Professor Collins took up the Director position of the NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience (NSW IFG) in 2011, following a 6-year term at James Cook University as a Professorial Research Leader in petrology/tectonics, and Director of the Economic Geology Research Unit (EGRU) in 2010. Beforehand, he lectured at the University of Newcastle from 1988. He was a visiting research fellow at Cambridge University, UK in 1995, at the CRPG in France in 2001, and at the ANU, Canberra, in 1995. He received the Stillwell Medal in 2000, Clarke Medal in 2001, and the Carey Medal in 2008, from the Geological Society of Australia. He has given numerous invited and keynote addresses at major conferences around the world. He was Science Editor for the leading international journal GEOLOGY from 2010-2012.
As Director of the Institute, Bill is focussed on understanding the scientific issues related to coal mining and CSG activities, particularly the long-term, cumulative effects on groundwater reservoirs and aquifers. The NSW IFG operates under the umbrella of the Newcastle Institute of Energy and Resources (NIER), a part of the University of Newcastle.
The University of Newcastle (UoN) collaborates with industry, government and community to understand the broader issues around coal mining and CSG developments. The University sees itself as an interested neutral broker or ‘critical friend’ in the community, seeking to find solutions for long-term, sustainable regional development, to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.