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Our defence industry will provide increasing and rewarding long-term career opportunities as a number of major Defence projects ramp up over the next decade. New opportunities will exist in the large multi-national companies that win Defence contracts as well as Australian businesses across different regions of Australia that are part of the supply chain. Defence bases and facilities will need to be upgraded and serviced. Thousands of new and varied career opportunities will arise in large, medium and small enterprises for people with the desire to make a difference.

The intent of the Defence Engineering Internship Program is to increase engineering students' level of interest and participation in the defence industry and in particular, with defence-facing SMEs.

Why Apply for the Defence Engineering Internship Program?

DEIP will place 3rd or 4th year engineering undergraduate students (or equivalent depending on program structure and/or full-time/part-time study) with SMEs in the defence industry for a 12 week internship. The SMEs may be engaged directly with the various arms of defence or may supply larger organisations that hold contracts with the Department of Defence. There is a limit of 30 internships nationally.

Students benefit as the paid internship placement is arranged for them - all a candidate needs to do is apply.

Online student applications will be open Monday 11th September to Sunday 8th October 2017 via a link at the bottom of this page.

Who is Eligible?

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Applicants must be:

When will the internship occur?

The internship can commence shortly after Department of Defence approval is received - expected to be from late November onwards - and must be completed by 31st March 2018. It is recommended that the internship be for 12 consecutive weeks however, it may be necessary to have 1-2 weeks off over the Christmas/New Year period when companies shut down. Students not in their final year will need to start the internship no later than 27th November 2017 so that they complete the internship prior to returning to university in 2018. Students that have completed their courswork will need to start the internship no later than 8th January 2018.

How is an intern matched with an SME?

Applications for the 30 internships are competitive and applicants are rated on their grades, academic reference and character reference.

Interns are matched with SMEs on the basis of their rating, preferences and relevant course work undertaken or listed in the academic record as due to be taken prior to the internship.

The online application contains a section that identifies the internships available, the expected activities, location, preferable engineering disciplines for students to be studying and the structure of the internship. Each applicant can nominate up to 10 preferred internships that they would like to apply for.

The SME will review the proposed intern details to confirm suitable internship placements. The potential interns will also be contacted to confirm their continued interest to progress to an interview for the placement. After a successful interview the company will liaise with the candidate and develop a work plan for the internship.

All internships are subject to approval by the Department of Defence. Successful applicants will be required to enter into an Internship Agreement with AITEC and will be employed by the host SME for the period of the internship.


To qualify for the DEIP placement, an intern will be required to enter into an agreement with AITEC (regarding the program) and subsequently with the host defence SME (regarding the actual placement). These agreements will span the commitments and obligations regarding the placement and the associated financial incentives.

How will payments be made?

Interns are employed with the SME for the period of the internship and will receive payment of $800.00 for each completed 5 days of placement upon submission of an attendance record completed by the intern and verification by the internship supervisor from the host SME.

The maximum payment for completion of the 12 week internship is $9,600.00 and is funded by the Department of Defence.

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What do I need before starting the application?

The information required to complete the application includes:

The academic reference should be a short letter from a university lecturer/course coordinator. The character reference should be a short letter from an employer, a leader of a sporting or volunteer organisation or someone else able to recommend you for an internship. Both references should outline: Futher information about reference letters and templates can be sourced online. Note that a reference letter from an employer describing your positive attributes and demonstrated skills will rate higher as this is an employment situation.

Please note, all current engineering students may apply for the Program but the experience to date is that the type of work experience being offered by SMEs does not include civil engineering. Please see the FAQ relating to this matter for more information.

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The Defence Engineering Internship Program is an initiative of the Australian Government represented by the Department of Defence.