UNSW-OUC Marine and Climate Science/Engineering Collaboration Dialogue and CSC Joint HDR Program Kick-off Meeting

A screen shot of the online workshop where Prof Matthew England introduced his research on the evolution of Antarctic ice shelves and their impact on climate.

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) has recently approved UNSW-OUC (Ocean University of China) International Training Program for Innovative Talents. This provides an excellent opportunity to reset and re-establish UNSW-OUC cooperation that has been disrupted in last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and geo-politics. To kick off the CSC Innovative Talents Program, and to provide an opportunity for OUC students directly engaging UNSW researchers, an online workshop of "UNSW-OUC Marine and Climate Science/Engineering Collaboration Dialogue and CSC Joint HDR Program Kick-off Meeting" was held on February 15, 2022. The workshop was hosted by the Sino-Australian Research Consortium for Coastal Management (SARCCM) and supported by the UNSW and OUC GRS.

The participants of UNSW include Prof Xiao Hua Wang (Co-leader, SARCCM at UNSW), Simon Kalucy (Director of the Graduate Research School, GRS), and staff representatives from the GRS and faculties related to marine and climate science/engineering disciplines. The participants of OUC include Prof Changlong Guan (Dean of College of Ocean and Atm Sci, the CSC Program academic leader at OUC), Prof. Caixia Wang (Director of the International Office of the Graduate School), and other academics and students.

Presided by Simon Kalucy, Prof Xiao Hua Wang firstly reviewed the achievement of the UNSW-OUC collaboration including CSC exchange program and SARCCM. Prof Changlong Guan welcomed UNSW participants and thanked UNSW for its strong interests and commitment to collaborate with OUC in past 15 years. He wished that through the UNSW-OUC CSC Innovative Talents Program, the cooperation and exchange between the two universities can be further strengthened in years to come. He noted that the CSC Innovative Talents Program may be offered to students in all discipline areas from OUC.

Prof Matthew England, Dr Shikha Garg, Prof Moninya Roughan, Prof Iain Suthers, Prof Bill Peirson and Prof Paul Gribben from UNSW, respectively, introduced their research expertise and potential HDR projects. Their topics include: the evolution of Antarctic ice shelves and their impact on climate, the causes of coral bleaching, the East Australian current eddy and mean current interaction, marine fishery, sea level rise and estuary flooding, restoration of basic coastal marine species. After a brief introduction of UNSW and UNSW GRS by Simon Kalucy, his counterpart of OUC GRS Prof Caixia Wang introduced the existing international cooperation at OUC, explained the types of CSC scholarships offered by this program, and emphasized the characteristics of joint HDR training. Finally, she suggested that UNSW and OUC establish a Program Advisory Board per UNSW-OUC Joint PhD Agreement as soon as possible to oversight, evaluate and manage the program implementation.

The workshop was concluded with student Q&A and discussion. On closing the kick off meeting, the GRS and OUC will meet to discuss the administration/operation process to support this program.