Meet Victoria’s 2019 Young Manufacturer of the Year

Video transcript will be published shortly.

Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.

Find out how a 32-year-old engineer is adding value to our state’s aircraft manufacturing sector.  

Melbourne research and advanced technology engineer, Nicholas Orchowski, from RUAG Australia, has taken out the Young Manufacturer of the Year award for 2019.

Nicholas began his manufacturing career in 2014 as a Materials and Process Engineer at Rosebank Engineering, now RUAG Australia, with a focus on aviation and aerospace.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace Engineering) from RMIT University, and in his role at RUAG, he has continued his relationship with RMIT as well as engaging with other Victorian academic institutions including Swinburne and Monash Universities, the Defence Scientific & Technology Group and the Defence Material Technology Centre.

His work with research partners involves introducing new concepts to the repair of high value aircraft, including the F35 Joint Striker Fighter. "I Investigate and develop ways to use high-powered laser to 3D print metal onto aircraft parts to replace lost or damaged sections so parts can be used again instead of replaced," says Nicholas.

And the results are impressive. As Nicholas puts it: "We’re increasing the scope of available parts we can recover, thereby decreasing wait times and cutting life-cycle costs for our defence force fleets."

So, the big question, where does Nicholas see himself in a decade’s time? "If things keep tracking well for me, I’d like to think I’d be the head of my own research department by then. And if I want to win this under 35 years of age manufacturing award again, I better jump into another big project soon!"

The Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards recognise outstanding businesses and individuals across Victoria’s manufacturing industry. Greater than any other in Australia, our state’s manufacturing industry employs more than 270,000 people and contributes more than $30 billion to the economy annually.

To learn more, watch the above video of Nicholas at work.