Curtin University


Curtin University is one of Australia’s most collaborative tertiary institutions and a prominent name in the Nature Index. Established in 1986 in Western Australia, the university has expanded around the Indian Ocean rim, and now has campuses in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius.

In recent years, Curtin has risen rapidly in the world rankings, owing largely to its research performance. The university is placed in the top percentile of tertiary institutions worldwide in the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities, and is ranked second in the world for Mineral and Mining Engineering in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

The national evaluation, Excellence in Research Australia, ranked more than 95 per cent of Curtin’s assessed research areas as world standard or above.

Long term, the university aims to strike a balance between demand-driven research, which solves defined problems for industry and society, and researcher-driven research, which is characterised by a desire to push the limits of understanding.

Curtin is also a key partner in some of the world’s biggest astronomy projects. The Curtin-led Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a low-frequency radio telescope capable of reaching deep into space and far back through time, making the night sky visible with better resolution than ever before. The array is a precursor project to an even larger telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), to be built in Western Australia and in South Africa. When completed, the SKA will give scientists a better understanding of the Universe in its first moments.

Curtin’s extensive computing capabilities provide the support that large-scale, data intensive projects like these require. The Curtin Institute for Computation boasts 150 researchers in the fields of simulation, modelling, optimisation, data analytics and visualisation. They have access to world-class facilities including the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre – a joint venture between CSIRO and Western Australia’s four public universities – which houses the world’s only real-time supercomputing service dedicated to telescopes used in astronomy research.

Curtin leads many more international research collaborations, spanning data science, renewable energy, defence, health sciences, materials and climate. Partners include, but aren’t limited to, NASA, BHP, Cisco, Woodside, Royal Australian Navy and The University of Aberdeen.

The Greater Curtin Master Plan will transform Curtin’s sprawling 114-hectare Perth campus into a major Asia-Pacific innovation precinct by 2030. The plan will drive collaboration and commercialisation, positioning Western Australia at the forefront of the knowledge economy. It will become the home of many forward-thinking companies and researchers – a critical mass that can be leveraged to form new research opportunities.

For more information on Curtin University’s research capabilities, visit

Curtin University retains sole responsibility for content © 2020 Curtin University.

1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Curtin University published between 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

Count Share
170 36.07

Outputs by subject (Share)

Subject Count Share
Earth & Environmental Sciences 77 22.75
Chemistry 29 9.70
5 0.95
2 0.58
2 0.32
2 0.77
3 0.67
3 1.39
1 0.50
2 0.37
7 2.66
2 1.50
Physical Sciences 59 6.32
Life Sciences 29 2.22

Highlight of the month

Aboriginal folklore and Australia’s fiery past

© Stocktrek Images/Richard Roscoe/Getty

© Stocktrek Images/Richard Roscoe/Getty

Two volcanoes that erupted tens of thousands of years ago could be behind one of the world’s oldest surviving folk stories.

Aboriginal Australians traditionally use tales of fantastic beasts to explain ancient natural events, but it is feared that many stories were lost when European invaders banned native languages.

Now, a team that included researchers from Curtin University in Western Australia has used precision argon–argon dating on volcanic rocks from around Budj Bim and Tower Hill in southeast Australia. They found that both volcanoes once erupted around 37,000 years ago. The sudden appearance of these fiery peaks may have inspired a tale told among the region’s Gunditjmara people that Budj Bim was a giant who emerged from the ground and that lava flowed from his teeth.

Supported content

  1. Geology 48, 390−394 (2020). doi: 10.1130/G47166.1

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Curtin University

More research highlights from Curtin University

1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020

International vs. domestic collaboration by Share

  • 32.28% Domestic
  • 67.72% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Note: Collaboration is determined by the fractional count (Share), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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