A new professorial chair in metocean engineering and offshore foundations will strengthen education and research in Western Australia, according to The University of Western Australia's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson.
The agreement between Shell Australia and The University of Western Australia involves the appointment of the Shell EMI Chair in Offshore Foundations-Metocean Engineering as well as two research assistant professors and two PhD students.
An abbreviation of meteorology and oceanography, "metocean" is often used in the offshore industry to describe the physical environment around an offshore platform.
Professor Robson said the new appointments would build on the University's commitment to supporting and developing the industries which continue to drive the Western Australian economy.
"Through our Energy and Minerals Institute (EMI), we provide a gateway for industry to engage with cutting-edge university research across the depth and breadth of resource-related issues," he said.
"Our University strives for international excellence and the appointment of a professorial chair and research staff in metocean engineering and offshore foundations will further our aim of becoming a leader in the field of oil and gas."
Shell Australia Country Chair Ann Pickard said Shell was delighted to support the professorial chair.
"We see this as an important opportunity to contribute to research that will benefit the whole offshore industry, and better equip Western Australia to fulfil its potential as a global energy hub.
"Along with the deployment of what we hope will be the world's first Floating LNG facility off the coast of Western Australia, Shell believes this professorial chair will help reinforce Western Australia's position at the forefront of LNG technology."
The professorial chair aims to:
- Improve collaboration between UWA's research capability and Shell's global metocean and offshore engineering groups;
- Develop in consultation with Shell, metocean and subsea engineering short courses, workshops and/or lectures;
- Create and maintain a recruitment program to attract the best and brightest students and researchers in this field;
- Improve readiness of UWA graduates for the oil and gas industry;
- Improve techniques for forecasting metocean conditions and associated impacts on offshore oil and gas operations;
- In collaboration with Shell, continually seek to grow and improve the metocean engineering and offshore foundations initiative to achieve world-class status.
The University of Western Australia will now undertake a recruitment process to appoint the professorial chair.