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New qualification to benefit aluminium industry

New qualification to benefit aluminium industry

The international aluminium industry is set to benefit from a new postgraduate certificate being offered by the Faculty of Engineering at The University of Auckland.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Light Metals Reduction Technology integrates all key aspects of smelting technology and is recognised internationally as a key qualification for improving the technical performance of smelters.

The programme, which aims to teach advanced concepts in chemical and materials engineering specific to light metals reduction technology, has previously only been offered at the University of New South Wales in Australia. It is now available for the first time in New Zealand, through the Light Metals Research Centre and the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at The University of Auckland.

Light Metals Research Centre Director Dr Mark Taylor says the Postgraduate Certificate will train future managers of the industry and open the door for them to move into research as well.

Course Coordinator Dr Margaret Hyland from the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department says the international light metals industry is growing rapidly and courses like the Postgraduate Certificate are increasingly important.

“As the industry grows, it will become more competitive and the need for staff who have an understanding of recent advances in technology and leading edge research will rise.”

Dr Hyland says the importance of the course is reflected in its “truly international” student base.

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“Current students have come from as far as Iceland, Germany, United States, Dubai, South Africa, Argentina and Australia.”

The Postgraduate Certificate is tailored to student as well as industry needs. The Certificate has restricted class size to allow for intensive learning and interaction. Students also spend a significant period on site at aluminium smelters, applying theory to smelting practice.

The semester-long programme is made up of four papers, including Electrochemical Engineering, Aluminium Reduction Process Operations, an overview of the Light Metals Industry, and Materials Performance and Selection for Light Metals Processing.

Most of the programme is taught through extra-mural studies, with students completing assignments during a three month period in their home country. Following that, students are required to attend a three week intensive residential block at The University of Auckland.

The three-week residential component of the course has just concluded. Participants spent a week at the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter and were in Auckland last week for the final week of their residential component.

Associate Director of the Light Metals Research Centre, Associate Professor Jim Metson, credits the success of the course to the strong support from industry, the involvement of international expert lecturers and the international research reputation of University staff and the Light Metals Research Centre.


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