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Curtin University
Note to staff

6 June 2017


ARC success

I am delighted to advise that in the recent Australian Research Council Future Fellowships announcement, four Curtin staff were successful:

  • Associate Professor Gretchen Benedix – Unraveling the Geology of Mars $1,000,000
  • Associate Professor Ryan Loxton – Optimal Maintenance Planning for Critical Mining and Energy Infrastructure $910,152
  • Dr Joshua Ramsay – Harnessing horizontal gene transfer for sustainable nitrogen fixation $780,000
  • Dr Debbie Silvester – Gelled electrolyte materials for toxic gas sensing $850,000

The Future Fellowships scheme aims to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers to support research in areas of critical national importance, and I congratulate Gretchen, Ryan, Josh and Debbie on their success in this highly competitive scheme.

 ARC Linkage projects are now being awarded on a continuous basis. Congratulations to Dr Zoe Richards, Professor Michael Bunce and Dr Michael Stat from the Faculty of Science and Engineering who have been awarded $221,973 for their project Coral resilience and the optimal management of biodiversity.

This project is in collaboration with James Cook University, The Australian Institute of Marine Science, The Western Australian Museum, The Department of Parks and Wildlife, The Fisheries Department of WA and Coral Reef Rescue.

Early Career recognition

Congratulations to Melissa Scott, a PhD candidate in the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, on being a finalist in the CRC Early Career Researchers awards.  Melissa was recognised for her work in developing the Integrated Employment Success Tool, a practical “tool kit” that assists employers tailor the workplace for success for people with autism.   You can read more about Melissa’s work here.

Curtin Dubai

I am pleased to advise that, following the decision of Curtin Council in April, the University has now received the commercial license to establish and operate a branch campus in Dubai. Recruitment of the Curtin PVC for the campus is underway, as is recruitment of students into the Foundation Program for Trimester 3, 2017 and mainstream programs in Trimester 1, 2018.  Curtin International will also be running information sessions for all staff involved in the new campus. The Curtin Dubai campus will be officially launched on 10 September 2017 in Dubai.

Oil and gas event with Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC)

On Friday I had the pleasure of speaking at the AICC Annual Oil & Gas Event.  This is an annual event sponsored by Curtin University. It is an excellent way of showcasing Curtin’s strengths in this area as well as in the broader innovation space, including our partnership with Cisco and Woodside in relation to Innovation Central Perth (formerly known as the Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre).

The guest speaker was Mr Geoff Culbert, President and CEO, GE Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, who spoke on “Behind GE’s digital transformation: How the company has endured and evolved over 125 years”.


John Cluer (CEO, AICC) Shaun Gregory (Senior VP, Woodside Energy) Geoff Culbert (President & CEO, GE Australia, NZ & PNG) Dr Neil Kavanagh (Chief Science & Technology Manager, Woodside Energy),  myself and Mark Patterson (Regional Manager, WA, Cisco Systems Australia)

Curtin Connect opens

The refurbishment of building 102 is complete and Curtin Connect opens today. The official opening is to be held on 27 June.

Curtin Connect combines multiple student service and support teams to form a central hub to ensure tha students can access the assistance they need, without the need to visit to multiple locations across the Bentley campus. Front counter staff will be able to provide students with advice on a range of services. When enquiries are more complex, students will be invited into consultation spaces in building 101 with area specialists. The area will also house a number of student engagement services.

I’d like to thank everyone involved in this project for their patience and support throughout the development phase. The changes have not only impacted student-facing service areas, we’ve had to relocate Human Resources, CITS and Theatre Arts.

If you have any questions regarding Curtin Connect and how it may impact you, please contact them by email.

World Meteorological Organisation paper

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has recently released a research paper on the world’s deadliest storms which has received wide-spread media coverage around the world. Curtin staff member Dr Ashraf Dewan from the Department of Spatial Sciences is a member of the WMO and Climate Extremes Evaluation committee for weather mortality extremes and worked alongside other leading scientists and researchers to develop this paper.

The findings will inform the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and help set targets for governments to substantially reduce deaths and damage from disasters by 2030. Congratulations to Dr Dewan for his contribution to this significant global initiative.

2017 JCPML Lecture with Hon Julia Gillard

All staff are invited to attend the 2017 John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML) Anniversary Lecture on Wednesday 28 June. Patron of the JCPML and former Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable Julia Gillard AC, is the speaker.  Due to the high demand for tickets, the lecture has been moved to Curtin Stadium.

I encourage all staff to register for this event, which commemorates John Curtin and marks the anniversary of his death in July 1945. For more information and to register for the event please visit

John Curtin Leadership Academy participants graduate

I attended the John Curtin Leadership Academy Graduation ceremony for Semester One on Friday evening. The event showcased the outcomes of the student leadership projects and acknowledged the support of the community partners On My Feet, Bicycles for Humanity, Opportunity International, Leukemia Foundation and Borderless Friendships. Congratulations to all the students and staff involved in this excellent student leadership program.

JCLA graduation

James Best (JCLA Founding member), myself, Kieran Johnson (State Manager, Opportunity International, Georgina Ferreria (JCLA Program Coordinator) and Julie Howell (Associate Director of Curtin’s Careers, Employment and Leadership).


  1. Kliti Grice June 6, 2017 4:53pm

    Well done to everyone- terrific successes all round. It is great news about the future fellowships- well earned outcomes- hearty congratulations.

  2. Craig Croxford June 6, 2017 8:13pm

    Congratulations Dr Debbie Silvester! I was so pleased to hear of your success. You did it!

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