hollander says. "We need to be very proud of what Deakin is doing. As Australia s fastest growing research institution, Deakin has attracted a growing pool of international staff and students supported by its world-class facilities and infrastructure. e technical precinct at Deakin s Waurn Ponds campus has a focus on excellence in research in engineering, science, materials and technology. Its Proof of Concept facility, part of a recent $13 million expansion, is breaking new ground providing industry with cutting-edge research opportunities. Prototypes are tested and projects can be commercialised rapidly as solid links between research and industry are developed. "A company might come up with an idea on how to revolutionise printing and they need someone to carry out experiments, so they talk to our researchers, Prof den Hollander explains. e facility provides the infrastructure for work on smart- design concepts such as nano-manufacturing, carbon fibres, composites and high-performance light metal capabilities. e Federal Government has also announced the university will have the only world class Nuclear Magnetic Resonance imaging facility in Australia. In announcing a $1.294 million grant, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr said he would like to think of Deakin as the "equal to any university in Europe. "Deakin is in the process.... of being able to offer up to students across this country opportunities that are at the forefront of industry, research anywhere, he said. Deakin University has also responded to the need for doctors with specialised skills to fill chronic shortages in rural and regional areas by establishing Deakin Medical School. It s the first facility in Victoria to focus on training doctors for rural and regional careers, and the first new medical training facility in more than 40 years. e first intake of 112 students, which is about to graduate, came to the four-year course with a science or related degree and will potentially help alleviate general practitioner shortages throughout Australia. Deakin University's vice Chancellor Jane den Hollander ..."I have a great view of Geelong becoming a very significant education precinct.'' Photograph: Reg Ryan 58 GEELONG ADVERTISER
Breakaway Autumn 2011