Professor Pierre Viljoen appointed BMA Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills

14 April 2021

Professor Pierre Viljoen has been appointed as the inaugural BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills at CQUniversity.

The high-level role will identify research and development opportunities that will be critical in driving the development of new innovative training qualifications and courses' in response to automation in the workplace and related skills.

While the role will have a specific focus on the Mining and Mining Equipment' Technology and Services (METS) sectors' it will also extend to agriculture' health' small to medium enterprise development and construction.

As Chair' Prof. Viljoen will work together with industry' community leaders and Governments to identify the best way for the region to take advantage of the evolving opportunities technology will bring. A key component of which will be developing new models for innovation' skills' and training that will enable regional communities to grow their economies.

Prof. Viljoen will leverage his research expertise in industrial psychology' as well as his long-standing connections with industry' government and community in the Mackay' Bowen Basin and Isaac regions' to drive innovation in research and course development in the increasingly critical areas of automation and future workplace skills.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp said the appointment was a terrific achievement for Professor Viljoen and was a great strategic milestone for CQUniversity.

'The appointment recognises our important partnership with BHP and is another example of our collaborative engagement efforts to drive opportunities for regional communities'' Prof. Klomp said.

'In his role as the BHP Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills' Pierre will play a critical role in producing and overseeing research that can be applied directly to the future sustainability of the resource sector and regional workforces both in Central Queensland and beyond.

'I look forward to seeing some exciting new CQUniversity-led partnerships and initiatives as a result of Pierre's leadership in this space.'

The Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills has been made possible thanks to a generous $2.3m funding package from BMA that also included the appointment of a General Manager for the Resources Centre of Excellence in Mackay.