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Seeley international enters Tonsley agreement to develop new energy efficient cooling and heating technologies

13 December 2013    

Seeley International will partner with TAFE SA and Flinders University at Tonsley to establish a research and development centre for new energy efficient cooling and heating technologies under an agreement to be signed on Monday (December 9) at the Seeley International factory at Lonsdale.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will provide an opportunity for TAFE SA and Flinders University students to have direct access to Seeley International’s state-of-the-art facilities and some of the world’s best cooling and heating experts.

The MOU will be signed by Mr. Frank Seeley AM, Executive Chairman of Seeley International, Professor Michael Barber, President and Vice Chancellor of Flinders University, and Mr. Jeff Gunningham, Chief Executive of TAFE SA.

Under the initiative, students will utilise Seeley International’s research, manufacturing and recently completed $1m plus testing facilities at Lonsdale to provide real-world training and receive guest lectures from Seeley International engineering specialists.

TAFE SA and Flinders University will also deliver training programs for Seeley International staff.

The Agreement supports the vision of the Tonsley precinct to be a hub for innovative research, design, product development and manufacturing support for business activity across sectors such as clean technology, mining and energy, green construction and medical technologies.

Inspiration for the MOU was greatly facilitated by Hon. Dean Brown AO, which has brought together academics and industry for primary research, laboratory testing, field demonstrations, education and advocacy related to climate appropriate cooling technologies.

Seeley International Founder and Executive Chairman, Mr Frank Seeley AM said the initiative would provide students with practical on the job learning with the team and facilitiesthat have helped to developa number of market-leading and global-award winning products.

“Much of Seeley International’s success has been achieved because we have a culture that encourages innovation, and we want students to develop that mindset and have driving motivation to always improve,” Mr Seeley said.

“Being exposed to our operations should demonstrate first-hand to students that South Australia has manufacturers that are setting a global benchmark, and they don’t have to go interstate or overseas to thrive in an environment that encourages innovation and development,” he said.

“Our people are the best in the business, and Seeley International believes it is critically important to support younger South Australians to achieve their employment dreams, and this initiative can help to make that happen.”

TAFE SA will become the first tenant to open its doors at Tonsley when students start arriving at the new $120 million campus in January.

As part of Tonsley TAFE SA’s focus on developing skills for a more sustainable industry - new courses will be offered in two new areas - renewable energy and water operations.

Around 6,500 Building and Construction students will undertake traditional trades training under one roof across twenty-six disciplines including electrical, refrigeration and air-conditioning, plumbing, carpentry and joinery, furnishing and building, interior design and drafting, painting and decorating, bricklaying, plastering and tiling.

TAFE SA, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jeff Gunningham, said TAFE was delighted to be partnering with Seeley International and Flinders University.

“New industry and educational partnerships will be a hallmark of Tonsley TAFE and will help us deliver the best trades training in South Australia,” said Mr Gunningham.

“The partnership with Seeley International adds to the agreement we’ve already got in place with Sage Automation and we expect to add further to the list of corporate partnerships with some announcements in the near future.

“Partnering with Flinders University is part of an ongoing commitment to connecting TAFE SA and university initiatives to provide enhanced tertiary education options for South Australians.”

Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, said the new collaboration with TAFE SA and Seeley International offered valuable teaching and research opportunities for engineering students, particularly in the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering.

“Flinders’ students will have the opportunity to gain real insights into an advanced manufacturing business with work-integrated learning placements with Seeley International of up to 20 weeks,” Professor Barber said.

“Researchers will also join forces with Seeley International to explore new frontiers in energy efficient cooling and heating technologies and make a positive contribution towards a less energy intensive future. These will be the smart technologies of the future that will create employment and stimulate further economic activity in the southern part of Adelaide,” he said.

Flinders University’s presence at Tonsley will be the largest single investment in educational facilities made by the university since it was established nearly 50 years ago. Work has already commenced on the six-storey $120 million building which will be home to the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, the Medical Device Research Institute, Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology and the New Venture Institute from 2015.