SuniTAFE get a look into the future

22 Mar 2024

SuniTAFE get a look into the future
SuniTAFE get a look into the future

SuniTAFE was one of only a handful of Australian training facilities to be invited on a study tour in Germany last year.

Education Delivery Manager of Automotive, Transport & Logistics Terry Sparrow represented SuniTAFE, arriving in Germany on November 4 for the 9-day tour. 

While in Germany, Terry was joined by four others from Australia, that were representatives from the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE Bendigo Kangan), Canberra Institute of Technology and TAFE Queensland. 

“The point of the trip was to look at all the new technology around electric vehicles, hydrogen power, hydrogen production and what they call smart factories,” Terry said. 

“Effectively they are talking that smart factories are the way a lot of things will go. For example, in the future you will be able to jump online and custom order your car and it will be made to your specifications. So you will decide everything from what wheels to the colour you want. This is the next step on from what some manufacturers currently have in place.”

During the 9-day study tour, Terry was based in Cologne. 

“Cologne has been a centre of the automotive industry, notably engine manufacture since the late 19th century and is now the headquarters of the European operations of the Ford Motor Company,” he said. 

Throughout his time in Germany, Terry visited several organisations including Electrochemical Process Engineering (IEK-14), University of Applied Sciences, Lucas Nuelle, VW Training Academy for e-mobility, August Horch Automotive Museum and the VW Vocational Training Centre. 

Terry said the trip focused on not only learning about new technology, but it was a chance to connect and speak to the Federal Institute of Vocational Education. 

“What we are offering our students as far as training, is very, very similar. It’s just where they are at with new technology that is a few years ahead of Australia,” Terry said. 

“The challenge for us will be when hydrogen vehicles are released by the majority of manufacturers into Australia, we need to make sure we’re ready to go and can train industry what they require. 

“However, being able to see what they are doing over there already has given me an insight into what training, equipment and facilities we will need in the future.” 

Terry said viewing the new technology made him realise that the SuniTAFE automotive teachers will need to be prepared to teach on the latest and greatest technology, as well as continue to teach technology that was created a century ago as many of the principles are still the same.

“They were building cars back in the very early 1900s so essentially, we teach over 100 years of technology,” he said. 

“Visiting Germany allowed for me to see what the future of technology will look like and confirms that what we are teaching and the technology and equipment we currently have is great.” 

If you are interested in learning a century worth of automotive and engineering information, click here to study here at SuniTAFE. 

Banner Image: 
Audi Training Vehicle at LUCAS NUELLE
University of Applied Sciences, Smart Factory and Advanced Manufacturing
Hydrogen Electrolyser at IEK-14 Reasearch Facility (Sourced from IEK-14 website)

Thumbnail Image: 
University of Applied Sciences, Smart Factory and Advanced Manufacturing