Centre Engagement, Outreach and Training
The Centre is involved with wide-ranging engagement, outreach and training/mentoring activities tied to delivering on our vision, mission and objectives. An overview and examples of each follow.
Engagement refers to the Centre’s collaborative efforts with industry and others, which includes significant Centre-orchestrated and organised events. Further, we have a growing base of Centre followers and advocates on our Social Media channels.
Learn more about our work and major events in our Annual Reports, or join our growing community on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/coeminerals/), Twitter (twitter.com/COEMinerals) or Email us (email@example.com)
Outreach activities are an integral part of the Centre. Outreach takes manyt forms, such as public speaking/lectures, visits to schools, University open days, expos, STEM activities, sponsorship, guest speakers, industry association and community engagement, media and blog coverage of Centre activities and many more.
Centre outreach provides the mutual opportunity to spark curiosity, and to challenge, question and learn from others. Ensuring scientific knowledge and advances are shared widely with the community and METS sector. The Centre’s PhD & ECRs gain professional development opportunities during the planning, preparation, roll-out and interactions through these activities and events. They also advocate for student and community participation in STEM topics, subjects and careers. Through our outreach, the community and industry gain insights into the Centre’s groundbreaking research and invention. They also experience how science and engineering is being practically applied for the benefit of future generations.
Each year the Centre engages in wide-ranging outreach projects aligned with Women in STEM and Science-based learning and engagement. Some multi-year projects are featured below. Others, including major event overviews, can be found here.
The Science Kits for Schools (‘Magic Minerals’) Project
The COEMinerals’ ’School Outreach Team’ — comprising seven PhDs and two ECRs representing multiple Centre-nodes and supervised by A/Prof Elham Doroodchi , Centre Chief Investigator (UON) – is creating ‘Science Kits’ for schools as part of a multi-year activity that began in mid-2021. Science Kits contain teaching resources associated with innovation and eco-efficiency in minerals processing that support science and technology learning. The Centre is at ‘Phase 2’ of kit development, with experiments being tested during live demonstrations by PhDs and ECRs during in-person events, school visits and node-lab visits. It is our plan to make the minerals-science kits available to Australian schools.
Science and Engineering Challenge Supporting a national STEM outreach program — The ‘Science and Engineering Challenge’ (SEC) — COEMinerals has commenced development of an activity for SEC inclusion for Years 6 – 10 schools Students in our ‘Rock Star Challenge’ team, lead by Prof Mohsen Yahyaei, Centre Chief Investigator (UQ), have conceptualised two Science and Engineering activities. Both ‘games’ challenge students to engage with and learn more about the science behind modern minerals processing, helping to encourage further studies and careers in related fields.
Diversity of Thought The aim of the module is for 1st year undergraduate students to gain concept and understanding, that when they utilise diverse groups (and not just a homogeneous group) into their stages of innovation and implementation processes, they have a greater chance of creating or expanding original ideas and improving problem solving. The initial design and concept is being designed in collaboration with School of Engineering and School of Architecture and Built Environment (SABE) at UON, as aligned to the Centres Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI) goals. The project is being lead by Centre Operations Officer Annemarie Fawkner.
Signature Lecture Series Coordinated by Centre Chief Investigator Professor George Franks, invited eminent scientists or industrialists from around the globe join COEMinerals members to deliver a topic via the Centre’s prestigious Signature Lecture Series. These lectures enable Centre members, along with COEMinerals partner organisations staff and interested others to join a video-call presentation to learn from and engage with research and industry experts from Australia and around the world as each speak explores a topic relating to modern minerals processing, spanning the technical to the philosophical, as well as incorporating community insights and providing context to wider challenges associated with the solving aspects associated with creating sustainable change. Awareness of contemporary concepts and trends in mineral processing research and industrial operation is important context building for our students and team, and this forum supports professional development and network building for PhDs and early career researchers (ECRs). This series helps put Centre work into a ‘big picture’ context by exploring the influence of mineral processing on the environment, society and communities. Signature Series lectures are shared with our wider community here.
Training and Mentoring
Training and Mentoring are core to Centre activities, ensuring our ECR & PhD members have the opportunity to be engaged in wide ranging personal and professional development and growth opportunities over the course of their time with the Centre, and as they are upskilled and trained to be future sector leaders. The Centre aims to “provide outstanding developmental experience for its members to equip them with the skills and knowledge beneficial to their growth as persons and professionals, and to inspire, by exemplifying what a career in research can be and thus produce a model for future endeavours”.
The Future Leaders (training) Program This program incorporates tailored training plans for PhDs and ECRs along with all-member learning and skill-building opportunities. A key objective of the program is to ensure COEMinerals PhDs and ECRs have the opportunity to gain professional development and personal growth over the course of their tenure within the Centre of specific relevance to their growth as a person and to their career stage. Our overall aim is to ensure they are trained as a new generation of research, STEM & minerals sector leaders. The training plans cover the following categories:
- Academic Development
- Professional Skills
- Other (incorporating technical, innovation/
Where possible the PhD and ECR training opportunities include industry engagement, site
visits and tours which provide hands-on experience and create direct connections with the minerals sector, which assist with making industry connections, sparking new ideas and spurring conversations that may lead to new research insights and/or future career path opportunities for our Future Leaders. COEMinerals Future Leader on-site visits in 2022 included:
- PhDs and ECRs from UQ, Monash, UOM and Deakin nodes visiteing Glencore Australia’s Mt
Isa mine site, exploring minerals processing technology, sustainability measures and
considering operational efficiencies
- PhDs and ECRs from the UOM node visited Agnico Eagle Mines Limited’s Fosterville gold
mine (near Bendigo, Victoria), delivering a veritable ‘gold mine’ of learning experiences,
including enabling PhDs and ECRs to see froth flotation cells operating at scale for
mineral/metal separation as well as other eco-innovations on site
- PhDs and ECRs representing UON, UOM, UniSA (and others attending the RFC Upscaling
symposium) visited Glencore’s Hunter Valley (NSW) operations to see the Centre-developed
REFLUX™ Flotation Cell, in action
Learn more about these and other activities in our Annual Report.
All-Member Training In addition to the Future Leaders Program, all COEMinerals members undertake training. In 2022 the all-staff training consisted of media training, social media training, responsible research conduct and Gender Equity Diversity & Inclusion (GEDI) workshops. Ad hoc training was offered by various nodes in fields of flotation and coarse particle processing, supported by node-specific initiatives.
Internal Seminars As an example of our ongoing commitment to teaching and learning, each month the Centre provides two short-seminars (each about 20 minutes in duration) that deep-dive into scientific or technical content which is highly applicable to academic learning, and which provides an opportunity for connectivity for teams across the Centre. We also run a weekly training program covering end-to-end minerals processing techniques, challenges and how we’re solving them. These presentations are for team-members-only
International Learning Experiences See a student case study here.