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Curtin University
Note to staff

21 November 2014


WA Young Tall Poppy Award

I am delighted to announce that Curtin’s Dr James Miller-Jones has been named the Western Australian Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year.

The annual awards are presented by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), and recognise outstanding young scientists for their research and/or academic achievement as well as excellence in communication and community engagement to promote an understanding of science.

Dr Miller-Jones, from the Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, leads a large international collaboration that utilises the world’s most powerful radio telescopes to understand how jets of matter form and evolve in low-mass black holes.

This award is a very well-deserved recognition of the quality and impact of Dr Miller-Jones’ radio astronomy research as well as his outreach activity to showcase his work to a wider audience and encourage young people to consider careers in science

Dr Miller-Jones was runner-up in last year’s awards and it is wonderful that he has received the top award this year.

I warmly congratulate James on this significant achievement.

Dr James Miller-Jones with Professor Jo Ward, Dean, School of Science

Dr James Miller-Jones with Professor Jo Ward, Dean, School of Science

Chinese Academy of Sciences Honorary Doctorate

I am pleased to advise that Professor Peter Teunissen from Curtin’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Research Centre, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The award is in recognition of Professor Teunissen’s significant contributions to the fields of Geodetic Science and Global Satellite Navigation.

Professor Teunissen has carried out extensive research in many areas of geodesy since 1985 and, since 1990, has collaborated with several Chinese institutes to provide research innovation through the GNSS for the development of China’s geodesy-at-large.

Institute of Engineers Australia Fellowship

I also wish to congratulate Dr Carla Boehl, from the Department of Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering, on being made a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia.

Dr Boehl received the recognition for her contribution to the profession and to Engineers Australia, which includes promoting women in non-traditional industries in her role as board member and former WA chair of Women in Engineering.

Student items in the Note to Staff

It is always pleasing when the excellence of our students is recognised externally, and in future we will be highlighting the national or international achievements of our students – and the staff who support them – in my Note to Staff.  I look forward to sharing many such items with the University community.

Curtin student wins Fell Award

Curtin PhD student, Min Ao, has received the prestigious Fell Award from the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in Australia.

This award is presented annually at the national chemical engineering conference, Chemeca, for the best paper by a research student. Ms Ao received this recognition for her paper titled, Effect of strontium substitution on structure and reduction property of LaCoO3 perovskite catalyst.

Her work was jointly supervised by Dr Gia Pham from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Dr Valérie Sage from CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering.

I congratulate Ms Ao and her supervisors.

BOC Design Prize

Earlier this month, a group of five former Curtin students were the winners of the prestigious BOC Design Project Award.

This award recognises the best final year chemical engineering design project across all Chemical Engineering departments in Australia and New Zealand. This is the third occasion in the past eleven years that Curtin students have won this strongly contested award.

This year’s prize winners were Drennan Goodall, Michael Massen-Hane, Eeshwar Rajagopalan, Scott Taylor and Dean Underwood. The students were supervised by Associate Professor Ahmed Barifcani in a unit coordinated by Dr Gordon Ingram from the School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

The aim of the project was to design a domestic gas plant with natural gas liquids extraction, and it was supported by the consulting engineering firm, Clough.

I congratulate all the prize winners and teaching staff involved.

Information regarding travel to and from Africa

The 2014 Ebola Virus Disease epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the most severely affected countries.

Sadly, a number of our students and their families in Liberia and Sierra Leone have been profoundly affected by this epidemic. We are providing whatever support we can to these students.

The University has reviewed its travel procedures in light of this situation.  At this stage, business travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is not permitted, and travel to adjacent countries will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Travel to the remainder of Africa can go ahead as per usual procedures.  This advice is subject to change and more information is available online (login required). The site will be updated regularly.



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