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Joint Research Centre to build the future of Ocean Engineering

Media release

China and Australia will work together to provide ground-breaking research into subsea engineering thanks to the new Qingdao Joint Research Centre for Marine, Subsea and Ocean Engineering and Technology, which launched today.

The Joint Research Centre combines industry knowledge with research that aims to help move oil and gas processing offshore with production, by developing technologies and scientific advancements across all related industries.

Curtin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Development, Professor Graeme Wright said the partnership combined existing research capabilities from both Curtin University and Ocean University in China to deliver real-world results in the Qingdao National High-tech Industrial Development Zone.

“This Centre will start developing technologies ahead of its time, by pulling resources from two world-class institutions and the marine-industry hotspot of Qingdao in China,” Professor Wright said.

“In 20 years, engineers are predicting that the whole petroleum engineering process will be underwater – from extraction through processing – with ships used to transport it straight from the rig to its destination.

“This Centre is leading the charge in delivering that reality.”

Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Brett Kirk, who will act as Director of the Curtin arm of the Centre, said the partnership will combine a range of engineering and science disciplines to develop a robust understanding how the technology will work.

“By drawing from a range of disciplines – including marine ecology, spatial sciences, structural engineering, Building Information Management (BIM) and petroleum engineering – the Joint Research Centre aims to create a holistic approach to delivering the future of subsea engineering,” Professor Kirk said.

“We look forward to the future of petroleum engineering and the growing use of subsea structures and processes in harmony with the environment, ensuring that we can deliver the best possible outcomes in a collaborative way.”

Regional Director at the Western Australian Trade Office in Shanghai, Nathan Backhouse, described the Joint Research Centre as an exciting new science, technology and multidisciplinary collaboration between WA and China.

“Importantly, the collaboration demonstrates that China is developing greater capacities in applying research to industry – in this case engineering research. Today’s launch fits perfectly with the WA Premier’s focus on greater scientific collaborations with key trading partners,” Mr Backhouse said.

The Joint Research Centre is a partnership between Curtin University, Ocean University and government in the Qingdao National High-tech Industrial Development Zone. It has two offices; one in Qingdao, China, and the other at Curtin University.