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Industry group recognises master degree in subsea engineering

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A Curtin University team has been awarded the Subsea Energy Australia (SEA) Special Recognition Award for establishing the new Master of Subsea Engineering at Curtin.

Professor Brian Evans and Dr David Parks of Curtin’s Department of Petroleum Engineering developed the first subsea engineering master degree in Australia and New Zealand, following a large demand for engineers to produce oil and gas at deeper sea depths.

Professor Evans said it had been a real honour to work with Dr Parks and have their work recognised by the prestigious industry association.

“Two years ago, there was a clear lack of subsea engineers in Australia and worldwide who were equipped to meet the challenges that exist in the harsh and extreme environment on the deep water sea beds,” Professor Evans said.

“At the same time there was a noticeable increase in projects relying on subsea systems and floating liquefied natural gas facilities.

“This resulted in the beginning of many meetings, workshops and discussions with industry and international universities to shape the basis of an education program to produce the professionals needed.

“With more than 60 students enrolled in its inaugural year, most of whom are existing industry professionals seeking to advance their careers, I’m proud to see this master degree turn out to be such a success, helping to ensure a bright future for offshore oil and gas production in Western Australia.”

Professor Evans said subsea engineers work at depths that are thousands of metres below sea, experiencing high pressure and low temperature conditions and facing problems far more complex and challenging than any other work environment.

He said the Curtin Master of Subsea Engineering introduces students to the subsea engineering industry and offshore petroleum engineering and teaches them how to work with these conditions as well as develop equipment to operate in deep water environments.

The course units cover the latest technologies involved in offshore oil and gas production, before finishing with an industry-based project.

SEA is a not-for-profit industry association aimed at championing Australian subsea industry capabilities to the wider regional and global markets.

The Special Recognition Award along with five other awards is part of a SEA initiative to celebrate the excellence and innovation across the subsea energy industry and acknowledge the achievements of individuals and companies.

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