WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering

School discipline areas

Mining engineering and metallurgical engineering discipline

Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering

Teaching is focused toward mining and metallurgical processing operations, which encompass the conversion of mineral and chemical resources into metallic, refining and processing to produce high-performance materials for applications from consumer products to automobiles, aerospace and electronics.

In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, Curtin ranked 2nd in the world for Mineral and Mining Engineering.

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Chemical engineering discipline

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering involves finding the best sequence of chemical and physical processing operations, and the right operating conditions, to convert raw materials into higher-value products. It covers the development, design and management of processes and equipment for the extraction, conversion and upgrading of materials.

In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, Curtin ranked top 100 in the world for Chemical Engineering.

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Petroleum engineering discipline

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers decide on the best way to extract oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. They work closely with other professionals to understand the geological and geophysical characteristics of particular reservoirs, before designing, testing and implementing the most effective and profitable extraction method for that site.

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Exploration Geophysics discipline

Exploration Geophysics

Exploration geophysics is an applied branch of earth sciences that utilises physical phenomena to remotely image and characterise the subsurface, with applications in mining, oil and gas, geothermal, groundwater and carbon underground storage industries.

In the Australian Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2015 assessment, Curtin University ranked above world standard in Geophysics.

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Mineral and energy economics discipline

Mineral and Energy Economics

Mineral and Energy Economics offers postgraduate courses for energy and resources sector professionals looking to advance their career and originated within the WA School of Mines in Kalgoorlie, a prominent mining town for over a century.

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Curtin Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (COGIC) PhD Scholarship

As hydrocarbon reservoirs mature they produce increasing amounts of water. In recent years, CSIRO has developed a chemical technology for carbonate reservoirs that has the potential to reduce water production whilst having minimal effect on the oil phase. Generally, such materials are known as relative permeability modifiers (RPMs). In collaboration with CSIRO, COGIC researchers have already done some preliminary testing on the developed chemicals resulting in promising early outcomes. In continuation of this preliminary work, expression of interest are now open for students to undertake a PhD with COGIC, exploring the fundamental mechanisms behind the RPM phenomena which can assist with the development and testing of the next generation of RPMs.

For further information, please contact Assoc Prof Ali Saeedi.

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Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) PhD Scholarship

Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) is a combination of microbial attachment and corrosion that accelerates deterioration and can lead to catastrophic failure of structures, costing billions of dollars a year. Chemical inhibition is often used to reduce the effects of MIC, however there is a need to develop safer and environmentally benign systems. A recent collaborative research project between Deakin University, Curtin University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel has been initiated to investigate the mechanisms of MIC (including biofilm formation) the behaviour of different bacteria and bacteria colonies on steel substrates in a marine environment as well as the design, synthesis and mechanistic characterisation of novel, dual active corrosion inhibitors. This project is multidisciplinary and will involve a team of researchers across chemistry, microbiology and materials engineering.

The PhD project at Curtin University will focus on studying the properties of complex, natural (multispecies) biofilms formed on steel surfaces in seawater and their relationship with corrosion and corrosion inhibition. It is expected that the student spend some time in the laboratories of collaborators at Deakin University and/or VUB in Brussels and there will opportunity to attend at least one international conference.

For further information, please contact Dr Laura Machuca Suarez.