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Curtin University
Note to staff

15 June 2015


Curtin scientist wins Seafood CRC award

Dr Howieson accepts her award from Peter Dundas-Smith, Chair of the Seafood CRC Board

Dr Howieson accepts her award from Peter Dundas-Smith, Chair of the Seafood CRC Board

Congratulations to Dr Janet Howieson of Curtin’s Centre of Excellence for Science, Seafood and Health on winning the Seafood Cooperative Research Centre’s David Thomason People’s Choice Award.

Dr Howieson was acknowledged for her ability to focus on practical outcomes to help the Australian seafood industry.  She has done a remarkable job over the past seven years in facilitating partnerships within the seafood industry which have resulted in substantial changes to practice with clear benefits to all involved. It is also fitting that she should receive the inaugural award dedicated to the late David Thomason, who was her friend and mentor.

Curtin palaeontologist finds more tooth to shark story

Research recently published in the prestigious scientific journal PLOS ONE substantially strengthens the theory that the modern shark is less primitive than previously believed.  Curtin palaeontologist Associate Professor Kate Trinajstic was a major contributor to this work, which was led by Flinders University palaeontologist Professor John Long.

The research tested fossil remains discovered by Professor Long in July 2005 at Gogo in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Dating from the Devonian Period (380 million years old) the fossil reveals an ancient shark caught in evolutionary shift.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Trinajstic on this significant publication.

Big data capability boosted with new computation institute

Computational and data analytics capability in Western Australia will be boosted by the establishment of the Curtin Institute for Computation (CIC).

The new CIC builds on the major investments made by Curtin and our partners in the Square Kilometre Array project and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, and will ensure that the growing computation and data analytics capability being built in this State is effectively deployed.

The CIC will focus on building research capability across discipline areas, engaging with industry on practical applications and on developing new computation and data analytics capacity for the future.

The Institute’s inaugural Director is Professor Andrew Rohl. The Institute draws on over 80 researchers from across the University and will also provide capability for the recently announced Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre – Australia.

 Curtin and BASF partner to bring chemistry to life

Curtin’s Science Outreach program and leading chemical company BASF have partnered for a second year to collaborate on the long-running global BASF Kids’ Lab program which is aimed at interesting children in science from an early age.

More than 1,600 children from 32 primary schools are exploring the fascinating world of chemistry during the ten-day program on our Bentley campus 8-19 June. It gives children between the ages of 9 and 12 years the opportunity to have fun with chemistry through simple, safe and hands-on experiments with skilled presenters in a real-life laboratory setting.

International research indicates that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills and knowledge.  There are signs that Australia’s participation in STEM disciplines like science is declining, and programs like this are important for our long-term productivity and global competitiveness.

New bus service

In response to staff feedback, the Senior Executive Team has approved the introduction of a dedicated free Curtin Access Bus Service (CABS) between the Bentley Campus and Technology Park.

This service will run every 15 minutes, departing from building 200, travelling along Dumas Road and then through Technology Park following the existing route.  As with the other CABS buses it is a hail and ride service, and the driver will stop and pick up passengers anywhere along the route. The current CABS service that goes into Technology Park as part of the Bentley/Waterford routes will change to no longer include Technology Park.

The new service will commence at the start of Semester Two and will operate between 7:30 am and 6 pm Monday to Friday. Staff and students will be advised when plans of the new route and timetables are available.  The new service will cost approximately $115,000 per year to operate, and is funded from income from parking fees.


Ramadan is the most auspicious month of the Islamic calendar as it is the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.  During Ramadan, which begins at sundown on 17 June, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset.

World Refugee Day (20 June) and Refugee Week (14–20 June)

It is sobering to consider that humanitarian emergencies in Syria, Iraq, the Central African Republic and elsewhere have contributed to there now being the highest numbers of refugees since World War II.

World Refugee Day and Refugee Week are a time to reflect on the difficulties faced by displaced people around the world and to recognise their incredible resilience in overcoming these challenges. At the same time, it gives us an opportunity to celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

Curtin is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and to dialogue across communities, cultures and nations.  Through our Centre for Human Rights Education we are actively engaged in teaching, research, consultancy and community education to realise these commitments.

As part of Refugee Week and World Refugee Day celebrations, the University will be screening the documentary How I became a refugee, by Marilyn Metta and Chris Gosfield.  The film shows the extraordinary journey of a Burmese Chin refugee family escaping religious persecution in their homeland before being resettled in Perth.  You can book tickets for the free 18 June screening online.





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