The UWA's new Woodside - Chevron chair in Petroleum Geoscience has plans to develop hi-tech graduates who will meet Western Australia's need to be increasingly competitive in the international petroleum industry.
Leading geoscientist Professor David Lumley says WA is already well on its way to being globally competitive and he plans to drive teaching and research to the next level.
"There is a lot of top-notch geoscience research capability today at UWA, Curtin University of Technology, CSIRO and at local companies like Woodside and Chevron. This is one of the aspects that attracted me to Perth," he said.
Professor Lumley has spent the last 20 years in California in both research and operations roles.
He is an internationally respected expert in time-lapse imaging of subsurface fluid flow, including hydrocarbon recovery, and environmental and global climate processes such as groundwater contaminant flow and carbon dioxide storage.
In Perth, he will oversee the development of the new Centre in Petroleum Geoscience which builds on existing strengths at UWA in biostratigraphy and sedimentology of petroleum basins and basin-scale tectonics and geodynamics. The centre will work with UWA reserchers in Oil and Gas Engineering, Exploration Targeting and Tectonics Special Research as well as local industry.
Professor Lumley says he has a few strategic educational approaches to developing better trained graduates.
"On one level, students need (and want) to be exposed to the real energy challenges that exist in the world today."
"In this regard I'd like to see the Centre become an excellent forum for students, staff and energy professionals to get together and share real project information and experiences."
"On a second level, the tertiary program needs to be revved-up to reflect the fact that geoscience is a modern high-tech discipline."
"Thirdly, I want to strengthen the postgraduate program including development of 50/50 coursework/research Masters degree to supplement or replace the Honours program to develop better trained geoscience graduates.
"We will increasingly need to get smarter about developing our energy sources (hydrocarbon or otherwise), while simultaneously finding new ways to protect our precious environment".
Source: Business News, 30.04.2009.