21 December 2009

The University of Queensland (UQ) is playing a vital role in the continued success of Queensland’s resources sector according to the sector’s peak representative body.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has commended UQ on its successful collaboration with the minerals and energy sectors in the state.

In June 2009, UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield AO and QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) bolstering research and education for the minerals and energy sector.

"UQ’s 2009 achievements have been wide-ranging," said Mr Roche said.

"UQ has graduated a record number of female mining engineers and collaborated in research with several of the world’s largest mining companies.

"In a world first, UQ has also established a professorial position of engagement, appointing Dr Gideon Chitombo as Chair of Minerals Industry Engagement," he said.

Other milestones include:

$17.5 million in Commonwealth Government funding for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Optimising Resource Extraction (cOREx). UQ is a part of a consortium of universities which will work with several mining companies including Anglo American and BHP Billiton.

$50 million in federal government funding for an Advanced Engineering Building, which will be one part of UQ’s new $100 million Engineering Precinct development.

$12 million in Commonwealth Government funding for UQ’s Co-operative Research Centre of Mining.
UQ and Rio Tinto announced an $11 million Rio Tinto Centre for Advanced Mineral Sorting to be located at UQ's Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre.

UQ's Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining and QGC Limited entered a three-year partnership on the company’s social and sustainable development objectives.

QRC’s first cohort of UQ engineering scholarship students graduated and secured jobs with QRC member companies and QRC partnered with UQ to award prestigious UQ Academic Excellence and QRC Scholarships, which are being offered again in 2010.

UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute enrolled the largest ever cohort of PhD students.

UQ released Coal and the Commonwealth, a multi-disciplinary research report developed in collaboration with Peabody Energy.

UQ Metallurgical staff and QRC partnered to offer a professional development science workshop for Brisbane physics and chemistry teachers. The workshop equipped teachers to teach their students by using mineral-related practical experiments.

Several UQ mining staff were recognised with UQ Teaching and Learning Awards for their contribution to enhancing learning through Mining Education Australia (MEA), in collaboration with Curtin University and the University of New South Wales.

In January 2010, MEA will be headed by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance Chair of Mining Professor Peter Knights.

"The continuing commitment of UQ to the resources sector during the global financial crisis will deliver benefits to industry for years to come," Mr Roche said.

"The expertise and commitment among UQ’s staff continues to be one of the university’s key strengths.

"These are just some of the achievements that demonstrate why UQ’s innovative approaches, global expertise and reputation in the resources sector, make it a pivotal university in QRC’s vision for higher education and the future of the resources sector in Queensland."

Media: Caroline Morrissey - for more information or phone Caroline on (07) 3295 9560