Adelaide stakes its mining education claim

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

A new degree to be offered by the University of Adelaide in 2007 will position South Australia at the forefront of mining education in the country.

Up to 30 students will be offered places in the inaugural Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) intake in the first semester of 2007.

According to Professor Ian Plimer, who will lead a recruitment drive for the new degree, the four-year degree will help satisfy the "massive need" for skilled mining engineers across Australia.

"Australia is producing just 40% of the mining engineers it needs. Currently, we have three universities in the country that graduate about 105 mining engineers each year. That's more than the United States (they produce about 95), but it falls way short of our needs," Professor Plimer said.

The University recruited Professor Plimer from the University of Melbourne early this year, specifically to develop mining geology courses and lead the recruitment drive for the mining engineering degree. He holds a joint appointment in the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

"This University - in conjunction with the State Government - has been incredibly astute to realise that the world is undergoing a global restructuring of commodities and we can play a huge role in that."

Professor Plimer said the population explosion in India and China - which collectively numbers more than two billion people - had placed pressure on the world to supply their energy and manufacturing feed-stock needs.

"What we're experiencing is not a mining boom or bubble, but a fundamental re-evaluation of commodities against real estate and cash. It means we will have to do a lot more exploration and to do that we need highly skilled people."

The University's new mining engineering degree will supplement programs at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia, the University of NSW and the University of Queensland.

Professor Plimer said the University would contribute its world-class expertise in geotechnical engineering, near-mine exploration, geostatistics, mine valuation and mine finance.

A recruitment drive for the first cohort of mining engineering students will be launched this month across South Australia, targeting both city and rural schools.


Contact Details

Professor Ian Plimer
Head of Mining Geology
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7040
Mobile: 0421 089 651

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762