Founding Director of Resources Engineering Announced

Associate Professor Bre-Anne Sainsbury
Associate Professor Bre-Anne Sainsbury

Right across the globe, the renewable energy sector is going through a period of rapid expansion. Monash University’s Faculty of Engineering is positioning itself at the forefront of that surge with its new Resources Engineering program.

Associate Professor Bre-Anne Sainsbury is the founding director of Resources Engineering at Monash, a new Engineering program designed with the needs of the resources industry in mind. Resources is defined widely: undergraduate degrees offered include Renewable Energy Engineering, Oil and Gas Engineering, Geological Engineering and Mining Engineering. There are strong links across the four degrees.

Associate Professor Sainsbury isn’t fazed by the end of the recent Australian mining boom.

“There are always going to be jobs in the resources sector, and our new program covers the full spectrum. We’re never going to stop needing minerals – for technology and almost everything we use every day,” she said, jangling her iPhone and a bunch of metallic keys. “Renewable  and alternative energy use is growing exponentially, but traditional coal and hydrocarbon energy sources will be required long into the future, to meet our ever-growing energy demands.

“We’re engaging with industry on multiple levels to ensure our students will be absolutely at the forefront of technology,” Associate Professor Sainsbury added. “Our industry education partners will provide practicing engineering professionals to help us deliver current and dynamic  content, to ensure our graduates are relevant and industry ready.”

Newcrest Mining, MMG, Woodside, Orica, CSIRO and many other companies, including renewable energy firms, are all involved in development and delivery of the Resources Engineering content.

The course director is also excited about the unique, multi-disciplinary nature of the new degrees.

“It’s a new way of teaching, in that we’re embracing and including all Engineering and STEM disciplines,” she said. “We’re delivering course content from each engineering department at Monash, and across several other faculties, dipping into their science and business  expertise.”

Pioneering a new course structure aligns with the University’s desire to produce innovative resources professionals for tomorrow’s world.

A key objective is to give students the opportunity to develop professional networks and secure jobs before they graduate, said Debra Stirling, Chair of the Mining and Resources Advisory Board and former Newcrest Mining executive, who helped develop the new Resources Engineering program. She previously  helped establish Mining Engineering at Monash in 2013.

“We’re definitely giving the students a practical skill set so that they can hit the ground running,” Ms Stirling said. “Essentially, we want to ensure they’re job ready, with a real understanding of operating in a global environment with multiple factors to consider. That’s  what industry is looking for,” she added.

Associate Professor Sainsbury’s message to prospective students is that the resources industry remains strong and sustainable. “Of all the resources programs out there, I think we’re more equipped to think outside the box and adapt to changing industry needs.”