Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has opened a $116 million Resources and Chemistry Precinct at the Curtin University of Technology.
Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson was also on hand to officially launch the Curtin Institute of Minerals and Energy, which is based within the Precinct.
According to the University, the Precinct will be one of the largest centres of resources, energy and chemistry research and education in the Southern Hemisphere.
Curtin vice-chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket said the Precinct had more than 200 research, teaching and support staff from the University’s Department of Chemistry and the State Government’s ChemCentre.
“One of the Precinct’s core goals is to bring together industry, government and academia,” she said.
“Through its role as a hub of collaborative research and education, the Precinct is the perfect foundation for high-impact and industry-relevant research, producing world-class graduates for the resources and chemistry sectors.”
The centre features exactly 100 laboratories dedicated to a diverse range of research fields, including ten specially designed for teaching.
The areas are catered to include hydrometallurgy, water quality testing and treatment, nanotechnology, corrosion research, forensic science and biotechnology.
According to BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina president Julius Matthys, the collaboration between industry and academia will improve the scientific skills base that the resources industry depends on.
“Our $5 million contribution to the Curtin Resources and Chemistry Precinct will help develop the next generation of skilled Western Australians and advance research in the industry,” he said.
“We are proud to be investing in education in Western Australia.”