UQ: Stone for Development Work Integrated Learning

Fiji | Summer semester 2021/2022

Cohort: Undergraduate and post-graduate students at The University of Queensland

Please note: Projects will be conducted remotely in 2021-2022 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions

Development Minerals such as sand, gravel and crushed stone are locally sourced materials used in local development and are among the most commonly used commodities in the world. Sustainable and reliable sourcing of Development Minerals is of critical importance to resilient infrastructure development and climate change adaptation, and this is particularly true in Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Fiji. As demand for Development Minerals increases over time, there is a growing need for skilled and experienced technical professionals in the sector.

The work-integrated learning program in the Pacific

The Stone for Development work-integrated learning program will introduce participants to the challenges of sustainable development, through the lens of Development Minerals in the Pacific. The program involves 40-hours of training at UQ’s St. Lucia campus (with Pacific-based students attending online), followed by a two-week (80hr) field component in Fiji, working with local partners to evaluate the ways in which Development Minerals contribute to local development, as well as to address challenges in their extraction. Development Minerals are crucial inputs for infrastructure, housing, road building, manufacturing and agriculture; and support the livelihoods of millions of people working in domestic artisanal, small and medium sized businesses. They are especially important in the context of disaster reconstruction and climate change adaptation infrastructure such as sea walls.

Program requirements

The program is an initiative of Development Minerals Program at The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute.

The program is being delivered in conjunction with the Science Industry Placement course (SCIE3050) at The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Science. Students must be eligible to enrol in SCIE3050 in Summer Semester 2021 to participate in the program. In addition to the 120 hours required for the Stone for Development program, students will complete 10+ hours of compulsory employability workshops as part of their assessment in the SCIE3050 course. Please refer to the SCIE3050 course profile for more details.


The program is delivered with the support key Pacific partners, including the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, the Pacific Community (SPC) and Fiji National University, University of the Philippines, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe, University of Mines and Technology, Ghana, University of the Philippines, University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon.

Students will also have an opportunity to engage with industry, various other government agencies Fiji and Indigenous landowners in Fiji. Participants from the Pacific will attend with the support of the UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme and the OACPS-EU Development Minerals Program, an intiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, financed by the European Union and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by UNDP.

Expected impact

Science Industry Placements enable students to acquire practical skills and experience in an authentic work environment. Through the completion of 120 hours of placement in a science-related workplace, students will gain an understanding of the real-world application of their learning. They will also learn about the nature of careers in science, identify possible career pathways, and reflect on their own professional skills and personal development.

This program will provide a rich learning experience for students that builds understanding of sustainable development challenges in a critically important sector of economies in the Pacific and other regions. The opportunity to interact with private, public, and non-profit organisations will provide future opportunities and nurture new multidisciplinary skills – including fieldwork skills - for students. The course also provides a rare opportunity for course participants to interact with students across the Pacific to enhance cross-cultural exchange and learning, as well as to strengthen collaboration between UQ and the region.

Further information and to apply

   Dr Gary Flomenhoft



Contact Dr Gary Flomenhoft to express your interest in joining the Stone for Development program.

Visit the SCIE3050 FAQ’s on StudentHub  for information about enrolment in SCIE3050 Science Industry Placement.

Please note: Projects will be conducted remotely in 2021-2022 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions