UQ and Chile

Partnering for change

UQ's world-recognised research strengths in mining and engineering are valuable to Chile, where copper export alone stands for more than one third of government income. In fact, the country’s major copper mining companies – including Codelco – are currently partnering on a range of projects led by UQ chemical engineers.

Fast facts



82

Chilean students enrolled at UQ


55

Chile-UQ co-publications


10

academic staff born in Chile


1

research project collaboration


262

alumni in Chile


14

agreements with 10 official partners

Research

Co-publications

Chile and UQ have partnered on more than 160 co-publications in the past 5 years, with key research areas including astrophysics, biology, and pharmacology. UQ's top co-publishing partners are the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the University of Chile, San Sebastian University, the University of Concepcion, and the University of Bio-Bio.

Research collaborations

In the past 5 years, there have been 2 research collaborations involving Chilean organisations totalling more than AUD 1.5 million (CLP 758 million). There is currently one active research project – an ARC Linkage Project with Complejo Metalúrgico Altonorte, a Chilean subsidiary of Glencore – worth AUD 1.49 million.

Research funding

10 research projects have received funding from Chilean organisations in the past 5 years, worth almost AUD 3 million (CLP 1.5 billion). Chilean mining companies collaborating with UQ researchers include Coldeco, Complejo Metalúrgico Altonorte, and BHP Chile Santiago.

Collaboration in action

Innovation in sustainable mining

UQ’s long and rich history of mining-related research and education is being exported to Latin America through the Sustainable Minerals Institute’s (SMI’s) International Centre of Excellence (SMI-ICE-Chile). The establishment of the Centre followed UQ’s successful application for funding through the Chilean Government’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO). UQ's partners in the Centre – JKTech South America S.p.A (JKSpA) and the Universidad de Concepción (UdeC) – have developed a multi-year platform for research and capacity building that will engage with industry, government, research organisations, and communities to address major challenges facing the country’s minerals sector.

Future-proofing copper supplies

UQ's Pyrometallurgy Innovation Centre (PYROSEARCH) provides research services, consulting, test work, and analysis to the worldwide minerals industry. The Centre's research programs are largely funded by industry, including Complejo Metalúrgico Altonorte (formerly Xstrata Copper Chile), a subsidiary of multinational mining company Glencore. Currently, Altonorte is partnering with School of Chemical Engineering Chair Professor Peter Hayes and Professor Evgueni Jak to create sustainable copper supplies by using innovative high-temperature chemical processing of highly complex impure ores and recycled materials. Several international resources companies are also involved in the project, including BHP Billiton (Australia), Anglo American PT (South Africa), and Aurubis AG (Germany).

A new era for Chilean mining

In 2012, UQ became the first university in the world to sign an agreement with the National Copper Corporation of Chile (Codelco), the world's largest copper producer. Today, Codelco is actively engaged in a number of collaborative research projects that are finding ways to improve health and safety, and mitigate risks to the environment. In a collaboration with TAFE Queensland, SMI-ICE-Chile and Codelco are close to finalising an agreement that will see a new training centre established. The Centre will play a key role in the transition of the Chuquicamata copper mine from what is now the largest open-pit copper mine in the world by excavated volume (and the second deepest) to an underground development.

Social responsibility in mining

More than 200 mining projects in Latin America are currently subject to ongoing disputes between communities and mining companies – 35 of these are in Chile. There is an urgent need to explore the social, economic, and political challenges that occur when change is brought about by resource extraction, which is why UQ Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) is encouraging collaboration between mining executives, their employees, and affected communities. CSRM has a long-standing relationship with the Catholic University of the North, Antofagasta, and has delivered workshops in social responsibility and ethics to their MBA (Mining) students.

Revitalising the metals industry

Codelco and China’s Shandong Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Group are jointly sponsoring a Professorship. The position is currently being held by Dr Baojun Zhao, Associate Professor within UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering and the Pyrometallurgy Innovation Centre. The aim of the Professorship is to support the research behind the next-generation of copper smelting technologies, and to enable a sustainable future for the global metals industry. Dr Zhao plays a pivotal role in international metals research, and has developed a number of novel techniques to accurately determine phase equilibria and viscosity of complex ceramics and metallurgical slag systems.

Chilean students at UQ

More than 240 Chilean students have enrolled in UQ degrees in the past 5 years. PhD studies, the Master of Business, MPhil studies, and the Master of Applied Linguistics are among the most popular program choices. Chileans can apply for the Latin America Global Leaders Scholarship and School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Latin American Scholarship, as well as scholarships from the Chilean Government.

The UQ Latin American Student Association and UQChile are just a sample of the clubs and societies on campus that provide a platform for sharing cultures and welcoming Chilean students to UQ.

Video: Andrea from Chile talks about studying English at the UQ Institute of TESOL and Continuing Education (ICTE-UQ) before enrolling in a degree.

 

 

Student mobility

Masters of Business articulation

High achieving students from the University of Chile have the opportunity to articulate into the UQ Master of Business thanks to a long-standing double degree arrangement with the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (BEL). Students undertaking the UChile Master of Global Management can undertake a study abroad year or a Master degree, following the first part of their studies in Santiago. Students complete the UQ Master of Business in seven months by following an accelerated study plan.

Hands-on experience for engineering students

The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture, and Information Technology facilitates field trips to Chile, giving chemical and metallurgical engineering students exposure to some of the world's largest minerals processing operations. In partnership with the Catholic University of the North, in Antofagasta, the students are given the opportunity to visit mine sites, and meet industry representatives from a range of companies, including Complejo Metalúrgico Altonorte, Codelco, BHP Billiton, and Anglo American.

Alumni

More than 260 alumni live in Chile. Alumni from or living in the country include:

Alumni

Professor Victor Cubillos Godoy
Veterinary science academic and researcher, and former Rector of Austral University of Chile (PhD – Vet Pathology 1988)
Professor Juan-Pablo Schaeffer Fabres
Colbun S.A. Sustainable Development Division Manager (Master of Mediation and Conflict Resolution 2010)

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Fast facts based on 2016 full year data.