ABB’s sponsorship of the University of Queensland to advance development of engineers

2012-12-11 - University strengthens teaching facilities for students with the ABB Mechatronics Teaching Laboratory equipped state-of-art automation technology
ABB is pleased to announce a five year sponsorship agreement with the University of Queensland (UQ) valued at an estimated $500,000. Students of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology now have access to the ABB Mechatronics Teaching Laboratory, which is complete with ABB’s System 800xA control system, IRB 120 industrial robot and drives packages.

The university will run courses each year with ABB guest lecturers, giving a minimum of 120 students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with ABB's productivity enhancing and field-proven System 800xA and automation equipment in areas such as Control Engineering, Mine Ventilation and Mine Management.

One of the two ABB drives packages consists of an ACS800 variable speed drives (VSD) and AC motors. Another combines ABB’s DCS800 VSD with a Baldor DC motor and gives students exposure to the energy efficiency capabilities of these devices and knowledge in how they can be applied to reduce energy consumption across a variety of mining applications.

In addition to the on-site equipment, ABB is proud to be providing undergraduate scholarships for low socio-economic or indigenous students. ABB has committed to awarding a minimum of one three-year scholarship annually, which will give these students the opportunity to complete their higher learning at the University of Queensland.

The opening ceremony was attended by UQ Professors Graham Schaffer, David Mee, Peter Knights and Ross McAree, ABB country manager Axel Kuhr, and Regina Roos, BHP Billiton global account manager for ABB. Axel addressed the attendees at the event: “ABB is excited about the future of engineering in Australia. We see the opportunity to work closely with the UQ as rewarding for both the students and ABB.”

Axel also announced that ABB will sponsor a number of full-time Research Higher Degree students with scholarships as well as offering paid internships over the lifetime of the sponsorship. "The interns can expect wide exposure to different process and automation applications during their time with ABB," said Axel. "Our vision for this collaboration is to help the university develop industry-ready, highly skilled and globally focused graduates."

Executive Director of Mining Education Australia, and UQ’s School of Mechanical and Mining Professor Peter Knights, said the association with ABB allowed UQ to collaborate with a world leader in power and automation technologies. “The equipment donation to the laboratory will enable students to gain hands on experience related to the design, construction and testing of their innovations,” Prof. Knights said.

It is vital for Queensland's resources sector to have new engineers graduate with the most up-to-date skills. ABB provides lifecycle services to a number of major resources clients in Queensland and interns could expect to work on essential solutions such as mine hoists, conveyor systems, control and electrification systems, and specialty engineering projects. ABB's other core offerings include electric motor refurbishment and the sale of high, medium and low voltage products.

System 800xA extends the reach of traditional automation systems beyond control of the process for all of the major industrial process such as mining, oil and gas to traditional electric and water utilities to alternative energy production such as solar, waste-to-energy and bioethanol. Since its introduction in 2004, it is fast approaching having an impressive 10,000 installed systems spanning 100 countries. System 800xA increases engineering efficiency, operator effectiveness, safety and asset utilisation through an improved collaboration between people and systems

l-r Axel Kuhr, ABB Australia and Prof Graham Schaffer, EAIT