CQUniversity Mackay to deliver 'hundreds' of engineers with $16.6m investment
Published on 04 June, 2012
CQUniversity Mackay could hold the key to skilling hundreds of engineers for the region's booming resources industry as it sets the wheels in motion to deliver a $16.6 million Engineering Precinct.
The university has recently announced the release of a tender for design works on the state-of-the-art facility.
Upon completion, the precinct will feature purpose-built workshops and learning centres, specifically designed for students enrolled in engineering and mining programs.
First and second year Engineering students, with senior lecturer Arun Patil (far right) will be able to complete their full Engineering course in Mackay once the facility is operational. Pro Vice-Chancellor and head of Mackay campus Professor Pierre Viljoen said students will soon be able to start and finish an engineering degree in Mackay, without having to complete the final two years of their program in Rockhampton.
"The Engineering Precinct will be the jewel in the crown of CQUniversity Mackay," Prof Viljoen said.
"Not only will it allow us to offer our full Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering Co-op program in Mackay, but it will also cater to students studying mining, geo-science and engineering technology programs.
"It will be the first time an engineering degree has been delivered in Mackay from start to finish."
Prof Viljoen said CQUniversity distance education students would also use the centre for the ‘hands on' components of their studies.
"In bringing out-of-town students to Mackay for workshops and laboratory sessions, we are not only showing off our city and the great facilities it has to offer, but we are boosting the local economy."
It is expected that once completed, the precinct will be used by over 200 full-time Engineering students on a daily basis.
With more than 100 mining projects in central Queensland seeking approval, the need for skilled engineers in the region is on the rise.
Professor Viljoen said the time was right for the new facility, with the engineering program bursting at the seams.
"This year CQUniversity Mackay doubled its undergraduate engineering intake," he said.
"Our current facilities will not cater for the unprecedented growth I expect we will see in the coming years.
"The new facility will allow us the freedom to grow in this area and provide our students with cutting-edge facilities to ensure they receive the best possible learning experience."
Late last year, the Federal Government announced it would fund the $16.6 million project through the Structural Adjustment Fund (SAF), as part of a $73.8 million commitment towards the merger of CQUniversity and the CQ Institute of TAFE (CQIT) and related projects.
The funding puts the university on the path to becoming Queensland's first dual-sector institute, and a leading provider of engineering programs.
"The next stage of the project will be going through the detail and looking at the best way to actually design the interior of the facility with a mix of staff offices, teaching space and workshop and laboratory space," Prof Viljoen said.