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Curtin joins with top Chinese university to fight climate change

Media release

In a sign of its commitment to providing practical solutions to the threat of climate change, Curtin University of Technology has signed an agreement with Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) to establish a new laboratory for research into new energy technologies.

The result of this agreement, the Joint Research Laboratory for Coal and Biomass Utilisation (JRL), will combine the research capabilities of both Curtin and HUST to develop new low-emission energy technologies.

According to Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket, this is a great opportunity for Curtin, Western Australia and Australia-China relations.

“Through this agreement, Curtin and HUST will further strengthen their already impressive capabilities in these research areas,” Professor Hacket said.

“As evidence continues to mount concerning the real threat posed by climate change, it is important that we explore the possibility of harnessing new energy sources, as well as reducing the carbon emissions from existing energy sources.

“This joint venture will combine the resources of the largest university in Western Australia with the eighth highest ranking university in China.

“It will unite the State Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion at HUST with the Curtin Centre for Advanced Energy Science and Engineering, providing synergies and real opportunities for innovation.

“Both universities are leaders in science and engineering and combined, we believe they will be able to produce research outcomes of the highest quality.”

The joint venture will be led by Professor Chun-Zhu Li from Curtin and Professor Minghou Xu from HUST, who will be appointed Co-Directors of the Laboratory. A/Prof Hongwei Wu from the Curtin Centre will also play a key role in the Joint Research Laboratory.

According to Professor Li, Director of the Curtin Centre for Advanced Energy Science and Engineering, this partnership will provide the staff and students of both the Chinese and Australian partners with a number of new advantages and opportunities.

“This joint effort will give us the edge in developing advanced clean coal and biomass technologies,” Professor Li said.

“Relationships between researchers at both institutions will be improved by bi-annual symposia, and staff and student exchanges.

“Joint research activities will be the focus of the Joint Research Laboratory.”
The Joint Research Laboratory is a five-year venture and forms part of this larger relationship between the two Institutions.

Curtin has also entered into another agreement with HUST to form a strategic partnership in research and research training in the areas of resources and energy, ICT and emerging technologies, health, and sustainable development. This partnership will take the form of staff and student exchange, access to major research facilities, infrastructure and joint research projects, among other activities.

For Professor Hacket, this is an important part of Curtin’s ongoing engagement in China and Asia as a whole.

“Over the past decade, Curtin has embraced a number of Asian institutions as partners, and developed a significant presence of our own in the region,” she said.

“We have established campuses in Malaysia and Singapore, and a number of agreements with Asian universities.

“These agreements with HUST are just the next step in a process of regional engagement.”