UCL Australia

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UCL Australia is an international campus of the University College London, located on Victoria Square in Adelaide, South Australia. It has three parts: the School of Energy and Resources (SERAus), the International Energy Policy Institute (IEPI) and a branch of UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory.[1] UCL Australia describes its university community as "welcoming, dynamic and influential."[2]

History

In December 2008, Professor Michael Worton (Academic & International UCL Vice-Provost) said of the establishment of UCL Australia that the university was "committed to working to solve real-world problems and we relish the opportunity to work not only with the South Australian Government but also with Santos and a range of other Australian and international energy companies through our presence in Adelaide."[3] UCL Australia established key corporate partnerships with two major resource and energy companies operating in South Australia: Santos and BHP Billiton. Santos' South Australian interests include onshore and offshore oil and gas developments while BHP Billiton's interest is concentrated on the expansion of the Olympic Dam mine- the world's largest known deposit of uranium. Its campus was established in the Torrens Building on Victoria Square, Adelaide after the Government of South Australia committed AUD$4 million to refurbishing the building.[3] The building also houses an international campus of Carnegie Mellon University. In 2010, UCL Australia completed its first full academic year. Agreements between the partners were negotiated by Adelaide lawyer and public servant, Pamela Martin.

Closure

In January 2015, UCL Australia announced that its campus would close within three years but agreed to support currently enrolled students through their degrees and courses. A $10 million agreement with the Government of South Australia and Santos expires in 2017.[4]

Research

In 2012, research undertaken at UCL Australia included efforts to address problems in water processing for coal seam gas (coal bed methane), design evaporative cooling systems for buildings using sea water and develop integrated energy systems for sustainable wine production.[1]

As of 2015, UCL Australia's research is focused on the following areas:[5]

School of Energy & Resources (SERAus)

Santos Ltd. logo
Santos Ltd. logo

The UCL School of Energy and Resources was established in partnership with the Government of South Australia and oil and gas company, Santos Limited. It was established in 2009, with its first full academic year commencing in 2010. Its objective was to develop management capability to help the resources and energy sector meet the challenges of energy security, affordability and regulation, sustainability, environmental impact and climate change.[6]

Research

In 2015, current research projects undertaken at the School of Energy and Resources include:[7]

  • Reliability and resilience of Smart Grid technologies and architecture
  • Design and optimization of water distribution networks
  • Monitoring of environmental impacts from dredging and port development
  • International regulation of offshore energy exploration and exploitation

Scholarships

The School of Energy & Resources has offered incentives for student enrollment, initially awarding 10 Santos scholarships to students wishing to undertake a Masters of Science in Energy and Resources. The scholarships covered full tuition fees and provided each recipient an additional $25,000 annual stipend.[8] In 2016, scholarships were still being offered, with each scholarship "worth" up to $114,500 over two years, comprising full tuition plus a AUD$50,000 tax-free stipend.[9]

International Energy Policy Institute

The International Energy Policy Institute (IEPI) is housed on the Adelaide campus of University College London, Australia. In 2011, UCL signed a five-year $10 million partnership with BHP Billiton to establish the International Energy Policy Institute in Adelaide and an Institute for Sustainable Resources in London.[10] The Institute was created to address challenges of complexity and sensitivity in the energy policy field through intensive research. Stefaan Simons was appointed the inaugural BHP Billiton Chair of Energy Policy. His directorship of the Institute commenced on 1 September 2012.[11]

The Institute was seeded by donations from oil and gas company Santos and the resource multi-national BHP Billiton.

Research

Research at IEPI is focused on upstream (exploration and production) issues, acknowledging the Asia Pacific region's influence on global Coal, nuclear and gas markets, and its growing uptake in renewable energy. The Institute complements and contrasts the downstream (consumer) focus of the UCL Energy Institute which is based in London.

Research undertaken at IEPI follows four themes:

  1. adding value to energy resources
  2. fossil, nuclear and renewable energy futures
  3. community engagement
  4. climate strategies[12]

As of 2015, current projects at the IEPI include:

  • Adding value to global Uranium resources
  • The impact of climate policies on Australia’s Steel Manufacturing Sector
  • Energy epidemiology – demand response management
  • Engaging regional communities in climate action plans and sustainable energy futures
  • The prospects for a Shale gas revolution in Australia
  • Alternative uses for coal – do they make sense?[13]

Staff

Notable staff of the IEPI include Emeritus Professor Anthony "Tony" Owen, Visiting Professor Timothy "Tim" Stone CBE (non-executive director of Horizon Nuclear Power) and Honorary Reader James "Jim" Voss (former managing director of Pangea Resources).

Grote Lecture series

UCL Australia has presented a series of lectures, most of which have been accessible to the general public. Subjects and presenters have included:

Year Date Subject Presenter(s) Reference
2016 9 June The Groundwater Grand Challenge Craig Simmons [14]
2016 18 May Circular Economy Series: Nuclear: A waste of time, energy and money? Tony Owen, James Voss [15]
2016 12 May Murray–Darling Basin – Management Challenges of a Complex System Di Davidson [16]
2016 4 April Circular Economy Series: Energy and Materials Efficiency, Conversion and Storage [17]
2016 8 March Unraveling and Applying the Mechanisms of Low Dose Radiation Responses in Cancer Treatment Professor Pamela Sykes [18]
2016 2 March Nuclear, renewables, energy storage and other low-carbon technologies: an energy systems perspective on policy options Paul Dodds [19]
2015 5 May Management Options for Energy-from-Waste Air Pollution Control Residues Dr Julia Stegemann [20]
2015 27 April Prospects for international oil prices Professor Paul Stevens [21]
2015 24 March Infrastructure, markets and regulation: Fixing failure Tim Stone [22]
2014 14 November How health can beat at the heart of an economy Professor Sir Malcolm Grant [23]
2014 22 September South Australia and the world energy outlook Cristof Ruhl [24]
2014 2 September Evidence, parliaments and making good policy decisions Dr Chris Tyler [25]
2014 26 June Application of Oil Dispersants: Gulf of Mexico oil spill Dr Kenneth Lee [26]
2014 10 April International Oil & Gas Companies: Is the old business model dead? Professor Paul Stevens [27]
2014 25 March Energy and environmental public policy: Joining the dots James W. Voss [28]
2014 18 March Systems Thinking and Interdependency – a joined up world Professor Brian Collins [29]

Governance

UCL Australia's governance structure includes a Management Team, an Academic Board and an Advisory Board.[30]

As of April 2016, its Academic Board's membership includes representatives from: the Australian School of Petroleum at the University of Adelaide, the School of Engineering at the University of South Australia, the Dean of Brunel University London and the CTO of Aveillant in the UK. Its Advisory Board members include representatives of University College London, BHP Billiton, Santos Ltd, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (South Australia), South Australia's Economic Development Board (Tanya Monro), the University of South Australia and former Australian politicians Jane Lomax-Smith and Martin Ferguson.[30]

Nuclear industrial development

Alexander Downer (2014)
Alexander Downer (2014)

In 2011, former Federal minister Alexander Downer addressed UCL students to discuss the nuclear industry. Prior to his presentation he told the media of his support for the establishment of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, and described a possible future scenario in which a nuclear power plant could power a seawater desalination plant in order to provide water for BHP Billiton's Olympic Dam mine.[31]

In 2012, Stefaan Simons was appointed the inaugural Director of the International Energy Policy Institute, and the BHP Billiton Chair of Energy Policy. Simons has acknowledged that asking "whether Australia could, and should, develop a nuclear power service industry based on uranium enrichment and fuel rod manufacture for the global market" is a key theme of the Institute's work.[32] In a 2013 article entitled Is it time for nuclear energy for Australia? Simons proposed that goals of securing energy supply, maintaining economic growth and mitigating impacts of climate change could all be advanced by including nuclear in a "low-emission energy mix" for Australia. On UCL's role in the process he wrote:

"University College London’s International Energy Policy Institute (IEPI), based at its Australia campus in Adelaide, undertakes economic, regulatory and policy research on how Australia could develop a nuclear energy industry and manage its externalities, including decommissioning and waste."[33]

Martin Ferguson (2012)
Martin Ferguson (2012)

In late 2013, UCL staff and students contributed to conference papers investigating the subject of nuclear submarine development in Australia. Papers entitled What would it take for Australia to develop a nuclear-powered submarine capability? and From subs to Mines: What would it take for Australia to develop a nuclear-powered submarine capability? were presented in Brisbane, Australia and at the AIChE Annual Meeting in San Francisco, USA respectively. The subject was further explored in 2014 with the presentation of a conference paper entitled Selecting Nuclear-Powered Submarines in Australia: Nuclear Waste Consideration at a Waste Management conference (WM2014) in Phoenix, Arizona.[34]

In 2014, former Federal resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson was appointed as chairman of the UCL Australia board.[35] Ferguson is an advocate for nuclear power in Australia. UCL Australia's Chief Executive David Travers said of Ferguson's appointment:

"UCL doesn’t want to be large in Australia, but we do want to be influential and welcome Martin to the team to help us achieve these goals.”[36]

Also in 2014, James "Jim" Voss, a senior nuclear engineer and Fellow of the UK Nuclear Institute was appointed Honorary Reader at UCL Australia's International Energy Policy Institute. He had previously served in the Executive Office of the President of the United States under two Presidents and advised senior government officials in other countries.[37] He is also a former Managing Director of Pangea Resources, the proponent of a proposal to establish a nuclear waste dump in Australia in the late 1990s.

Research conducted at UCL in 2014 included several studies investigating the prospect of expanding nuclear industrial activity in Australia and South Australia. These included work by staff Dr Michel Berthelemy and Dr Tim Stone on Nuclear fuel cycle strategies and work by UCL students investigating nuclear fuel leasing opportunities. Student research subjects included The legal merits of an Australian Nuclear Fuel Leasing scheme by Owen Sharpe, and The World’s first integrated nuclear fuel leasing in South Australia? A proposed business model and its economic appraisal by Iwan Setiyono Ko.[38] After graduating, Sharpe was recruited to South Australia's Department of the Premier and Cabinet as a Senior Policy Officer.[39]

In March 2014, briefings on nuclear fuel leasing were given by UCL staff to Parsons Brinkerhoff, Deloitte and Babcock. In May a further briefing on the subject was given by Martin Ferguson at a confidential event.[40]

On 4 December 2014, Stefaan Simons and Tim Stone presented a conference paper entitled The international management of spent nuclear fuel at the Nuclear Industries Association Annual Meeting in London, United Kingdom.[34]

In April 2015, Visiting Professor Dr Timothy Stone was appointed to the Expert Advisory Committee of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, an inquiry initiated at the request the Government of South Australia.[41]

UCL Australia established a Nuclear Working Group "to share scientific knowledge in relation to the main issues identified by the Royal Commission; to assist and facilitate the process leading up to informed community decisions". Group members include: Magnus Nyden (Head), Christian Ekberg, Paola Lettieri, Jonathan Mirrlees-Black, Michael Pollitt, Tim Stone, Pam Sykes, Geraldine Thomas, Jim Voss and Max Zanin.[42]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Fraga, Eric (2012-10-01). "Prof Fraga and the new UCL Australia University" (PDF). Centre for Process Systems Engineering newsletter (7). Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Careers at UCL Australia". UCL Australia. University College London. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  3. ^ a b "UCL campus in Adelaide: final agreement signed". www.ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  4. ^ Booth, Meredith (2015-02-02). "University College London pullout 'no surprise'". The Australian. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  5. ^ "Research at UCL Australia". UCL Australia. University College London. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  6. ^ "UCL School Of Energy And Resources, Australia". MasterStudies.com. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  7. ^ "Research - UCL School of Energy and Resources". UCL Australia. University College London. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  8. ^ "University College London in Adelaide — School of Energy and Resources" (PDF). MESA Journal (54). 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  9. ^ "Santos Scholarship 2016 - UCL Australia". UCL Australia. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  10. ^ Hare, Julie; Edwards, Verity (2015-01-31). "Adelaide loses University College London branch". The Australian. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  11. ^ Simons, Stefaan (2013-02-27). "Going low carbon – the approach of the International Energy Policy Institute" (PDF). UCL Australia. Retrieved 2015-05-23. 
  12. ^ "About UCL". www.ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  13. ^ "International Energy Policy Institute". www.ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  14. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture: The Groundwater Grand Challenge - UCL Australia". UCL Australia. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  15. ^ "UCL Australia - UCL Australia is holding an event on... | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  16. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture: Murray – Darling Basin – Management Challenges of a Complex System - UCL Australia". UCL Australia. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  17. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture - Circular Economy Series: Energy and Materials Efficiency, Conversion and Storage - UCL Australia". UCL Australia. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  18. ^ "Grote Lecture: Professor Pam Sykes "Unraveling and applying the mechanisms of low dose radiation responses in cancer treatment" - UCL Australia". 2016-05-26. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  19. ^ "UCL Australia Member Discussion and Grote Lecture Dr Paul Dodds - UCL Australia". UCL Australia. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  20. ^ "UCL GROTE LECTURE: Management Options for Energy-from-Waste Air Pollution Control Residues". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  21. ^ "UCL GROTE LECTURE: Prospects for international oil prices". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  22. ^ "UCL GROTE LECTURE: Infrastructure, markets and regulation: Fixing failure". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  23. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture: How health can beat at the heart of an economy". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  24. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture - South Australia and the world energy outlook". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  25. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture - Evidence, parliaments and making good policy decisions". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  26. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture- Application of Oil Dispersants: Gulf of Mexico oil spill". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  27. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture - IOCs: Is the old business model dead?". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  28. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture: Energy and environmental public policy: Joining the dots". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  29. ^ "UCL Grote Lecture: Systems Thinking and Interdependency – a joined up world". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2016-05-26. 
  30. ^ a b "People". 2016-04-01. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  31. ^ Edwards, Verity (2011-04-08). "Downer flips on nuclear waste". The Australian. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  32. ^ Simons, Stefaan. "Stefaan Simons". The Conversation. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  33. ^ Simons, Stefaan (2013-07-25). "Is it time for nuclear energy for Australia?". The Conversation. Retrieved 2015-05-25. 
  34. ^ a b UCL Australia Annual Report 2014. University College London. 2015. pp. 46, 47. 
  35. ^ "Former Resources Minister Martin Ferguson joins UCL". UCL Australia. University College London. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  36. ^ England, Cameron (2014-03-18). "Former Labor resources minister Martin Ferguson to join UCL board". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  37. ^ "Mr James Voss". UCL Australia. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  38. ^ UCL Australia Annual Report 2014. University College London. 2015. pp. 10, 34. 
  39. ^ "UCL Australia - Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  40. ^ UCL Australia Annual Report 2014. University College London. 2015. p. 40. 
  41. ^ Evans, Simon (2015-04-17). "SA sets out agenda for nuclear industry inquiry; expert mix appointed". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  42. ^ "Nuclear Working Group UCL Australia". UCL Australia. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 

External links

  • UCL Australia - School of Energy & Resources
  • UCL Australia - International Energy Policy Institute

34°55′41″S 138°36′04″E / 34.928089°S 138.601159°E / -34.928089; 138.601159Coordinates: 34°55′41″S 138°36′04″E / 34.928089°S 138.601159°E / -34.928089; 138.601159

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