MJ Izadi

One of Australia’s oldest engineering and manufacturing companies, Varley Group (Varley), has engaged a PhD student intern from Deakin University to begin its Industry 4.0 journey and future-proof operations.

Through a PhD student placement, facilitated by APR.Intern and supported by the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC), Varley welcomed Mojtaba ‘MJ’ Izadi to guide the implementation of new Industry 4.0 technologies, new product development, and a restructure of the organisation.

Specialised in mechanical engineering and additive manufacturing, MJ was the perfect match.

MJ’s research opened our eyes to future direction by exploring processes underpinned by the adoption of technology. The research has enormous potential for advanced manufacturing processes, new materials and significant cost savings,”


Pierre Sidorow, Varley Group Business Improvement Manager and MJ’s Industry Supervisor

For the duration of the internship, MJ relocated from Geelong, VIC to Varley’s headquarters in Tomago, NSW, and applied his expertise to reshape the company’s approach to future advancement.

The internship helped me understand industrial demands such as quick decision making and the importance of R&D. More businesses should utilise programs like APR.Intern and IMCRC to foster industry-university collaboration and bring the latest technology to Australia,”


MJ Izadi, former PhD Intern now Technology Improvement Engineer at Varley Group

Varley Group CEO, Jeff Phillips, commented that MJ’s research has the potential to shape the company’s next 20 years of development. “Varley now has a positive stepping-stone to move towards an improved future – one that embraces Industry 4.0,” Jeff said.

MJ’s research was so significant he presented one aspect – the impact of virtual reality on manufacturing – to Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Varley’s headquarters in September 2020.

Following the internship’s success, Varley offered MJ full-time employment in a newly created role of Technology Improvement Engineer. The employment offer during COVID-19 proves the Pandemic has not slowed down Varley’s march in the latest industrial revolution.

This internship was supported by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC). IMCRC provides financial aid to Australian manufacturers looking to develop advanced manufacturing solutions.