Curtin University

Curtin is an innovative, global university known for its high-impact research, strong industry partnerships and commitment to preparing students for jobs of the future.

Curtin University is Western Australia’s most preferred university and is ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017. With an expanding global presence, including locations in Perth, Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai, Curtin boasts vibrant campuses and a rich diversity of cultures in its students and staff, and a commitment to international engagement and research.

Curtin recognizes that today’s students need multidisciplinary skills in critical and creative thinking, problem solving and digital technologies to be prepared for occupations of the 21st century. Its STEM programs and initiatives are industry-aligned, enabling students to develop real-world skills and experience to contribute to the economic, cultural and social wealth of Australia, and remain competitive in a global career landscape.

Curtin University: Committed to STEM Excellence in Teaching and Research

  • Curtin’s primary STEM initiative is its STEM Education Research Group, which has earned a national and international reputation for excellence in research and development, and supervises one of the largest concentrations of STEM-aligned postgraduate students in the world.
  • The STEM Group is structured to comprise a number of clusters of education researchers in the key relevant areas of: Technology and engineering, Science, Mathematics, Digital technologies & Integrated STEM.
  • Supervising one of the largest concentrations of postgraduate students specifically in the STEM education disciplines in the world, the STEM Group has PhD, EdD and MPhil students from all Australian states and territories and many overseas countries.
  • The Professional Learning Hub within Curtin’s School of Education provides workshops for teachers to help them integrate STEM-based inquiry and strategy into early childhood classroom activities.
  • Curtin engages primary and secondary education students with STEM learning through its Science and Engineering Outreach program, which provides opportunities for school students and their teachers to learn new skills, meet like-minded people and discover science and engineering through workshops, camps, excursions, trips to Curtin and competitions.
  • Fireballs in the Sky is Curtin’s multi-award-winning citizen science initiative and important outreach opportunity. Founded by Professor Phil Bland, an ARC Laureate Fellow in Curtin’s Department of Applied Geology, it invites families, students and teachers to learn about planetary geology by contributing meteor sightings via a free mobile app.
  • The University’s Indigenous Pre-Medicine and Health Science Enabling course is designed to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with the skills and confidence to pursue university education in the fields of health sciences and medicine
  • Curtin’s Science, Technology and Mathematics Bursary is available to female students studying a STEM course in Western Australia at a year 12, TAFE or university level. It aims to recognize academic excellence and the extent to which studies can benefit women, families and the wider community.

Sagacious Educators of Curtin University

Curtin’s academic staff have made significant contributions to the university and wider community, such as botanist Professor Kingsley Dixon and novelist Professor Kim Scott.

Dixon is an eminent botanist who discovered the specific chemical in smoke that causes seeds to germinate. He was named WA Scientist of the Year at the 2016 Premier’s Science Awards, where he was recognised for his efforts in conservation science, restoration ecology and plant science.

Kim Scott is a multi-award-winning novelist and descendant of the Wirlomin Noongar people. His published works have positioned Noongar culture before the wider Australian and international communities. Scott is the first Indigenous writer to have won the coveted Miles Franklin award twice – first in 1999 for his novel Benang: From the Heart and again in 2011 for That Deadman Dance.

Past prominent academics include the post-modernist Niall Lucy, writer Elizabeth Jolley and journalist Robert Duffield.

Making history in Australian Mining

Curtin engineering alumna Alex Atkins exemplifies the University’s long-held commitment to STEM education through her pioneering career in Australia’s mining industry. Atkins graduated Curtin with a Bachelor in Engineering (Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology) in 1990 and was the first female District Inspector of Mines at the Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum, and the first female mining engineer to work at an underground mine in Papua New Guinea. She has played an instrumental role in helping to promote gender equality in Australia’s mining industry and the wider community. “Women were not legally permitted in Western Australia and Queensland underground mines until 1986 and were still not legally permitted to work underground in Papua New Guinea in the mid 90s, so there were a lot of concrete obstacles and superstitious attitudes to overcome when I worked underground in these locations. I basically never gave up,” asserts Atkins.

Atkins is now Chief Operating Officer of PETRA Data Science Pty Ltd, and is regularly invited by prominent industry bodies to speak at events to inspire young women to pursue non-traditional careers.

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