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Curtin awards Honorary Doctorates to two leaders in their fields

Media release

An innovative engineer in the global mining and resources sector and a leader in child health research have been presented Honorary Doctorates by Curtin University.

Dr Edgar Basto and Professor Jonathan Carapetis, both pictured with Curtin's Chancellor Dr Andrew Crane.

BHP Minerals Australia President Edgar Basto was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sector as an innovative engineer, successful manager and highly respected leader.

Telethon Kids Institute Director Professor Jonathan Carapetis received the Honorary Doctor of Medicine in acknowledgement of his distinguished contribution to the local, national and international field of medicine and healthcare.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne congratulated Dr Basto and Professor Carapetis on being recognised with Honorary Doctorates.

“During his 32-year tenure with BHP, Dr Basto has excelled not only as a technician, manager and strategist with the world’s largest iron ore producer, but also as a highly respected leader and mentor to thousands,” Professor Hayne said.

“He effectively led the formation of a new BHP–Curtin University Alliance in 2020 that expands current collaborations in mining, chemical engineering, exploration geophysics and mine site restoration, into areas such as data science, autonomous technology and robotics.

“Importantly, the Alliance is also developing a talent pipeline and increasing workforce capability in the resources sector, across many disciplines, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and women in STEM.

“While his innovative engineering stands out as one of his greatest contributions to BHP, his work in the areas of equity and corporate responsibility add to his international standing as one of the mining industry’s most important leaders.”

Professor Hayne said Professor Carapetis had made significant and wide-reaching contributions to the global reduction of rheumatic heart disease.

“While rheumatic heart disease is rare in most developed countries, Australia has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world due to its prevalence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Professor Hayne said.

“Professor Carapetis’ 25-year research career has translated into important public health interventions including a World Health Organisation mandate to prioritise ending the disease and services to medicine which have changed the lives of some of Australia’s most vulnerable children.”

“As Director of the Telethon Kids Institute, Professor Carapetis has led an outstanding new alliance with Curtin over the past three years, involving collaborative projects, research training and translation initiatives that are focused on improving children’s health and wellbeing.”

Honorary Doctorates are awarded in recognition of an exceptional contribution to a field of endeavour and academic discipline, as well as outstanding service to professional and public life.

Both Dr Basto and Professor Carapetis received their Honorary Doctorates at Curtin University’s graduation ceremonies held over the weekend.