News & Media

Take 5 with Curtin University

We talk to Paul Nicholls from the Research Office about their work in technology and innovation.

Petra Vanessie

Petra Vanessie

March 5, 2020

Curtin University is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. It is named after John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with 56,662 students in 2017.

It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China, and has received funding from major Chinese companies such as Tencent. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh 

We talk to Paul Nicholls from the Research Office about their work in technology and innovation.

INCITE: Tell us what you & your team do at Curtin University (or how Curtin University practices innovation)

Paul: The Research Partnerships Team within the Research Office work between industry, government and Curtin researchers to help deliver shared value across these communities. They enable creation of value by listening to external demand and linking this to Curtin’s research capabilities using a range of collaborative mechanisms including leveraging grant schemes, joint ventures and bilateral contracting.

INCITE: What has been one of the best ICT / Tech Project / milestones Curtin University have seen, been involved in or managed?

Paul: The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the biggest radio telescope ever built, with a collecting area two orders of magnitude larger than the current technology. Not only will the sensitivity of the SKA revolutionise discoveries made with radio astronomy, its huge span of antenna also ensures an angular resolution that will be able to detect faint emissions from galaxies much farther away than current technology allows. This project pushes the capabilities of ICT infrastructure in terms of data collection, transmission, storage, distribution and analysis. Curtin leads a key SKA precursor called the Murchison Widefield Array.

INCITE: Why does Curtin University support the INCITE Awards?

Paul: Curtin University is a strong supporter and driver of innovation in WA. We believe it is critical to recognise and reward those students and employees who strive to innovate and make tomorrow better! The Incite awards provide a perfect platform for this through the Incite awards.

Find out more about Curtin University at

Petra Vanessie

Petra Vanessie

INCITE Marketing Manager