IMER is the principal point of contact for the strategic research interests of the University of Adelaide in mineral and energy resources. While the Institute maximises the strengths of the three University Centres, it also supports the development of three Research Programs.
Resource Engineering Program
Program Leader: Associate Professor Emmanuel Chanda
The Resource Engineering Research Program comprises Mining/Geotechnical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering research expertise. This program focuses on delivering world-class research outcomes that provide pathways to low-cost, low-impact and high yield mining, petroleum and energy resources exploration and extraction.
Mining/Geotechnical Engineering Research Areas:
- Geostatistics: for more accurate ore models from ground to mill;
- Rock fracture modelling: for stability assessment of rock excavations and analysis of fluid flow in fractured rock masses;
- Mine planning and optimisation: to enhance the accuracy of mine design, improve production efficiency, reduce operating costs and improve operational safety;
- Geomechanics: for ground support and improvement.
Petroleum Engineering Research Areas:
- Resource assessment and development: of new improved recovery technologies for unconventional gas (coal seam gas, shale gas, tight gas) and enhanced petroleum recovery;
- Decision-making under uncertainty: project and portfolio economic evaluation, reliability of expert judgements and uncertainty assessments;
- Fractured reservoir characterisation: and automatic history matching;
- Mathematical modelling: laboratory and field studies of formation damage; and
- Analytical, physical and computational models: of pore-scale transport processes.
Socio-Economic Impact of Mineral and Energy Resource Development Program
Program Leader: Associate Professor John Spoehr
Researchers in this Program aim to better understand the social and economic dimensions of growth and change in mineral and energy resource development. This includes the development of new impact assessment and stakeholder engagement tools to discover the socio-economic impact of mineral and energy resource development.
Researchers also look at developing better ways of measuring the demand for skills in mineral and energy resource sectors.
Environmental Impact of Mineral and Energy Resource Developments Program
Program Leader: Associate Professor Jose Facelli
This Program offers expertise to investigate the environmental impact of mineral and energy resources development and to understand aspects of ecology, biodiversity monitoring and landscape restoration that relate to mineral exploration activities and mining. Increasing government and community pressure will make this area of study even more significant in the future.