Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

01 September 2016

Getting as much experience as possible while a studying is hugely beneficial to landing a dream graduate position, and a group of University of Queensland engineering students have just bolstered their CVs with the field trip of a lifetime.

Fifteen final year Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering students, along with two lecturers, have just returned from 16 days in Chile, visiting eight mine operating sites and four company head offices.

UQ Engineering student Fia Osborn, who is also AusIMM Southern QLD Student Chapter President, said the trip provided invaluable on-site experiences, and of course, a lot of fun.

"The UQ Metallurgy Field Trip was an incredible opportunity to see first-hand metallurgical processing plants in an international setting,” she said.

“We were able to discuss with metallurgical teams processing history, plant design, and operational safety."

The trip is an opportunity for students to learn and understand processing design and technologies relevant to their future careers and the final year capstone course, MINE4201: Metallurgical Plant Design.

The students sourced sponsorship from industry and from UQ’s Advantage Office, as well as made their own travel arrangements and coordinated site visits.

“One of the highlights was seeing and understanding the complex solvent extraction circuit at the Glencore Lomas Bayas operation, which processes one of the world's lowest copper grade deposits," Ms Osborn said.

“At the Glencore’s Collahuasi Santiago head office, it was fascinating to hear about their initiatives, like using solar panels to power 30 per cent of their energy needs in the Atacama Dessert."

But it wasn’t all business, the students still managed to pack in plenty of Chile’s famous sites, including the San Pedro de Atacama Valley of the Moon.


The Metallurgy Field Trip, included: Fia Osborn, Page Maracic, Sandrika Ryan, Lyndon Rainbird, Edward Guo, Darcy O'Brien, Carly Robb, Emily Critchley, Christian Willmett, Huong Do, Joshua Atkins, Alan Rankin, Dion Meta, William Sydes, Samuel Carey and Dr William Hawker (Associate Lecturer), Sante Di Pasquale (Senior Technical Officer).

Media: Fia Osborn, fia.osborn@uqconnect.edu.au; Casey Fung, c.fung@uq.edu.au., +61 7 3365 8525.