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Curtin University
Vice-Chancellor
Note to staff

3 April 2017

 
 

Thank you to everyone who has completed the Your Voice Survey.  The survey will remain open this week so I encourage those of you who haven’t completed the survey to do so.  Many thanks to all of our Your Voice champions who have been doing a wonderful job of encouraging responses to the survey and answering any questions that staff may have.  Also, thank you to our staff in Malaysia and Singapore who have responded so positively to being included in the survey population for the first time this year.

Acting Director Properties, Facilities & Development

I am very pleased to advise that Lisa Spiers (Development Director, Properties, Facilities & Development) and Rocio Bona (Planning Director, Properties, Facilities & Development) will be covering the role of Acting Director Properties, Facilities and Development following Andy Sharp’s departure to take up his new role at ANU. Lisa will be acting from 3 April to 22 May and Rocio will continue from then until the recruitment process is complete. We wish Andy all the very best in his new role and thank him for the very considerable impact that he has had at Curtin, particularly in relation to place activation and the development of Greater Curtin. The process for appointing an ongoing Director is currently in train.

Leadership changes at the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA)

I am very pleased to advise that Professor Steve Tingay will be returning to Curtin in mid-July to take up the position of Executive Director of the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA). Steve was the foundation Director and Director (Science) of CIRA, but has been on secondment to the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (as the founding Director) since January 2016.

We are also looking forward to welcoming Professor David Davidson who will arrive in the second half of 2017 to take up the role of CIRA Director (Engineering). David is currently Professor and Research Chair in Electromagnetics for SKA in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Steve and David bring to Curtin a wealth of international experience and close links to SKA networks across the globe. Until they take up their positions, Mr Tom Booler will continue to act as CIRA Director (Engineering) and Associate Professor James Miller-Jones as CIRA Director (Science).  We wish Professor Carole Jackson all the very best in her new role as the General and Scientific Director of ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and thank her the significant contributions that she had made to CIRA and to the SKA project, more broadly.

Curtin hosts successful SKA_Low conference

Curtin’s Institute of Radio Astronomy, as one half of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) joint venture, hosted the ‘Realising the Square Kilometre Array low frequency radio telescope (SKA_Low)’ conference from 29 to 31 March.

More than 90 expert low frequency radio astronomy scientists and engineers from across the globe came together to discuss lessons learned in achieving high-performance imaging and accurate calibration from the numerous SKA precursor and pathfinder telescopes now in operation. With key members of the UK-based project team in attendance, the conference was highly successful forum for sharing insights, techniques and solutions. The conference was endorsed by the International SKA Office and convened and chaired by Dr Cathryn Trott and Professor Carole Jackson.

Conference attendees gather outside the ‘Realising the Square Kilometre Array low frequency radio telescope (SKA_Low)’ conference’

Conference attendees gather outside the ‘Realising the Square Kilometre Array low frequency radio telescope (SKA_Low)’ conference’

U-Multirank improvement

The latest edition of U-Multirank has been released. U-Multirank rates institutions on a range of indicators in the areas of teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement. Unlike most other ranking systems, the U-Multirank does not provide a list of the top universities. Instead data are presented through an interactive website that allows for the creation of personalised comparison tables.

Curtin features in 12 performance indicators and I am delighted that this year we improved to the top rating of A for ‘Top cited publications’. We also retained an A rating for ‘International joint publications’.

ARC Mine Site Restoration Launch at Curtin University St Georges Terrace

On Friday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the official launch of the ARC Centre for Mine Site Restoration (CMSR) at Curtin University St Georges Terrace. The CMSR is a joint research initiative between Curtin University, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and The University of Western Australia that connects high-end science with on-ground practice in mining restoration. It is supported by a range of industry partners. The Centre’s Director is Curtin’s Professor Kingsley Dixon.

Myself with (L-R) Professor Kingsley Dixon (Director, Centre for Mine Site Restoration), Professor Chris Moran (Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research), Dr Erica Smyth (Chair, ARC CMSR Industry Advisory Committee), Dr Tom Hatton (Chairman, Environmental Protection Authority), Mr Chris Tallentire MLA (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Science).

iPerform deadline extended

I understand that this is a very busy time of the year and not everyone has been able to finalise their 2016 Annual Reviews in iPerform by 31 March, so we have extended the deadline until 30 April. This is to ensure that everyone has had the opportunity to have a conversation with their manager about how everything went in 2016.  Once you have had the conversation, you just need to submit your self-review and your manager needs to enter their feedback and comments for acknowledgement. I encourage everyone to use this opportunity to complete their Annual Review as 2017 objectives and development plans also need to be completed by 30 April.

Palm Sunday

April 9 is Palm Sunday, the final Sunday before Easter Sunday, marking the beginning of (Christian) Holy Week.

 
 
  1. Michele Rosano April 3, 2017 2:06pm

    Palm Sunday in 2017 is actually next Sunday April 9th not April 2nd as noted in the VC Note-to-staff.

  2. 253337j April 3, 2017 2:39pm

    Just to confirm Palm Sunday falls on April 9 this year. It is the first day of Holy Week and the most solemn time in the Christian calendar.

    • Ann Paterson April 3, 2017 2:56pm

      Thank you to those who picked up the error on the date of Palm Sunday. My apologies for the error. It has now been corrected.

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