Curtin University

Curtin is Western Australia’s largest university, welcoming 58,000 students. In addition to our main campus in Perth, we have campuses in Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore. In 2017, we celebrated “50 Years of Innovation”, recognising the strides we have made in evolving from the Western Australian Institute of Technology (1967–1986) to the sophisticated global university we are today.

Curtin leads a number of major international research projects and is involved with more than 70 research centres and collaborations.

Our growing reputation has seen us rapidly rise up the international rankings in recent years. In 2017, we were ranked among the top one percent of the world’s universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.


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The institution you come from shouldn’t be the main factor in research funding allocation. Evaluation image from

The best and rest: why we should fund ‘average’ research

Increasingly, it’s not the quality of the research or researcher that is determining who gets funding in Australia’s universities but the reputation of the institutions they work for. This is now reflected…
Rail has been a part of Federal “knitting” since, well, Federation. Annie Mole

It’s not in the knitting? Urban rail’s growing significance

Tony Abbott has created a new phrase that wonderfully describes a political tradition or paradigm: “not in our knitting”. “We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it’s important that we stick…
Live music in Australia has been under renewed threat in recent years over noise and liquor licensing complaints. AAP/Joe Castro

Live music in Australia: offensive noise or good vibrations?

In this week’s news from planet 21st century, the musicians who perform at Playbar, a small venue in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Surry Hills, have been silenced by Sydney’s “offensive noise” laws after…
Universities source around 60% of their funding from the government - down from 90% in the 1980s. AAP

Funding cuts pose challenges for the university business model

As state premiers meet to thrash out an agreement on funding the Gonski school reforms, universities have been gnashing their teeth at being the losers in the funding equation. Earlier this week, Vice-Chancellor…
If the new Marilyn Manson video showed a young woman disembowelling herself with a large sword because she had lost her lover it would be banned instantly. But this same scene is tolerated nightly in opera house performances of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. EPA/TOR ERIK SCHRODER

“!ti od em edam nataS” … does rock ‘n’ roll really make kids kill themselves?

As Jane Austen probably wanted to say, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good Black Sabbath CD must be in want of a shotgun. We are so encultured to believe that…
There’s loads of evidence that the type of music played affects shoppers’ buying habits.

The tills are alive with the sound of Muzak

I spent the Christmas of 1988-89 stacking shelves in a liquor store. It paid $2 per hour (a pittance even way back then), and the boss made me mop the floor before vacuuming it, which continues to annoy…
Plans are afoot to map the brain, but the scientific methods of US scientists involved may be too ambitious.

Wham BAM: Obama’s brain map aims are laudable, but laughable

Recently, I wrote a sceptical article for The Conversation on the subject of new proposals for computer mapping of the brain. The two top contenders are the European Human Brain Project (HBP - which has…
Western Australians are heading to the polls this Saturday, but it looks likely Premier Colin Barnett will be in for a second term. Alan Porritt/AAP

Western Australian election: all over bar the voting?

As Western Australian’s prepare to head to the polls this Saturday, where do the parties stand ahead of the state election? Opinion polls published since January have the Liberal and National alliance…
In his new role as tertiary education minister Chris Bowen said enroling more disadvantaged students would not drag down quality. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Equality or quality? Measuring the effect of more uni students

Quality in education is something that seems so obvious - until you try to define it. This week the new Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Chris Bowen said that “the quality…
Portraying alcohol as ‘forbidden fruit’ makes it more attractive to young people. Chris Goldberg

Forbidden fruit: are children tricked into wanting alcohol?

Over the years, we have become accustomed to alcohol companies and their allies seeking to convince us of their concern about alcohol problems and responsible use of alcohol. Their efforts range from desperately…
Transport in Perth has become a major talking point for the upcoming state election. Flickr/eGuide Travel

Ring around the rail in the Western Australian election

Public transport has risen to the top of the campaign to-do list for the upcoming Western Australia election. Both Labor and Liberal have unveiled plans to bring a rail network to the airport - it’s now…
The tobacco and alcohol industries have more in common than it seems. Benjamin Wilken

Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco – boozem buddies?

In Australia, the most effective and efficient ways to reduce alcohol-related harm – increasing taxation, and restricting availability and alcohol promotion – are politically unpopular. This mismatch between…
Western Australian National leader Brendon Grylls speaks at a press conference in Perth on September 14 2008. Nicolas Perpitch/AAP

Brendon Grylls risks all in battle for the Pilbara

Arguably the most intriguing electoral contest in the Western Australian state election on March 9 is the Pilbara. The leader of the Western Australian Nationals, Brendon Grylls – architect of the multi-billion…
The increasing liberalisation of alcohol normalises drinking and consumption becomes enmeshed in the daily fabric of life. Image from

Social acceptance of alcohol allows us to ignore its harms

Most of us forget that alcohol is a drug so when asked to name drug-related problems, we tend to think of illegal drugs such as cannabis or heroin. But most of us drink, and drinking is an accompaniment…
The race to map the human brain may be more political than scientific. brewbooks

The brain race: can giant computers map the mind?

In the past month, we have seen two major announcements of huge projects to map the brain – the European Human Brain Project (HBP) and the Obama Brain Activity Map (BAM). What you may not have noticed…
Raytheon’s “extreme-scale analytics” system can track people’s movements like never before.

RIOT gear: your online trail just got way more visible

The recent publication of a leaked video demonstrating American security firm Raytheon’s social media mining tool RIOT (Rapid Information Overlay Technology) has rightly incensed individuals and online…
Are students really paying for their degrees in exchange for sharing their beds? Degree image from

Swapping sex for a degree: the myth of the ‘sugar daddy’

This year has already seen a flurry of media commentary regarding the “sugar daddy” phenomenon, much of it self-generated for publicity reasons by sites such as Sugar daddies (and…
Chrissie Swan and her management have attracted massive media attention in the aftermath of photos of her smoking being published. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Tears, shame, smoking and PR

The past week has seen a torrent of news coverage about Chrissie Swan, who “confessed” to smoking while pregnant with her third child. The confession was followed by myriad commentators and op-eds criticising…
Graph Search will allow users (and businesses) to pick out the information they want … assuming we let them in. vincos/Flickr

Facebook’s Graph Search, privacy and the social media contradiction

Initial responses to Facebook’s newly announced Graph Search (a name only a software engineer could love) appear to be split into two main camps: those who have celebrated the level of nuanced detail that…

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