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University of Queensland students get access to $0.5m teaching lab from ABB

ABB has entered into a five year sponsorship agreement with the University of Queensland (UQ) valued at an estimated $500,000.

Students of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT) now have access to the ABB Mechatronics Teaching Laboratory, which is equipped with ABB’s System 800xA control system, IRB 120 industrial robot and drives packages.

[Pictured alongside are ABB's Axel Kuhr (L) and Prof Graham Schaffer, Executive Dean, EAIT.]

The university will run courses each year with ABB guest lecturers, giving a minimum of 120 students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with ABB's System 800xA and automation equipment in areas such as control engineering, mine ventilation and mine management.

One of the two ABB drives packages consists of an ACS800 variable speed drives (VSD) and AC motors.

Another combines ABB’s DCS800 VSD with a Baldor DC motor and gives students exposure to the energy efficiency capabilities of these devices and knowledge in how they can be applied to reduce energy consumption across a variety of mining applications.

In addition to the on-site equipment, ABB is proud to be providing undergraduate scholarships for low socio-economic or indigenous students.

ABB has committed to awarding a minimum of one three-year scholarship annually, which will give these students the opportunity to complete their higher learning at the University of Queensland.

The opening ceremony was attended by UQ Professors Graham Schaffer, David Mee, Peter Knights and Ross McAree, ABB country manager Axel Kuhr, and Regina Roos, BHP Billiton global account manager for ABB.

ABB will sponsor a number of full-time Research Higher Degree students with scholarships as well as offering paid internships over the lifetime of the sponsorship.

"The interns can expect wide exposure to different process and automation applications during their time with ABB," said Kuhr. "Our vision for this collaboration is to help the university develop industry-ready, highly skilled and globally focused graduates."

Executive Director of Mining Education Australia, and UQ’s School of Mechanical and Mining Professor Peter Knights, said the association with ABB allowed UQ to collaborate with a world leader in power and automation technologies.

“The equipment donation to the laboratory will enable students to gain hands on experience related to the design, construction and testing of their innovations,” Professor Knights said.

System 800A on display at Automation and Power World conference in Queensland in October 2012.[Pictured alongside: System 800A on display at Automation and Power World conference in Queensland in October 2012.]

ABB provides lifecycle services to a number of major resources clients in Queensland and interns could expect to work on essential solutions such as mine hoists, conveyor systems, control and electrification systems, and specialty engineering projects.

System 800xA extends the reach of traditional automation systems beyond control of the process for industrial processes such as mining, oil and gas to traditional electric and water utilities to alternative energy production such as solar, waste-to-energy and bioethanol.

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