Metallurgy workshops to spark high school interest

June 28, 2016

John XXIII student Emersyn Haddleton with Peter Kervin from Rio TintoAround 400 WA school students had a taste of one of the mining industry’s highest paid and in demand careers at a series of special events at Murdoch University this month.

Sponsored by Rio Tinto, Murdoch University have hosted a series of Extracting Talent for Metallurgy sessions throughout June.

“Metallurgists are critical to the ongoing prosperity of Western Australia as they are heavily involved in the planning, design, operation and optimisation of mines and mineral processing plants,” said Rio Tinto’s Metallurgical Development manager Claudio Di Prinzio.

“They also contribute to the manufacturing and engineering across a multitude of industries.”

Students from Year 10 to 12 attended a day which included a lecture and several practical sessions at Murdoch University to gain an insight into the role of metallurgists in the WA mining industry.

The students learned about common processes in chemical and metallurgical engineering including hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, mineral processing, the chemistry of metals and the mathematics and statistics involved in the minerals industry.

Event organiser Graeme Thompson, a PhD student from Murdoch University’s School of Engineering and IT, said he hoped students emerge from their experience at Murdoch seriously considering pursuing this sort of career in the mining industry.

“There is still good demand for extractive metallurgists, even when the mining industry is having a downturn,” he said.

“Their visits to campus also gave the students an invaluable taster of university life, whether they decide to pursue a career in chemical and metallurgical engineering or not.”

Head of the Discipline, Associate Professor Gamini Senanayake said over the past four decades, graduates from Murdoch University’s degrees in Mineral Science, Extractive Metallurgy and Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering had forged fantastic careers in Australia and overseas.

“Murdoch’s School of Engineering and IT has initiated a number of programs and scholarships to encourage high school students to study majors that lead to careers in the mining industry, including the ‘Dean’s Scholarships for Scientific Excellence’.

“We would like to thank Rio Tinto for their continued support of the Extracting Talent for Metallurgy program and the high school students and their teachers for their participation.”

Over the five years that the program has run, many schools have attended multiple years.

This year, pupils from Mandurah Baptist College, Scotch College, Perth College, Applecross SHS, John XXIII College, Greenwood SHS, Hale School, Living Waters Lutheran College, Leeming SHS, Bunbury Catholic College, John Tonkin College participated in the program.

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