12 December 2008

A new generation of UQ engineers have graduated this week with a unique industry-supported degree in mining engineering.

Thirty-two UQ mining engineering students were the first cohort to receive their degrees after having completed their studies in the inaugural Mining Education Australia (MEA) program.

An initiative of the Minerals Council of Australia and MEA Member universities, the program unites The University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, Curtin University of Technology and the University of Adelaide to deliver a common curriculum for third and fourth-year mining engineering students.

UQ MEA Program Leader Dr Basil Beamish said the curriculum was launched in 2007 and tapped into the teaching expertise across the universities to provide industry-recognised skills.

“MEA allows students to have access to a wide range of resources and participate in courses which are coordinated and taught by leading academics,” Dr Beamish said.

“The shared curriculum ensures that students are receiving an education which is supported by the mining industry and consistent across the four universities.”

The graduating engineers were also the first to receive an industry-endorsed MEA certificate.

MEA Executive Director Professor Bruce Hebblewhite said the Program is producing graduates with a world-class, comprehensive mining education.

“The program encompasses the full range of technical, management and social issues and has a truly global focus,” Professor Hebblewhite said.

A further 90 students who completed the MEA program from the University of New South Wales and Curtin University of Technology will graduate in early 2009.

Head of the UQ School of Engineering Professor Graham Schaffer said the MEA program was a great example of universities and industry working together to create high-quality graduates.

“It provides students with the necessary skills to ensure that they are capable of meeting the growing demands of the mining industry nationwide,” he said.

Media: Kim Jensen at UQ Engineering (07 3365 1107 or k.jensen@uq.edu.au)