International research centre launched at the University of Newcastle

29 July 2014

On July 18, the New South Wales Government announced an International Centre for Balanced Land Use to be based at the University of Newcastle’s flagship research hub, the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER).
The centre, a $1 million collaborative initiative between the NSW Government and the University, will provide independent research to develop a clear evidence-based policy framework to solve the complex challenges of balanced land use.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said the University’s partnership with the Government would deliver an initiative of fundamental importance to communities in the Hunter, the state and around the world.
“This partnership positions the University and NIER in a lead role to contribute to the Government’s policy framework around how we use our land and assist our communities and industries to respond to the challenges of issues such as food and energy security within the context of environmental and economic stability.
“The Centre will bring together the collective strengths of government and academia with national and international partners to address this issue of global significance. It will be led by a Global Innovation Chair to be recruited from the world’s foremost academics in the field,” Professor McMillen said.
This announcement comes on the back of significant recent industry and government collaboration for NIER including $30 million for technologies for abatement of methane emissions from coal mining and $3.2 million for a research hub in advanced technologies for Australian iron ore.
NIER Director Dr Alan Broadfoot said NIER’s strength in providing global research leadership on the rapidly evolving issues connected with energy and resources continued to grow.
“NIER is a national hub for energy and resources research with an international reputation for delivering innovative solutions to global challenges. The new Centre places the institute in a strong position to drive with the Government rigorous and independent research in balanced land use with real impact.
“Our aim is to achieve significant gains in energy efficiency and resource productivity to support Australia’s competitive and sustainable goals. A balanced approach to land use is critical to meet the challenges facing communities locally and globally,” Dr Broadfoot said.
The University of Newcastle is known worldwide for its problem-based learning programs. Used mainly in the disciplines of architecture, building, health sciences, law, medicine and nursing, problem-based learning places students in small groups where they solve problems they are likely to face in their working lives. In other words, it gives a purpose to learning.
Canadians enjoy that the university has a solid reputation and is ranked in Australia’s top 10 for research funding and outcome. The University of Newcastle has an international reputation for expertise in innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

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