Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams

MSc Tech (Aviation) - 2014 Graduate
Head of Transformation — Babcock Australia & New Zealand

What appealed to you about UNSW and your degree?

The opportunity to study again at UNSW as part of the MSc Tech (Aviation) program was very appealing. I had a great UNSW experience during my time at the Australian Defence Force Academy and I wanted to continue my development through this world class University. The School of Aviation offered a program that focused on my aviation interest and assisted the broadening of my skills and awareness of the aviation industry. The program enabled me to select courses and subjects I thought would help my career development and prepare me for the challenges of the aviation market. The program aided my understanding of aspects of the aviation industry I otherwise had not been exposed to during the early part of my career.


What is the most valuable thing you took away from your time at UNSW?

Aside from the academic skills I gained during the program, the most valuable thing I took away from my time UNSW was a broad network of academic and business professionals from across the aviation industry. The ability to draw on the expertise and guidance of individuals across my network has been critical to my career development and progression. My time at UNSW highlighted the need to develop a robust network early and the program helped connect me with both peers and leaders operating in the aviation industry. My time at UNSW also confirmed the huge opportunity that exists in the aviation industry and solidified a desire to explore all aspects of this unique market.


Where has your career taken you? 

At the time of the program I was a helicopter pilot in Army Aviation. Since completing the program I have transitioned from the Australian Defence Force and begun a corporate career. I worked with Deloitte Consulting in Canberra where I was able to build on my academic skills and develop a portfolio of consulting frameworks and tools to apply across the market. Following my time at Deloitte I moved to Babcock Australasia where I’ve had the opportunity to work across Australia and New Zealand. Babcock Australasia is a trusted partner and provider of services to the Defence, Aviation and Critical Service industries. It has been an amazing opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge of these industries through my work at Babcock. Throughout my career so far I have had the chance to participate in military helicopter operations, to conduct planning in the complex Airline environment and to develop strategy in the Aviation market. Each of my roles has been significantly different and I have learned a lot from each of these challenging positions.


What innovations do you think the industry needs?

The challenges ahead for the aviation industry are significant and will require a focus on collaboration across the aviation market. The level of innovation in technology, the broadening of aviation activities, and the commercial impact of global events, are all key considerations for the industry. These challenges will continue to impact on our ability to keep up with regulation, safety and coordination of aviation operations. Greater collaboration is required from business leaders, operators, regulators and industry organisations to ensure the aviation industry remains at the forefront of innovative technologies and is able to implement them safely and effectively. Having the ability to react quickly to changing market dynamics will be essential to the future success of the aviation industry.


What would your advice be for those currently studying or considering the study of Aviation at UNSW?

Aviation is an exciting and challenging industry to be a part of at any time in your career. With these challenges come tremendous opportunity to specialise in a specific aviation skill or develop a broad career through aviation management. For those studying or considering the study of Aviation, I would highly recommend a career in the industry. My advice is connect with professionals currently operating in the market, to take every opportunity to broaden your network and to develop your skills and knowledge. If the opportunity presents, get involved in a variety of different aviation activities to test your enthusiasm for segments of the market to help you shape your future career.

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