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Curtin marks a century of excellence in spatial sciences

Media release

Curtin University is celebrating three milestones in its Department of Spatial Sciences: 100 years of Mine Surveying, 50 years of Surveying and 25 years of Geographic Information Science.

A photo taken from the spatial sciences century celebrations.

The oldest living graduate of Curtin’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM), Mr Paul Royle, almost a centurion himself at age 99, was present at a special celebration event, having graduated with a mine surveying degree in 1947.

Other former graduates of the Bachelor of Science (Geographic Information Science), Bachelor of Surveying and Bachelor of Science (Mine and Engineering Surveying) degrees within WASM along with industry members and staff, attended the triple anniversary event on campus last Friday.

Professor Bert Veenendaal, Head of Department of Spatial Sciences, said Curtin was the first in the world to offer a Geographic Information Science bachelor’s degree back in 1992, having recognised the demand for graduates in this field.

“The Department of Spatial Sciences is a leader in research and education of national and international significance, shaping its degrees to industry needs and producing job-ready graduates who find employment immediately after graduation,” Professor Veenendal said.

“It was great to see over 150 graduates, industry partners and past and current staff members commemorate the milestones, and hear where our alumni have headed in their careers.

“Whether a career in natural resources, mining, energy, tourism, agriculture, climate change or even health – it’s impressive how spatial sciences has pervaded these disciplines, opening up marvellous opportunities and pathways.”

Professor Veenendaal said the future of the spatial sciences industry was bright, with technological developments such as; laser scanning, 3D modelling, high accuracy positioning, and intelligent systems to model the world in real-time, just some of the examples today’s students will be working on in tomorrow’s careers.

Professor Lyn Beazley, the Chief Scientist of Western Australia, delivered a keynote address indicating the importance of location information and the contribution that spatial sciences has made to the broader science field.

Mr Ian Hyde, Acting Chief Executive of Landgate, remarked on the tremendous influence and contribution of Curtin graduates and the effective synergy in the partnership between Landgate and Curtin that has made WA a global leader in spatial sciences.

Mr Gerry Nolan, a graduate from the Bachelor of Surveying who, in the 1980s, formed the McMullen Nolan Group, WA’s largest locally and privately owned survey and spatial information organisation, also addressed the audience about his experiences with a surveying degree.

More information on the Department of Spatial Sciences

Media contact

Megan Meates, Public Relations Consultant, Curtin University

Tel: +61 8 9266 4241 Email: