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Monday January 23, 2012

New faculty for a new era

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Training future leaders to manage Queensland's resources boom while developing sustainable energy sources will be among the top priorities for QUT's new Science and Engineering Faculty.

The Faculty of Science and Technology and Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering officially merged at the start of 2012, opening up new research, teaching and learning opportunities for QUT students and staff.

Science and Engineering Faculty Executive Dean Professor Martin Betts said the new faculty would have the expertise to tackle some of the world's most pressing issues.

"The new faculty gives us the advantages of scale and having interdisciplinary connections across science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)," he said.

"It will also help QUT identify opportunities across science and engineering for new courses and new research offerings to meet the challenges the world faces in 2012 and beyond.

"We've got a great team of people across the faculty to make QUT's aspirations of becoming the leading university in the STEM area a reality."

The Science and Engineering Faculty will be home to 8000 students, 400 academic staff and 900 higher degree research students.

Professor Betts said Queensland's booming resources sector would fuel greater demand for scientists, engineers and planners to manage the state's natural resources responsibly.

"We need to find new ways of stimulating oil and gas reserves while managing the effects of these industries on water and land," he said.

Professor Betts said the introduction of a carbon tax in Australia also would increase the importance of developing clean technology, products and services to manage water, land, air and infrastructure.

He said the Science and Engineering Faculty would focus on "green chemical engineering" to meet demands in this new industry.

Professor Betts said he was excited to take the helm as executive dean of the Science and Engineering Faculty.

"I take on this role with a great sense of privilege and honour," he said.

The new faculty will be based at the Gardens Point campus, along with the new $230 million Science and Engineering Centre, which opens later this year.

Construction of the centre began in mid-2011 after months of detailed planning, demolitions and massive earthworks, with the steel roof on the main structure topped off early in the new year.

When construction finishes, the centre will feature two major new buildings linked by public green space, and facilities including cooperative research laboratories, technology-rich social learning spaces, a 50-metre swimming pool and gym, and food and retail areas.

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Media contact: Stephanie Harrington, media officer, 3138 1150, stephanie.harrington@qut.edu.au




Source: Queensland University of Technology http://www.news.qut.edu.au/cgi-bin/WebObjects/News.woa/wa/goNewsPage?newsEventID=38267

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