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Leadership Scholarship graduate soars at aviation multinational

28 May 2019
Internship transforms into dynamic career in aerospace industry
An initial industry placement at Thomas Global Systems has since evolved into an exciting career building cutting-edge aviation prototypes for one Leadership Scholarship graduate.
Leadership scholarship graduate Joshua Gibbons

University of Sydney alumnus Joshua Gibbons has always had a penchant to tinker with things to discover how they work.

As a child he could be found building towering structures from plastic blocks and designing his own functional mechanisms using metal construction models.

It was therefore only natural for him to pursue a mechatronic engineering degree when the time came so he could transform his childhood passion into a full-fledged career.

“I’ve always enjoyed learning and creatively solving problems and playing with Lego Technic and Meccano kits are some of my fondest memories,” explains Joshua.

“So when it came time to pursue my interests at university, studying mechatronic engineering stood out as the obvious choice purely for its combination of mechanical, electronic and software engineering disciplines.”

Wanting to combine his studies with important professional experience, Joshua also applied and was accepted into the Faculty of Engineering’s Leadership Scholarship.

This program is designed to provide scholars with numerous opportunities for leadership development, including important technical skills and critical thinking skills, as well as practical hands-on work placements with industry.

As a result, Joshua was able to complement what he was learning in his Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Mechatronic) at his industry placement with Thomas Global Systems, a pioneer in the production of innovative electronic systems solutions for aerospace and defense.

“The Leadership Scholarship allowed me to attain practical experience in industry during university breaks over multiple years throughout my degree,” explains Joshua.

“This was a great opportunity to put into practice many of the engineering concepts taught in the classroom and provide context for much of the content.

“For instance, learning about the groundwork of microcontroller programming with approaches such as interrupts and circular buffers allowed me to start contributing to Thomas Global Systems immediately.

“I was able to apply what I learnt in my mechatronic core units to a work project creating a hardware 'firewall' for a CAN bus."

Joshua now works as a Development Engineer at the aviation multinational, using his mechanical, electrical and software design skills to produce early proof of concept prototypes and assist with the initial designs of new products.

This may someday complement existing Thomas Global Systems-created products including primary flight displays present in the flight decks of commercial airlines and biocular sighting equipment used in military vehicles.

As part of an assignment for his new company, Joshua travelled to the United States for three months to study Biocular Image Control Units (BICU), which are used in military vehicle sighting operations.

Joshua intends to use this training located in Irvine, California to assist Thomas Global Systems in developing a next-generation BICU which uses high resolution LCD panels and 4K cameras.

“The strong research skills I obtained during my degree are an invaluable asset in the information age,” says Joshua.

“It’s something that can be transferred into any career, which I’m doing now with Thomas Global Systems.”

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