What are Metallurgists?
Metallurgists or Metallurgical engineers are involved in the extraction of metals from minerals. They have a responsibility for plant design and development, plant operation and control, management, research and the disposal of waste, all in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner. They have a sound knowledge and understanding of chemistry and the principles of engineering, particularly process engineering.
What do graduate metallurgists do?
A metallurgy graduate from WASM will generally be involved with metallurgical operations early in their career and be responsible for the efficient operation of the processing plant to treat minerals. New graduates will often build experience as plant operators (responsible for the hands-on performance of a metallurgical plant), as metallurgical technicians (undertaking laboratory work), and assisting metallurgists with projects. With experience, metallurgy graduates will move into more senior operations roles, both technical and management, or into technical consultancy roles.
Why study at WASM?
- WASM has operated an educational institution since 1902 and is recognised nationally and internationally as a premier provider of metallurgy graduates for the minerals industry
- The WASM metallurgy program has a strong focus on extractive metallurgy which is "where the jobs are" in Australia and overseas.
- The WASM metallurgy program is one of only three programs Australia-wide that are part of the industry-sponsored Minerals Tertiary Education Council's Metallurgical Education Partnership.
- The WASM metallurgy program is designed to meet the requirements of the AusIMM (the leading professional body for the minerals industry) and Engineers Australia.
- WASM graduates are in demand and have a close to 100% employment rate. The Department of Training and Workforce Development lists metallurgical engineers as a TOP PRIORITY in the annual priority occupation list. Click here for more information
- WASM graduates have, in recent years, averaged total packages of $100,000 straight out of university.
- Get paid to study - Undergraduate scholarships are plentiful. Click here for more information.
- Study in Kalgoorlie - the heart of the WA gold and nickel industry.
Point of Contact: Head of Department
At the Western Australian School of Mines the focus of our metallurgy courses and research is on the processing of minerals and the production of metals, mineral concentrates and mineral products.
The program offers sound training in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy and explores environmental considerations, mine finance and management, process design, and industrial research. We aim to equip our graduates with a comprehensive range of skills to carry out the functions of a metallurgical engineer employed by the mining industry in primary metallurgy plants, consultancies, or metallurgical laboratories. Commodities studied include gold, nickel iron ore, alumina, coal, mineral sands, copper, industrial minerals and diamonds amongst others. Course materials are kept industrially relevant through close interaction of academic staff with industry.
The program has been designed to align directly with the detailed technical competencies identified by the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy AusIMM as general metallurgical outcomes. These include an ability to apply chemistry, mathematics, physics and statistics to metallurgical problems, an understanding of experimental design and the scientific method, and an understanding of the properties of metals and other materials.
The flagship undergraduate degree is the four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Metallurgical Engineering) which has full accreditation by Engineers Australia (IEAust) and is recognised by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) . This is one of only three metallurgical programs Australia-wide that is endorsed by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) through membership of the Metallurgical Education Partnership (MEP).
The first two years of the engineering program focus on subjects that allow students to gain the fundamental science and engineering knowledge that underpins the theory and practice of metallurgical engineering.
The third year is where the core of the metallurgy-specific science and engineering technical content is introduced.
The final year of the engineering program focuses on the application of this technical knowledge through an individual research project and a collaborative process design project. The topics for the research project range from fundamental studies through to industry projects and can involve bench-scale, pilot-scale and plant trials. The design unit is an initiative of the Metallurgical Education Partnership (MEP) and is jointly delivered to WASM, Murdoch and the University of Queensland by industry experts and university staff.
Both the research project and the design project require the students to draw upon all the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout their prior years of study in their course but particularly those skills acquired in the professional years in Kalgoorlie.