The Collaborative Doctoral Program will involve a cohort of Curtin PhD students spending up to a year conducting research in France, with ENSTA Bretagne PhD students visiting Curtin in return.
The research will be multi-disciplinary across the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence, human factors engineering, corrosion engineering and marine acoustics, as well as other areas that support the defence industry.
Curtin University deputy vice-chancellor, Research, Professor Chris Moran said the collaboration was timely given the recent signing of a $50 billion agreement between the Australian Government and French shipbuilding company Naval Group for the delivery of Australia’s future submarine program.
“The agreement with ENSTA Bretagne is an opportunity for Curtin to again demonstrate its world-leading research capabilities at an international level in order to make a meaningful contribution to the defence industry.
“At the same time, Curtin will benefit from the shared expertise and achievements of the visiting ENSTA Bretagne PhD students and researchers in what is a mutually enriching arrangement.”
ENSTA Bretagne director Pascal Pinot said the development of strong and practical scientific collaborations with leading Australian universities on defence-related issues served to strengthen bilateral ties.
"ENSTA Bretagne, a leading engineering school and research centre under the supervision of the French Defence Procurement Agency, has made Australia a privileged country for collaboration for several years,” he said.
“These relationships have intensified since the Naval Group contract was signed, making Curtin a partner of choice, especially for our doctoral students.
“Our fields of expertise are very close to those of Curtin and we are counting on this collaboration to further strengthen them, to the great benefit of doctoral students who will also mix French and Australian cultures throughout their careers.”
ENSTA Bretagne is run under the supervision of the French Ministry of Armed Forces and aims to produce engineers capable of mastering the design of complex, industrial systems in an international environment, required by civil industries and the French Defence Procurement Agency.
Curtin and ENSTA Bretagne have an ongoing exchange program under which students from ENSTA Bretagne visit Curtin for between three and 12 months.