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Emergent Group snaps up local university students and graduates

Since the start of 2023, Emergent Group has hosted 13 University of Newcastle students and recent graduates, which is over 10% of our employees nationally! 

Emergent Group, along with our diverse portfolio of companies (Advitech, Novecom and Acubis), are actively engaged with the University of Newcastle’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program. Last year, five students joined Advitech and Novecom’s teams through this initiative. The students demonstrated an eagerness to learn, a can-do attitude and were a great fit with the company culture. At the end of their placement, the students were offered ongoing casual work, along with some recent graduates who joined the Emergent Group team as summer interns.  

Hamish Waterer, who leads the Applied Math team at Advitech, oversees the WIL program and intern well-being on behalf of Emergent Group.  

“The benefits are mutual, as the students are learning on the job, enhancing their own skills, and at the same time bringing fresh and diverse perspectives to the work we do,” said Dr Waterer.  

“It’s a chance for us to see their capabilities and advance exciting but less time-critical projects that we are keen to explore but never seem to have the time for.”  

“We believe Emergent Group sets the bar high, allowing young graduates entering the workforce to know what to expect from a positive workplace and gain exposure to paid work.”

Here’s what some of the casual interns had to say:  
Chris Miles Computer Science Intern (Advitech)  

Chris Miles at the 2023 Christmas gift exchange

Chris is currently in his final semester studying a Bachelor of Computer Science, majoring in Software Development. Although Chris is on the countdown to graduation, he has thoroughly enjoyed his experience at the University of Newcastle, acquiring new skills and meeting diverse individuals.  

Chris embraced the chance to expand his skills and broaden his horizons through his WIL placement with Emergent Group. He is currently creating a ‘Sustainability Scorecard’ tool to collect data from users on their current sustainability practices, score them and provide information on where and how they can improve. Chris was invited to stay with the company and undertake a summer internship, through the CSIRO Generation STEM Links program. His internship was focused on developing an alternative to macro embedded template documents (proposals for example) and developing a way to publish documents arising from data analysis in the Advitech company style. 

Chris appreciates the invaluable learning opportunity presented by both the University and Emergent Group.  

“You really can’t replicate the experiences and learning that you get from actually working in the industry. I have expanded my network, stepped outside of my comfort zone and gained a variety of valuable skills.”  


Sarah Boutchard – Product Engineer Intern (Advitech)

Sarah and Simon dressed in hospital scrubs Sarah is a recent graduate from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours). Her favourite experience while undertaking her studies was participating in the annual Warman Design Competition. She thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on experience, working as a team to innovate a solution. She also loved the medical aspect of her degree and engaging in the HUBs courses.  

Sarah found out about Emergent Group’s summer internship, offered through the CSIRO Generation STEM Links program, through a peer within her degree. Her internship involved identifying problems surrounding recycling and looking at solutions to increase sustainable practices. Working closely with healthcare staff at the John Hunter Hospital, she concentrated on optimising ‘custom surgical packs’ to minimise waste, resulting in a proposed computer vision system to identify and record unused items. 

Sarah said, “This internship has exposed me to invaluable experiences in building business relationships and fostering empathy driven design.”


Toby Evans – Computer Science Intern (Advitech)

Toby sitting at a computer working Toby is currently studying a Bachelor of Computer Science, majoring in Software Development, and is on track to finish his degree by the end of 2024. Toby values the dedication of his course coordinators and facilitators, who have shown show great enthusiasm for student learning and the subjects they teach. 

Toby shared, “The teaching staff provide such an added value and really seem to care about the student experience.”  

Toby began working with Emergent Group as a WIL student in the second half of 2023 and feels that it has helped put into perspective the type of work he will be doing in his career, rather than just the theory associated with it. Toby commented that his degree (especially the preliminary WIL coursework) has prepared him for his entry into the workforce. 

Toby accepted a casual internship, through the CSIRO Generation STEM Links program, with Emergent Group over the summer. Toby is unable to reveal too much detail about what he’s working on, but is handling the data collection, quality and processing for one of Advitech’s major projects. 

“I feel like from here I am charting new territory, but the team at Advitech have been very supportive.”  


Luka Sukada – Multimedia Intern (Emergent Group)  

Headshot of Luka in front of patterned background Luka graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2022 with a Bachelor of Creative Industries. Majoring in Media Production, Luka is an expert behind the camera. Her favourite university memory is her media production classes, taught by passionate industry experts, and having the opportunity to experiment with different ideas and methods of film making.   

Luka found out about the internship program through a friend and said the job description and company values really appealed to her. Since starting her internship, Luka has worked with various staff members to produce profile videos to be featured on the company website. 

“It was important for me to capture the vibe and culture of the company. Emergent Group is a modern workplace which embraces future thinking. I tried to communicate the company’s ethos through the videos.”  

To date, Luka has created multiple staff profiles, an instructional video for a data display platform and an animated sustainability video.  

Luka has enjoyed getting to know her colleagues through casual lunchtime chats and staff bonding events such as fortnightly intern roundtables and monthly speaker sessions.  


Lachlan Thompson – Data Science Intern (Advitech) 

Lachlan working on the computer Lachlan graduated last year with a Bachelor of Mathematics, majoring in pure and applied mathematics. Lachlan thoroughly enjoyed his university experience, a particular highlight being the UON Musos social club, and getting involved in their annual musical theatre productions. He heard about the great opportunities for students offered at Emergent Group from a connection and commenced his WIL placement in his final semester of studies.   

He has worked on multiple projects throughout his WIL placement and summer internship through the CSIRO Generation STEM Links program, including developing a pipeline to clean, analyse, visualise and report meteorological data retrieved from weather stations monitoring Biodiversity Offset Areas (BOAs) for different mining companies, reducing time and resources spent on the required annual reporting.  

He also contributed to the parametric analysis of structural members of the CSIRO Parkes satellite dish, researching complex models to track green energy in electrical grids and data visualisation. Lachlan was excited to apply his knowledge of linear algebra and graph theory to the unexplored field of green energy.  

“It’s amazing to discover all the possibilities in working with Advitech, while developing my own expertise and career in the workforce. It’s exciting to meet new people from different fields in such a cohesive environment.” 

Joshua Burwood – Computer Science Intern (Advitech) 

Headshot of Lachlan in front of patterned background Josh graduated at the end of 2023 with a Bachelor of Computer Science but is returning to UON to complete a Bachelor of Computing (Honours), which will be sponsored by Advitech. This will be a continuation of his Work Integrated Learning project, to optimise environmental sound models and the data/labelling collection processes.  

His internship over the summer was an extension of the WIL project, building a Graphical User Interface to automate noise assessments by comparing audio data to the NSW noise policy for industry and integrating models from the WIL project. He is currently developing an active sampler for AI to lessen the workload on data labelers. 

Josh believes the best way to prepare for entering the workforce is by networking and gaining hands-on experience. For Josh, one of the key benefits of studying at UON were the many opportunities provided to engage with industry through CareerHub, Work Integrated Learning and Career Days. He found out about the opportunity with Emergent Group through the UON WIL portal, one of the many ways that UON connects students directly with leading industry businesses.  

“I am super grateful to Emergent Group and the University of Newcastle for providing me with this opportunity.”  


Gemma Hawkins – Communications Intern (Emergent Group) 

Gemma standing next to a screen, doing a presentation. Gemma graduated with a Bachelor of Communication at the end of 2023. Her fondest memories of her time at university include a semester exchange to Canada and getting involved in many of the student clubs! 

While in her final semester, Gemma received an email from the Communication faculty promoting Emergent Group’s summer internships and decided to apply. As the Communications Intern, her role has been to develop and promote an experimental project for the company. She has conducted market research, collaborated with an external web developer, created a launch plan and written multiple articles for the company website.  

“I have applied a lot of the skills taught in my Public Relations and media writing courses.” 

Gemma says it has been a great learning experience and she has enjoyed her time with Emergent Group, collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team and honing her communication skills.  

“I really appreciate the efforts of my colleagues who have taken the time to explain concepts and provide me with opportunities for further skill development.”