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New Australian centre targets geotechnical students

Growing demand for geotechnical engineers in Australia is the driving force behind the launch of an industry-supported geotechnical training ground at the University of Queensland (UQ) today.

UQ’s new Geotechnical Engineering Centre will be run by the school of civil engineering and the venture is supported financially by geotechnical specialist Golder Associates and mining companies Rio Tinto, Anglo Gold Ashanti and BHP Billiton.

Each industry partner will contribute AUS$150,000 (£97,000), which will be matched by the university to deliver over AUS$6M (£3.9M) of funding over five years. The funding will support chairs in geomechanics and rock mechanics, lecturing positions in rock mechanics and hydrogeology, postdoctoral positions, undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, as well as specialist geotechnical testing equipment.  

Geotechnical Engineering Centre director professor David Williams said the Centre would produce much sought after civil and mining engineering graduates with a specialisation in geotechnical engineering. He said that the centre would meet the strong demand by the Australian construction and mining industries.

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