Education minister to open $7.5m Engineering and Energy building

October 20, 2011

A new state-of-the-art teaching and research facility at Murdoch University will be opened by Western Australia’s Minister for Education Dr Elizabeth Constable on Wednesday, October 26.

The building is the base for the School of Engineering and Energy which offers a wide range of degree programs in physics, nanotechnology, engineering and energy, and which also has strong links with industry, government and the wider community.

The structure, which took a year to complete, cost $7.5m to build, $3.5m of which came from a Federal Government grant.

Inside, the facility features a cutting edge engineering pilot plant which provides students with a real world environment without the need to leave the building.

“The pilot plant ensures the students get relevant experience in a safe working environment,” said Professor David Macey, Pro Vice Chancellor of Science and Engineering at Murdoch University.

“It features a universal water system which is designed and constructed by staff and students and the Bayer pilot plant that mimics the structure of Bayer process, used for Alumina production.

“All the normal plant equipment is there including a control room, plumbing and switches, communications gear, gantries and working practices, but without the presence of dangerous chemicals.

“As such it provides real practical hands on experience which employers are keen on, without the concurrent dangers or costs of the real workplace.”

The new building also features new workshop areas, comfortable staff offices and the roof is designed to accommodate innovative renewable energy facilities for teaching and research purposes.

Professor Parisa Bahri, Dean of the School of Engineering and Energy, said the building had created extra facilities and features, creating valuable challenges and opportunities for students and staff.

“The new facilities are a real asset to the university and we hope they will prove to be an inspirational space for both staff and students completing degree courses and innovative research projects.

“We are proud and delighted to welcome the education minister and our government and industry partners to our exciting new building which will help our School’s continued pursuit of excellence.”

The opening event will run from 4.30pm until 6.30pm on Wednesday, October 26. Guests will be given guided tours of the facility by staff and students and speeches will be made by Dr Constable and Professor Richard Higgott, Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University.

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