Centre for Excellence in Automation and Robotics opens in Queensland

A Queensland high school has opened up a $4.7 million Centre for Excellence in Automation and Robotics, which will operate in partnership with the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the educational arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

“The establishment of this $4.7 million Centre reinforces the importance of investing in skills for the long-term future of the resources sector and for regional Queensland. Our sector continues to make new investments in technology and innovation to ensure we remain globally competitive,” chief executive of QRC, Ian Macfarlane, said.

“QMEA students participate in a range of activities ranging from data-modelling, to using drones and robotics, to using 3D printing to apply to real-life scenarios relating to the minerals and energy sector.”

Industry driven projects at the Centre include automated irrigation and robotic harvesting, fire-fighting robotic vehicles, infrastructure inspections using drones, and more.

“I congratulate the Queensland Government on the completion of the Centre which comes at a time when we are facing critical shortages of skilled people, despite the enormous opportunities from investment in the sector,” Macfarlane said.

The QRC welcomed the opening of the centre and said it would be among the best equipped in the State to tap into the careers of the future.

“Investments in projects like this, and through the work of the QMEA, are helping students learn about the opportunities for a skilled, well paid and long-term career with the resources sector,” Macfarlane said.

“Alexandra Hills is one of the 75 schools which have partnered with our education arm the QMEA and this Centre will give teachers and industry professionals the space to showcase how technology is changing the workplace.

“QMEA delivers hands-on events alongside people from industry to help students understand the link between classrooms and workplaces. Whether that’s through science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) or trades such as welding.

“The latest data shows that almost 22 percent of QMEA students who finished school in 2018 and went to university began studies in engineering and related technologies last year, compared with 15 percent of students in non-QMEA schools.”