• Andrew Wade has moved from the automotive sector and into Defence.
    Andrew Wade has moved from the automotive sector and into Defence. Supplied

Nova Systems has recruited seven engineers from Australia’s automotive sector, who have swapped V8s for tanks.

Lee Kormany, General Manager – Maritime, Land and Future Systems, said the new starters are familiar with working on vehicles with complex systems and for companies that are heavily process driven.

“With opportunities in the automotive sector in Australia dwindling, some of these highly technically skilled engineers found themselves out of work during the height of COVID-19,” Kormany said. “It was important to us to ensure that their skills and experience were retained for Defence’s Industrial Capability.

“Nova Systems developed a course to ease the transition of these highly skilled and experienced individuals into the Defence environment, and clients have been impressed with their skills and ability to pick up the Defence process.”

Mechanical engineer Andrew Wade had 26 years working in the automotive industry working on a multitude of national and international vehicle programs and platforms. When his most recent role was transferred overseas, he decided to make the move into Defence with Nova Systems in Melbourne and is working on military vehicles.

“Everybody said it’s so different, but the transition to defence has been relatively smooth,” Wade said. “It’s different in some ways and similar in others. Ultimately though a project is a project; with timelines and deliverables.

“In my role in automotive, when we were looking to design a new part or system, I would look at the old part and consider what works well, what doesn’t and what the end user wants. A lot of what I’m doing is fundamentally the same.”

Starting during the COVID-19 lockdown, working from home in a new job and a new industry was an added challenge Wade had to adapt to. He is now part of the team working on upgrades to protected military vehicles.

Lea Walton, a mechanical engineer, was working in engine calibration and software testing when she was told the company would be closing local operations.

A background in the Navy helped give her a leg up in understanding processes and procedures when it came to working on Defence projects. Lea is working with the explosive ordinance team.

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