$12m rock-solid investment in geology
Monday, 8 July 2002
GEOLOGICAL research and study in South Australia has received a major boost with the siting of a key government education and training centre at the University of Adelaide.
The University's successful bid for the Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Environments and Mineral Exploration (LEME) and leadership of the Education and Training program will attract more than $12 million in Federal Government funding over the next five years.
The bid was made by the University's Department of Geology & Geophysics in partnership with Primary Industries SA and the CSIRO.
The Department's deputy head, Dr Pat James, who has been appointed leader of the Education and Training program, said the funding would employ extra staff and support new research and training programs.
Four new lectureships have already been created, five additional postgraduate researchers have been taken on, and two new Honours scholarships created. Short courses (on campus and online) are planned to help update industry knowledge and skills, particularly in the area of geophysics.
Dr James said LEME would be working closely with the exploration industry and the Office of Minerals and Energy Resources at Primary Industries SA.
"The creation of a new School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide is fortuitous timing from our point of view," Dr James said.
"There is a major industry focus now on the environmental application of earth sciences, and the Faculty restructure will create a much closer relationship between the Department of Geology and Geophysics and the Department of Soil and Water."
LEME's principal research focus is on the topmost layer at the Earth's surface, the regolith, which masks valuable ore bodies underneath. By learning more about the regolith's evolution, researchers hope to be able to develop better exploration tools as well as better strategies for combating environmental problems such as dryland salinity.
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