Five post-graduate students researching important areas within the minerals and petroleum sectors have won $10,000 scholarships.
Resources Minister Francis Logan presented the 2008 Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia (MERIWA) supplementary scholarships to five students at a ceremony in Perth today.
Mr Logan said the scholarship recipients had been chosen from a shortlist of nominees from WA universities and received a $5,000 stipend and $5,000 for project maintenance.
“The WA Government is committed to fostering research in the mining and petroleum industries and this assistance helps ensure the next generation of scientists has the necessary support to develop vital projects,” the Minister said.
“A higher than average number of scholarships was awarded this year, reflecting the high quality of research being conducted at WA universities and the continuing desirability of the resources sector for study and work.”
The scholarships were awarded to:
· Yvette Hill (Murdoch University, from Bullcreek): Investigating symbiotic associations of legume species and the potential for rehabilitating excavated sites at Shark Bay Salt’s Useless Loop operations. Her work is likely to be employed in rehabilitating heavily mined areas of WA, such as the Pilbara.
· Tarrant Elkington (University of Western Australia, from Madeley): Developing optimisation tools for making strategic decisions in the planning and operation of underground mines. His work will fill a gap in established computer-based mine modelling systems.
· Andrew Jones (Murdoch, from Rossmoyne): Looking to increase understanding of the ageing of mixed nickel-cobalt hydroxide at BHP Billiton’s Ravensthorpe operation during storage and transportation. This work should lead to improved nickel and cobalt recovery and also more efficient production.
· Matthew Landers (UWA, from Maylands): Investigating the specific location and distribution of nickel and other minerals in iron ores found in lateritic soils developed on nickel-rich ultramafic rocks. His research could significantly impact on the rate of extraction of nickel and contribute to more energy-efficient processing procedures.
· Andrew Cornejo (UWA, from Winthrop): Studying the catalytic decomposition of short chain hydrocarbons for the commercial production of hydrogen, free of oxides of carbon. Production of hydrogen in this manner will allow access to the emissions trading market and assist in reducing global warming.
An average of three MERIWA supplementary scholarships worth a total of $30,000 have been awarded each year since 1991.
MERIWA is a State Government organisation supporting research into mineral and petroleum exploration, development and production.
It has helped create a strong technological base for the resource industries through universities, other Government and private laboratories.
“This research has helped to stimulate the growth of the minerals and extractive energy industries in the State and create a number of internationally recognised researchers,” Mr Logan said.
“I’m confident today’s scholarship recipients will join their ranks.”
Minister's office - 9222 8950