The University of Western Australia will set ice on fire and bring virtual reality to the 2021 Resources Technology Showcase today and tomorrow.
UWA’s Dean and head of the School of Engineering, Professor Tim Sercombe, said the RTS is the university’s chance to talk to the public, future engineers and resources and technology leaders about the institution’s research, technology, concepts and education.
“The research, technology, concepts and education we’re doing at UWA will drive tomorrow’s resources technologies that will be used by our industry partners here in WA and around the world,” Professor Sercombe said.
“It’s a great opportunity for school students and other visitors to get hands-on and involved in understanding and experiencing some of these technologies.”
Day one of the university’s activation at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre will contain hands on activities such as virtual reality mine-pit mapping, using acoustic waves to levitate and manipulate objects and even setting ice on fire to demonstrate advanced fuel storage.
Event goers will be able to speak to UWA engineering and technology students and academics about the future, careers and courses in the resources industry.
UWA Professor Eun-Jung Holden will be showing visitors how virtual reality is being used in order improve the interpretation of diverse types of geological data.
“We are demonstrating an interactive tool for mapping and annotating features of interest in a mine pit through VR,” Professor Holden said.
“This is an opportunity to have a hands-on experience to see the advances in VR research, getting a glimpse on how a mining company is investing in and engaging with an academic team to develop a new technology to improve their data interpretation practice.”
Day two will delve into “the world beyond recycling” with program chair for environmental engineering Professor Anas Ghadouani discussing the way we use and produce waste.
This talk will discuss the environment and transitioning to a circular economy — an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources.
“From extraction of gold from wastewater, designing office furniture with six or more lifecycles, extraction of valuable minerals from desalination plants and much more,” Mr Ghadouani said.
“Sharing these ideas with the public and especially young minds is rewarding and empowering. We want the young generation to know they will be the actors of this transformative journey and that the future is exciting and bright.”
Women make up just 16 per cent of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce in Australia. UWA has created the Girls in Engineering outreach program to inspires female students to take advantage of STEM study and the career pathways available in this area and level the playing field.
UWA Girls in Engineering co-ordinator Tara Broadhurst said the program was about telling girls they could be involved in these industries.
“The Girls in Engineering program works with high schools across WA to breakdown stereotypes about STEM fields, demystify engineering and showcase positive role models in STEM fields,” Ms Broadhurst said.
“The program provides a series of hands-on activities, events and experiences to increase students’ understanding in STEM and engage them in the possibility of STEM careers.”