Curtin University and BHP have joined forces in a new partnership to develop research and innovation projects and, Curtin says, support the higher education of emerging leaders.
BHP has committed to working side-by-side with Curtin to apply innovative thinking, world-class expertise and novel solutions to shape the future of the resources and energy sector and produce job-ready graduates to focus on some of the big challenges of the future, the university said.
One of the initial BHP-Curtin alliance projects involves five research studies that will use environmental DNA (eDNA) to help the preservation of species and conservation of important marine features.
Named the eDNA for Global Environment Studies (eDGES), the projects include research to improve monitoring of the endangered/rare Pilbara Olive Python and high-altitude wetlands of international importance in Chile, and develop new tests to detect invasive marine species relevant to closure of infrastructure in the marine environment.
Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor, Deborah Terry (pictured on the right with BHP Head of Corporate Affairs, Meath Hammond), said the wide-reaching partnership will deepen an already proven relationship.
“BHP has been a generous supporter of Curtin and Curtin students for more than a decade through a range of successful scholarship and partnership programs,” Professor Terry said. “This new BHP-Curtin alliance builds on that established mutual respect and shared commitment to innovation through collaboration.
“This partnership will allow industry to interact with students, researchers and academics to produce job-ready graduates. In partnership, we are committed to leading the world with our research and study programs to achieve sustainable, positive change across industries and sectors.”
She added: “Our researchers are already working to find solutions to our real world challenges. Our experts in science, engineering and data science are at the forefront of new materials, new manufacturing methods and artificial intelligence. It’s this expertise, innovative thinking and vision for the future that Curtin will bring to our alliance with BHP.”
BHP Acting Asset President Western Australia Iron Ore, Tim Day, said the company was looking forward to working closely with Curtin across a wide range of projects.
“We each have global footprints and proud histories of driving innovation and this partnership gives us both the opportunity to learn from each other to genuinely make an impact,” Day said.
“This is a great opportunity to advance technology together, as we look to the future of work.”
The scope of the BHP-Curtin alliance is broad and will also include scholarships and alumni programs, enabling programs to position BHP as an employer of choice and support access to education from remote areas, internships, work-integrated learning opportunities, professional development opportunities for BHP staff, as well as community programs and research initiatives focusing on mining modernisation, automation and sustainability, Curtin said.