Industry, academia drive future resources workforce

Published Wednesday, 27 October, 2021 at 10:25 AM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

Resources Minister Scott Stewart today congratulated Mitsubishi Development and The University of Queensland on their investment in future skills and knowledge of the next generation of resources sector professionals.

Mitsubishi Development (MDP) and The University of Queensland (UQ) have joined forces to create a new digital technologies curriculum for mining engineering students.

Mr Stewart said MDP will invest $750,000 over three years to expand technology education in mining engineering at UQ.

“This is about Queensland’s future: future skills, future jobs, future resources investment across the state and growing our regional economies,” Mr Stewart said.

“This partnership will see future mining engineering graduates excel in fields like automation, data analytics, and robotics.

“The resources sector is transforming, as the resources market transforms.

“We must continue to invest in our people and their skills and knowledge, as Mitsubishi and UQ are doing with this latest initiative.”

MDP has committed $750,000 over three years for a Future Mining Systems Initiative Director at UQ.

The director will develop and implement new curriculum focusing on digital technologies, integrated with UQ’s mining engineering offerings. The partnership will also facilitate UQ’s engagement with secondary school students.

Mitsubishi Development’s Chief Executive Officer, Sadahiko Haneji explained that not only is the demand for skilled mining engineers increasing year on year, but also the traditional curriculum needed to fundamentally change along with the evolution of technology.

“Currently, there are too few graduating mining engineering students to meet industry demand,” Mr Haneji said.

“When we learned that mining engineering students currently make up only 2-5 per cent of the wider engineering enrolments at UQ, we knew that something different was needed in addition to typical scholarships and research grants.

“Now, more than ever, our industry is trying to identify revolutionary ways to adapt to the age of digital transformation and decarbonisation.

“MDP is excited to partner with UQ, which is well-positioned to address these challenges as a top global university in the mining engineering field.”

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Deborah Terry AO, said this initiative aimed to address the sector’s demand for highly skilled workers with a broad skillset, and an innovative mindset.

“We know that mining engineering students will still need the knowledge they gain from the traditional curriculum for the industry of the future,” Professor Terry explained.

“But they will also require additional elements, and it is not sufficient to simply add more content to the degree.”

This agreement follows the implementation of a new program and course structure by UQ’s Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, allowing students to major in mining engineering while pursuing a specialisation in civil, mechanical, or mechatronic engineering.

“When Mitsubishi Development approached us with the same concerns that we had when creating the new program, we were thrilled with the opportunity to partner with them for the benefit of the students, and the broader resources industry,” said Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and IT, Professor Vicki Chen.

“This is a great example of positive engagement with industry to develop leaders of the future for the mining and resource industries. It also highlights the high level of technological innovation occurring in these industries,” she said.

MDP and UQ this week signed a memorandum of understanding for the partnership at the St Lucia Campus.


Media inquiries: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237