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Curtin research recognised at WA Innovator of the Year Awards

Media release

An environmentally friendly metal extraction technique developed by Curtin University and being commercialised by Mining and Process Solutions that offers significant benefits for the mining industry was crowned the overall winner at the WA Innovator of the Year Awards.

TENSA Equipment’s Roborigger automated lifting device, which Curtin helped develop.
TENSA Equipment’s Roborigger automated lifting device, which Curtin helped develop.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Moran attended the annual ceremony, which recognises outstanding emerging businesses and helps commercialise promising technologies, and said he was pleased to see Curtin-related innovations acknowledged as offering economic, social and environmental benefits to Western Australia.

“Professor Jacques Eksteen, Dr Elsayed Oraby and fellow researchers at the Gold Technology Group within Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering developed the GlyLeach system for environmentally friendly metal extraction from ore, which was then licenced to Mining and Process Solutions before being named the overall winner at the WA Innovator of the Year Awards,” Professor Moran said.

“The team’s development of a non-toxic, biodegradable and reusable solution to extract metals including gold, silver, copper and nickel from ore has global potential and the ability to increase the efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability of WA’s mining industry.”

TENSA Equipment’s Roborigger automated lifting device, which Curtin helped develop, won the Woodside Oil and Gas Platinum Award, the South32 Technology & Innovation in Mining Platinum Award and the Business News ‘Great for the State’ Award at the annual ceremony, which recognises outstanding emerging businesses and helps commercialise promising technologies.

Professor Moran said TENSA Equipment’s Roborigger machine, a wireless load controlling device for crane lifting that eliminates the use of taglines and the need for people to be in the vicinity of the load, was developed in collaboration with Dr Fabrizio Padula, Professor Ryan Loxton, and Associate Professor Lorenzo Ntogramatzidis from Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences”.

“This is a game changer for lifting safety and will help improve safety for the construction, oil and gas, and mining industries,” Professor Moran said.

“These award-winning contributions demonstrate Curtin’s efforts to transform research outcomes into successful new products and services and showcase real-world examples of the University’s research and innovation.”

The WA Innovator of the Year program is an initiative of the State Government’s New Industries Fund, which aims to enable small and medium businesses to develop greater opportunities to commercialise their ideas and innovations and expand to create new jobs.

For more information about the winners, visit here.