The Curtinnovation Awards celebrate the University’s efforts to turn research outcomes into successful new products and services. From inventing new systems that locate faults on powerlines almost instantly, to sensors that can analyse consumer responses, to extracting a potential new treatment for diabetes from a popular grain, the 2017 winners showcase the very best of what research at Curtin can offer.
An innovative software shield developed by Curtin University researchers that prevents increasingly common cyber security attacks was crowned the overall winner for 2017.
This year’s awards mark a particularly special occasion as the University celebrates ‘50 Years of Innovation’, which recognises its combined history with the WA Institute of Technology since 1967.
Discover more about the winning innovations below.
Cyber Attack Shield
Description: Denial of Service Cyber Attacks, which swamp a server or website and cause it to crash, are becoming increasingly common (such as the recent failure of the Census website). This innovation, the Probability Engine for Identifying Malicious Activity (PEIMA), uses powerful statistical techniques to identify and filter out the malicious traffic while keeping the online service running.
Team: Mr Stefan Prandl, Associate Professor Mihai Lazarescu, Dr Sonny Pham, Dr Sie Teng Soh
Power Line Fault Detection
Winner, Science and Engineering category
Description: Researchers from Curtin University have worked with partner Western Power to develop a new system capable of rapidly identifying and locating high impedance faults in powerlines. This will allow rapid response to electrical failures that could lead to bushfires, and further damage to power networks and property.
Team: Professor Syed Islam, Ali Tashakkori Jahromi, Professor Peter Wolfs (Central Queensland University), Dean Frost (Western Power)
Extraction of anti-diabetic from lupins
Winner, Health Sciences category
Description: Australian sweet lupins, which are grown in WA, have long been recognised as a food with health benefits. Chemical engineers at Curtin University have developed a new extraction process for producing high purity gamma-conglutin, a naturally occurring protein derived from lupins that has been shown to be effective in lowering blood glucose. This finding has potential as a nutraceutical or food supplement for diabetics or managing ‘pre-diabetes’.
Team: Dr Ranjeet Utikar, Associate Professor Stuart Johnson, Professor Philip Newsholme, Sharmilee Mane, Mrunmai Tapadia, Professor Vishnu Pareek, Dr Rodrigo Carlessi
Next generation green refrigerants
Winner, Curtin Business School category
Description: Carbon dioxide has many advantages as a refrigerant – it is cheap, non-flammable and has low environmental impact, but has limited application because it cannot chill to low enough temperatures. Greg Macham, an entrepreneur and Curtin MBA graduate, is working with a research team from Curtin’s School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering to commercialise a gas agent that can be added to carbon dioxide to improve its effective temperature range, offering a safer, greener and more cost-efficient refrigerant gas, which provides a potential alternative for commercial cooling systems and the massive natural gas sector.
Team: CBS alumnus Greg Macham, Associate Professor Ahmed Barifcani, Professor Moses Tade, Rakpong Peampermpool
UX-Machine to analyse human emotions
Winner, Humanities category
Description: The UX-Machine is an online platform that can assist marketing and product design professionals to understand the emotions felt by their customer. The technology can use biofeedback data, including changes in heart rate, muscle tension and skin movement, produced by an almost limitless array of sensors.
Team: Associate Professor Artur Lugmayr
National Schools Improvement Program
Winner, Innovation in Education category
Description: The National Schools Improvement Program has been developed based on many years of research in improving the performance of primary and secondary schools in Australia, at the classroom and whole-school level. A practical, evidence-based program of measurement tools and processes, made-up of a series of online surveys, offer an easier way for school leaders and teachers to introduce cultural change that allows each student to achieve their best.
Team: Dr Jill Aldridge, Kate Ala’i, Ben Aldridge
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Curtin University works on a variety of projects from early concept through to commercial ready. Enquiries from industry representatives and investors interested in partnering, investment, licensing and mentoring opportunities are always welcome.