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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: October 24th 2005


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:: Xstrata Chair of Metallurgical Engineering Established at UQ

The University of Queensland (UQ) and major global diversified mining group Xstrata announced funding today for the new Xstrata Chair of Metallurgical Engineering.

The announcement was made by the Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, The Hon. Henry Palaszczuk, MP, at the University’s St Lucia campus. The $1.5 million agreement, which was signed by UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay, AC, and Xstrata Copper Chief Executive Charlie Sartain, covers funding for the establishment of the Xstrata Chair of Metallurgical Engineering for the next 10 years, commencing in 2006.

The chair and UQ strategic funding will be used to oversee and guide the implementation of a new Bachelor of Engineering double major in Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering from 2006, encourage students to study metallurgy and further enhance the reputation of the University as a research leader in mining and metallurgical engineering. UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay, AC, said UQ has a strong reputation as one of the leading universities in mining and metallurgical engineering in the world. "To maintain this position, support from industry to ensure the quality of the teaching programs and graduates is essential," Professor Hay said.

"Xstrata has shown great vision in sponsoring the Chair of Metallurgical Engineering. This initiative moves the longstanding co-operation between Xstrata and UQ to a new level. The agreement will further strengthen engineering teaching and research, encouraging more students to study in the field. UQ’s School of Engineering receives over $7 million per year in research funding related to the minerals industry. UQ also houses the headquarters of the Mining CRC, a $30 million per year co-operative research centre. Together with the research centres within the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), this research critical mass places UQ as one of the world’s top universities in minerals research."

Xstrata Copper Chief Executive Charlie Sartain said the agreement would help address the skills shortage facing the resources industry. "Research has shown there is an annual shortfall of around 20 metallurgical engineering graduates in Australia each year," Mr Sartain said. "Xstrata’s agreement with UQ will help address the situation by increasing the number of metallurgy graduates from the University from five in 2004 to 20 by 2008. This is just one example of Xstrata’s partnership approach with schools, universities, training bodies and government to help address the skills shortage and provide exciting career pathways for young people."

Mr Sartain said the agreement would also help Queensland remain a world leader in minerals processing technology. "Many of Xstrata’s own industry-leading minerals processing technologies, including IsaMill, ISA PROCESS and ISASMELT, were developed in Queensland," he said. "These technologies, marketed by Xstrata Technology, are used all over the world and many UQ metallurgy graduates and staff were instrumental to their development."

UQ Head of the School of Engineering Professor Jim Litster said the initiative was undertaken following extensive consultation with the resources industry. "This new Bachelor of Engineering program was developed in close consultation with the Queensland Resources Council and the Minerals Council of Australia," Professor Litster said. "The program meets the industry’s needs, while maintaining the flexibility the students want."




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