UCL News


Professor Tony Owen appointed first Director of UCL SERAus

18 March 2009

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Professor Tony Owen has today been announced as the first Director of the UCL School of Energy and Resources, Australia (UCL SERAus), the first overseas campus to be developed by UCL, one of the world's leading universities. Professor Owen is currently Professor of Energy Economics at Curtin University of Technology and Co-Director of the Oil and Gas Management Research Group. He will take up his new post on 1 April 2009.

UCL SERAus was first announced last year and is the outcome of a partnership agreement between UCL, the Government of South Australia, and Santos Limited. It will provide a range of programmes, designed for both new graduates and established professionals, to address areas of skill shortage identified by industry and government, and provide scientists and engineers with management skills through courses designed specifically for the energy sector.

It plans to offer an industry-focused MSc in Energy and Resources developed exclusively for the Adelaide campus, along with a portfolio of executive development courses. In addition, UCL SERAus will undertake research and policy development in energy and resource issues, with a view to informing and influencing how the critical issues of energy and resources development and utilisation are tackled globally.

UCL SERAus will be situated in the Torrens Building in Victoria Square, Adelaide. This building is owned by the Government of South Australia and already houses the Carnegie Mellon University School of Public Policy and the offices of Cranfield University in Adelaide. UCL will therefore be a part of the South Australian government's dynamic vision for Adelaide to become a University City.

Professor Michael Worton, UCL Vice Provost, said:"The creation of UCL SERAus is a major event in UCL's history. Significantly, we chose to base it in Adelaide, because we have found here the enlightened and forward-looking support of both the South Australian Government and Santos Ltd. Given the importance of this venture, we are especially delighted to have such a dynamic Director as Tony Owen, who will lead the School with energy and vision."

Professor Owen said: "I took this position with the intention of generating for the School a world-class academic and policy-focused reputation on energy and resource issues. This will be achieved by employing highly qualified academic staff based in Adelaide, by utilising the extensive range of research capabilities contained within UCL, and by collaborating with Adelaide's other universities and energy/resource industry stakeholders in South Australia.

"Energy and resources policy plays a pivotal role at all levels of government decision making around the globe. The environmental impact of energy combustion, both locally and globally, necessitates the design of innovative market-based solutions and radical transformation of power technologies. This is one area that the School will be particularly well placed to address, in both teaching and research contexts."

South Australia Premier Mike Rann said: "UCL's credentials in science, in energy and resource management are second to none, complementing this State's development of its immense resources in uranium, geothermal hot rocks, copper and other minerals. Attracting UCL is firmly aimed at jobs. Mining is a key to our future, and this is about plugging into the world's best. UCL is one of the world's great universities, recently ranked 3rd in the UK RAE Gold Medal rankings for research and 7th globally in the Times Higher Education Rankings; it counts 20 Nobel Prize winners among its former academic staff and students."

Santos Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, David Knox, said the company was very pleased to be in partnership with UCL: "The arrival of the school in South Australia is a very timely and important development. I am confident that UCL SERAus will play a key role as we face the challenges of a carbon constrained economy.

"UCL's academic excellence on issues of carbon and energy is attuned to the skills we need as we seek to reduce SA's carbon footprint - and is consistent with Santos' belief that our abundant resources of clean and affordable natural gas will play a key role in that transition."

Notes for Editors

1. For further information, interview requests and photos please contact either the UCL Media Relations Office in the UK (d.fourniol@ucl.ac.uk, +44 (0) 20 7679 9728), or Trish Richards, Marketing Development Officer of UCL SERAus in Adelaide (trish.richards@ucl.ac.uk, +61 8 8110 9962).

About Tony Owen

Professor Tony Owen has a PhD in Econometrics from the University of Kent (UK) and has held visiting

appointments at the Universities of British Columbia, Colorado, Leeds and Exeter, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris), the UK Department of Energy (Harwell), and the International Energy Agency (Paris). Before moving to Curtin, Professor Owen was Co-Director of the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) at the University of New South Wales.

He is also a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, Past President (2004) of the International Association for

Energy Economics, and a founding member and President of the Australian Association for Energy Economics. He serves on the International Editorial Boards of Energy Policy and Energy Sources and is a member of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Energy and Transport Sector Advisory Council.

His current research interests include the cost-benefit analysis of future energy technology options, international resource markets and the economics of climate change with particular reference to mitigation and adaptation.

About UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to

admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL was recently ranked 3rd in the UK RAE Gold Medal rankings for research and 7th globally in the Times Higher Education world university rankings; it counts 20 Nobel Prize winners among its former academic staff and students. UCL alumni include Marie Stopes, Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Woolf, Alexander Graham Bell, and members of the band Coldplay.

About South Australia

South Australia is one of the most important minerals and energy jurisdictions in the world. It has almost 40% of the world's known recoverable uranium reserves and significant volumes of copper, gold and silver. It is ranked the 4th most prospective location in the world by Canada's Fraser Institute, has 53% of Australia's installed wind power capacity, more than a third of Australia's grid-connected solar energy and hosts more than 91% of Australia's known potential geothermal energy generation.

About Santos

Santos is an Australian oil and gas exploration and production company with high quality assets and projects

throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Santos is one of Australia's largest domestic gas producers, supplying natural gas to all mainland Australian states and territories and selling oil and liquids to domestic and international customers. Santos embraces a citizenship role in the communities of which it is part. The company supports a range of organisations and initiatives that are valued by and enrich the community in a number of areas including education.