The University of Western Australia’s Energy and Minerals Institute (EMI) and Australian oil and gas company Woodside have won a national award for outstanding collaboration between business and higher education.
The ‘BHERT Awards’ were established in 1998 by the Business/Higher Education Round Table, a national organisation focused on strengthening relationships between industry and tertiary education, and recognise achievement between the two across the fields of research and development and education and training.
EMI was awarded the 2015 Ashley Goldsworthy Award for Sustained Collaboration between Business and Tertiary Education after the Institute has continued to foster and enhance the UWA relationship with Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company. A record number of nominations were received this year.
EMI Director Mark Stickells said the partnership between UWA and Woodside had built capability and capacity in WA’s oil and gas sector and was just one example of the many relationships between the University and major mining and oil and gas companies that were managed by the Institute.
“A core element of our success has been our ability to grow research capability, foster innovation for commercial application and support educational development to meet the needs of a dynamic and challenging industry environment,” Mr Stickells said.
“It’s a partnership that has crossed many different disciplines and multiple areas within Woodside and UWA and has included the establishment of a comprehensive recruitment program designed to attract the best and brightest students and researchers to our facilities.”
Woodside vice president innovation capability Brian Haggerty said Woodside’s relationship with UWA has supported key developments in technology and innovation.
“Our collaboration began back in 1990 and continues to develop and strengthen over time,” Mr Haggerty said.
“During this time we’ve worked together to strengthen our knowledge and capacity, leading to some innovative research and development outcomes.”
One example of the success between the two partners has been recent ground-breaking laboratory research into crude oil inhibiting hydrate plug formations, following the flow assurance challenges in subsea pipelines faced by pipeline designers.
“Through an innovative laboratory protocol, Woodside and UWA have discovered why crude oil has the natural ability to transport gas hydrates without blocking these subsea pipelines,” Mr Stickells said.
“This research has the potential to provide critical information for the planning and development of challenging and high–reward deepwater oil and gas assets, both in Australia and globally.
“The BHERT Award recognises not only the progress that is being made today but also the enormous work and time that has gone into forging collaborations with industry by UWA through EMI over the past ten years,” he said.
Caption: EMI collects the winning award on behalf of UWA at the Melbourne BHERT Awards (l-r) Brian Haggerty, Woodside VP Innovation and Capability, EMI Associate Director Jill Stajduhar, BHERT President and VP Cisco Ken Boal and EMI Director Mark Stickells.