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Emily builds strong welding future

Emily Giezen is making a big blast at Rheinmetall Defence Australia for her work as an armoured steel welder. The TAFE Queensland–trained welder and former engineering apprentice was one of only four applicants to secure a highly sought-after position at the global defence company against 150 applicants.

In her first year at Rheinmetall, Emily enrolled in TAFE Queensland’s Course in Fusion Welding to ISO9606 for Experienced Welders (22462VIC). This course enables professional welders to upskill to the international welding standard required and accepted for precision welding of materials undertaken in industries such as defence, maritime, and aerospace.

This course helped Emily perfect her skills using the latest augmented reality welding simulators to supplement live arc welding bay practices. Emily said using augmented reality welders was initially a challenge after years of welding a specific way throughout her career.

“Even if you think you're the world’s best welder, it’s definitely a tool that you can use to critique and improve your skills,” Emily said.

“It’s valuable whether you're starting out as a welder or even if you are at the end of your career; it’s all about precision.”

After completing the course, Emily was among four Rheinmetall employees sent to the company’s German operations to learn welding processes around the construction of mission modules for the Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle.

Since returning from her time in Germany, Emily’s welding expertise has come to the fore at Rheinmetall Australia’s DIN 2303 weld test and welding blast/firing test qualifying which involved rigorous blast testing on armoured plate materials.

Emily was tasked with welding the open-ended blast boxes which were then sent to Germany and blown up with 500 grams of dynamite.

“They are literally replicating a landmine going off underneath a combat reconnaissance vehicle — hence why they're called a blast test. The blast box had to stay in one piece to be considered a pass,” Emily said.

The successful pass of DIN 2303 weld test and welding blast/firing test qualifying means that Rheinmetall's MILVEHCOE factory in Brisbane can now manufacture armoured vehicles for Rheinmetall on a global scale.