The University of Newcastle is joining with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to help cement the future viability of the minerals and energy sectors in NSW.
The new venture - the NSW Institute for Frontier Geosciences - will build on the established research strengths of the University in earth sciences, foster increased research collaboration with industry, and boost support for students embarking on a career in the minerals sector.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Nicholas Saunders said the Institute would make a substantial contribution to skills development and training in the geoscience field.
"The Institute will leverage the skills and knowledge of the University, and its research strengths in mineral processing and exploration, sequestration, geology, geophysics and geochemistry," Professor Saunders said.
"Students will benefit through a degree program aligned to the needs of the minerals sector, access to the latest technology and expertise, and industry support for study, work placement and on-the-job training.
"The Institute will take advantage of the natural synergies provided by proximity of the University to long-term suppliers of large tonnage coal deposits, coal-fired power stations and the expertise of DPI's Coal and Petroleum Development group and geological surveyors at Maitland."
The University will appoint a Chair of Geosciences to provide strategic direction, and to promote industry and entrepreneurial engagement to develop the Institute.
DPI will offer students vacation work placement in areas such as research and mapping and graduate employment opportunities. Staff from the University and DPI will also benefit from employment and career growth opportunities. The initiative is supported by the Mine Safety Training Facility, through Doyles Creek.
The NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience will be located within the School of Environmental and Life Sciences and builds on a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the University and DPI.
Professor Saunders said the partnership with DPI also bodes well for future collaborations with other research areas at the University including in water, energy, bio-security, reproduction and marine resources.
The NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience will be officially launched by the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Energy Mineral Resources and State Development, the Hon. Ian Macdonald MLC, and University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nicholas Saunders.
Media opportunity: Friday 19 June at 11.30am in the Chancellery Building at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus.