Four Flinders University PhD students have taken up internships through the APR Intern Program since its implementation in 2018, propelling them into real-world challenges in engineering and sciences – including Sina Milimonfared whose project identifying efficiencies in X-ray screening led to a job with a leading security screening provider.
Mr Milimonfared was in the final stages of his thesis when he started a six-month internship with Rapiscan Systems, a provider of security screening products and services in Sydney.
While the timing was challenging, he says working with his supervisor Dr Reza Oskouei helped him with time-management and enabled him to complete both his thesis and internship. He has since been employed by Rapiscan Systems as part of its new team focused on the meat and biosecurity industry, supporting its expansion from aviation security.
“Sina has been very successful in adapting to the team’s agile processes, quickly learning new skills, computer languages and tools, while bringing his analytic skills developed during his PhD,” says Loïc Boisrobert, Mr Milimonfared’s supervisor at Rapiscan Systems.
“That naturally led us to invite Sina to join the team for a permanent position as an algorithm engineer.
“The APR internship program has been very beneficial for a growing team like ours that seeks to expand, it has brought expertise and skills that completed the team well while allowing us flexibility in our recruitment process and building relationships with R&D teams in Universities.” Mr Boisrobert says.
For Mr Milimonfared, the benefits have extended beyond employment: “Working with a team of experienced software and algorithm engineers has facilitated and quickened the transition from academic research to industry research type of work”.
Further developing his communication and project management skills, particularly in relation to working with customers, have also been of great benefit. For students considering an internship he suggests “do your best and it will surely be seen and appreciated”.
Dr Oskouei says the internships are a win-win for all parties, and Mr Milimonfared’s success is a great example. “PhD internship programs are an excellent opportunity to connect our research to industry through a structured and funded scheme.”
The APR Intern Program enables higher degree by research students to gain experience and career-oriented skills through internships of between three and six months. Funded jointly by government and an industry partner, students receive a monthly stipend and the supervisor, a $5,000 grant.
For more information on the program visit the APR Intern website or contact Megan Prideaux, Partner Engagement and Pathways Officer in the Office of Graduate Research at Flinders University.