An Energy and Minerals Institute launched at The University of Western Australia will help position Western Australia as a national and international hub for resources expertise.
His Excellency Ken Michael, Governor of Western Australia, officially launched the Institute and introduced the Board of Trustees to be chaired by Mr Greig Gailey, who has more than 40 years' experience in the resources sector.
The Institute will be a gateway connecting government, industry and business with academia in the areas of energy; minerals; exploration and mining; environment; policy and business; and community engagement.
UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson, said the multi-disciplinary Institute advanced the University's commitment - over almost a century - to supporting and developing the industries which continue to drive the State's economy and social wellbeing.
"As the world's appetite for energy continues to grow, the University's research will develop new knowledge and advanced technologies for the efficient and sustainable use of energy," Professor Robson said.
The Board will include Rio Tinto's executive director and chief executive Iron Ore Sam Walsh; Shell in Australia Country Chair Ann Pickard; former diplomat Dr Richard C Smith; Executive Director Development at CSIRO Dr James Bradfield Moody; and Glenn Kellow, President of Stainless Steel Materials for BHP Billiton.
Ex-officio members are: Professor Alan Robson (Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia); Professor Robyn Owens (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research); Tim Shanahan (Director, Energy and Minerals Institute).
Mr Gailey was Chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia, Chairman of the International Zinc Association, President of the Business Council of Australia and is currently a non-executive director of the Australian Davos Connection Limited, the Victorian Opera and Caltex Australia Limited.
The Board of Trustees will ensure the practicalities and experiences of industry are reflected in the Energy and Minerals Institute and that the intellectual leadership and innovative research conducted at the University are transferred to industry.
"Academia has much to contribute to business - just as business has much to contribute to academia," Mr Gailey said. "Having spent all of my working life in the resources sector and with a personal passion for public policy, I am absolutely confident that there is much that the Energy and Minerals Institute can contribute to the resource business.
"However, to maximise this contribution, we need to build an effective dialogue between these two very different worlds. The Institute is being established to do just this."
The Institute's Director is Mr Tim Shanahan who, after six years at the head of the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy, joined UWA to lead its energy and minerals agenda.
"Through the UWA Energy and Minerals Institute, great thinkers and research leaders will tackle industry's most challenging local and global issues from different perspectives," Mr Shanahan said. "The ability to harness world-class intellect, high-tech facilities and comprehensive long-term research through the University is of great benefit to the future of all industries."