Expert to lead new R&D centre

HIGHLY respected minerals resource expert Mark Woffenden has been appointed Executive Director of Curtin University of Technology’s new Resources and Chemistry Centre.

Highly respected minerals resource expert Mark Woffenden has been appointed Executive Director of Curtin University of Technology’s new Resources and Chemistry Centre.

The Centre, due for completion in 2009, is set to be an internationally renowned provider of science and technology solutions for the minerals and resources sectors.

Woffenden is currently the Director and CEO of highly renowned research organisation the Parker CRC for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions (formerly the A J Parker Centre) that undertakes research for companies from the alumina, gold and base metals sectors.

His 30 years’ experience in the industry also incorporates key positions at KPMG Consulting and the Rio Tinto Group including Hamersley Iron Pty Limited and Comalco Aluminium (Bell Bay) Limited.

Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket said Mr Woffenden’s extensive experience made him ideally suited to provide strategic leadership of the University’s new Resources and Chemistry Centre.

“Mr Woffenden’s knowledge of both the operational and research needs of the industry will be vital in bringing together strong partnerships between key government agencies, and university and industry bodies,” Professor Hacket said.

“Increasing and enhancing education opportunities to address the skills shortage in the booming resources sector is crucial to sustaining and developing the State’s economic growth.

“One of Mr Woffenden’s priorities will be to link undergraduate teaching, and fundamental and applied research, to current industry demands.

“He is well placed to take on this challenge and we are delighted he has accepted our offer to lead this exciting initiative from mid 2008.”

Woffenden said he is looking forward to leading the new Centre.

“Whilst I am leaving the Parker Centre with some regret, I am looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to enhance the contribution that research and education make to the national and international resources industries,” Woffenden said.

His experience includes initiating and implementing new and complex concepts in the operating and research sectors of the mining industry; redesigning business models, analysing and re-integrating production processes, introducing the ‘all staff’ concept in the aluminium industry and leading corporate technology improvement programs to enhance the performance of production processes.

Woffenden is a Member of the Premier’s Science and Innovation Council of Western Australia, Deputy Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre Association Committee and a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

He has degrees in both Engineering and Geology from the University of Sydney.

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