18 November 2010

A collaborative university program to deliver a world-leading, nationally consistent Mining Engineering curriculum has won a prestigious award at a gala Australian Learning and Teaching Council event.

The innovative Mining Education Australia (MEA) program won in the category for ‘Educational Partnerships and Collaborations with Other Organisations’ at the Australian Awards for University Teaching held this week in Canberra.

MEA is a collaborative joint venture involving the Universities of Queensland, New South Wales, Adelaide and Curtin University and financially supported by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) through their Minerals Tertiary Educational Council, with development funding of $1.325 million through the Federal Government Collaboration and Structural Reform funding scheme.

MEA delivers a national curriculum to third and fourth-year undergraduate students of mining engineering at its four member universities.

The industry-endorsed program aims to increase the number of mining engineers in industry, support quality teaching and learning through the sharing of best practice, and enhance the career options for and mobility of graduates.

Representatives of each university and the MCA were present to accept the award.

UQ School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering Senior Lecturer Dr Mehmet Kizil said that the $25,000 prize money would go towards funding programs to improve the quality of learning and the student experience.

“MEA has delivered an impressive 90 percent of mining engineering graduates in the country since it began in 2006 and the program will continue to be the leading avenue for the development of high quality mining engineers for industry,” Dr Kizil said.

“Our goal is to deliver a quality program of undergraduate education in mining engineering through collaboration and by integrating the resources of Australia’s premier mining universities.”

More than 400 mining engineers have graduated from the MEA program since 2008 and it is believed to be a collaborative undergraduate education program unlike any other in the world.

MEA Executive Director and BMA Professor of Mining at The University of Queensland, Professor Peter Knights said that the MEA program delivered a specialised program in response to the increased demand for mining industry professionals.

“With strong support of the MCA and guided by industry professionals, we have successfully aligned the entire course curriculum to provide a high quality program in an environment of limited funding and a critical shortage of suitably qualified academic staff,” Professor Knights said.

For more information on the MEA program, please visit http://www.mea.edu.au/.

Media: Professor Peter Knights (07) 3365 3915 or p.knights@uq.edu.au or Izzy Koh (07) 3346 7696 or i.koh@uq.edu.au