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Curtin University
Note to staff

29 August 2014


Curtin Innovation Awards

I am very pleased to advise that Adjunct Professor Bill Staunton and his team from Curtin’s WA School of Mines, Teresa McGrath and Professor Jacques Eksteen won first prize at Thursday’s Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards.

The team developed a simple and robust carbon meter that enables metallurgists to optimise the gold extraction process.

The simplicity of the new technique and the ability for continuous testing means that a previously labour intensive and often inaccurate process could soon be obsolete.

Other winners include:

Science and Engineering Prize: Associate Professor Anton Kepic from Curtin’s WA School of Mines, in collaboration with Gordon Stewart, Brett Wilkinson and Professor Christian Dupuis who developed the Autonomous Sonde, a small shuttle-like device that collects down-hole geological data when drilling in minerals exploration.

Curtin Business School Prize: Dr Peter Dell from CBS, working in conjunction with the Business Development team from the WA Chamber of Commerce, who created an improved recruitment system for businesses to meet their internship and graduate recruitment needs.

Health Sciences Prize: Dr Janet Howieson from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Mr Peter Jecks from Abacus Fisheries, who received the award for developing a more sustainable process to design and produce gourmet fish cakes from processed crab waste.

Innovation in Education Prize: Dr Janet Beilby from the Faculty of Health Sciences, who developed the Empathy Simulator, which provides a cost-effective way for students in the health field to practice and master essential interpersonal and rapport-building skills.

Short videos about each of the winners can be viewed here.

Winners were presented with prizes totalling $35,000 in cash and commercialisation services provided by the award sponsors.

I warmly congratulate all the winners and finalists for this year’s Awards and wish them all the very best for the future commercial success of their respective projects.

Australia 2025: Smart Science Symposium

I am delighted to advise that Professor Mark Buntine from Curtin’s School of Science will be taking part in the Australia 2025: Smart Science Symposium with Chief Scientist Ian Chubb, at Parliament House on Tuesday 2 September.

The Symposium is a culmination of a 12-part series co-commissioned by The Conversation and the Office of the Chief Scientist, to discuss the challenges and role of science in Australia’s future.

Professor Buntine is one of just five respected scientists selected from an impressive line-up of The Conversation contributors, which includes Nobel Laureates and past Chief Scientists, to participate in the Symposium.

The event will be held this Tuesday 2 September from 11.30am-12.45pm (AEST), and will be live-streamed on The Conversation to allow for broader public engagement.

Taking part in such a prominent scientific event is testimony to Curtin’s strong performance and commitment to research.

My congratulations go to Mark on this achievement.

Staff Survey – YOUR VOICE 2014

As previously indicated, the 2014 Your Voice staff climate survey will be launched on Monday 1 September for all full-time, part-time and casual staff to participate.

Your Voice is a powerful tool for change and improvement at both local area and whole-of-University levels, as shown by the impact of the Living Our Values project, which was a major outcome of your feedback in the 2012 survey.

The 2014 Your Voice survey aims to:

  • capture your thoughts and experiences so we can look at ways to enhance both your working life and the performance of Curtin
  • seek feedback about your experience of the University’s culture, leadership, teamwork and overall effectiveness
  • benchmark the data against previous surveys and against other organisations, including other universities across Australia and New Zealand.

This survey will be conducted online and will be available for two weeks from Monday 1 September to Friday 12 September. You will receive an email inviting you to participate, and I encourage you to complete the survey, as your feedback is valued as we embrace the ongoing challenge of improving the University’s culture.

I would like to thank the sponsors, NAB, Bankwest, HBF and Medibank for making prizes available to all respondents who wish to enter their email address on completion of the survey. You can find out more about the prizes here.

The survey is anonymous and confidential and all responses will be submitted directly to Voice Project (an external survey provider) for analysis. Curtin will not have access to individual responses and groups of fewer than 10 respondents will not be identified in the reports provided to the University. Work areas will be able to access their collated results and the University-wide outcomes will be made available to all staff.

Further information about the current survey, the respondent prizes and the previous surveys is available online or for queries about the survey contact Pip Rundle in Human Resources on extension 4318.

I encourage you to take 20 minutes to share your experience of working at Curtin. The more people who respond, the better our understanding of the views and concerns of staff will be.

VC Forum

I would like to advise that the next VC Forum (previously VC Address to Staff), is scheduled for Wednesday 17 September, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm in the Elizabeth Jolley Lecture Theatre. I look forward to seeing as many staff as possible at this event.

The address will be recorded and will be available via iLecture shortly after.



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