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Curtin supercomputing expert recognised for contribution for Western Australian IT

Media release

Curtin University Professor Andrew Rohl has been acknowledged with the ‘2014 Achiever of the Year’ award in the WA Information Technology & Telecommunications Alliance Awards (WAITTA).

Andrew Rohl with Minister Tony Simpson at the event
Professor Andrew Rohl with Minister Tony Simpson at the event

Professor Rohl’s award recognises his substantial contribution to the IT industry in Western Australia and more broadly Australia and internationally.

A recognised international leader in the field of computer simulation of surfaces, Professor Rohl has focused on the computer simulation of surface interactions in growing crystals however, the methods and programs that he has developed are directly relevant to all areas of materials science and nanotechnology.

Professor Rohl graduated from The University of Western Australia in 1987, completed his PhD at the University of Oxford in 1991 and took on a number of academic positions in the United Kingdom before joining Curtin University in 1996.

Since that time, he has attracted over $20m of research funding to WA and produced almost 100 publications.

In recognition of his academic leadership in the High Performance Computing field, Professor Rohl was appointed in 2004 as the Executive Director of iVEC, an unincorporated joint venture of the four Western Australian public universities and CSIRO, tasked with establishing high performance computing infrastructure and services for WA researchers.

As Executive Director of iVEC, Professor Rohl was also instrumental in attracting the $80 million Australian Government investment to establish the supercomputing centre, the Pawsey Centre, in WA.  The Centre supports both Western Australia and Australian researchers, particularly those involved in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project and geosciences.

With the successful establishment of the Pawsey Centre, Professor Rohl returned to Curtin in 2013 as the Professor of Computational Science and is developing a proposal for an interdisciplinary research centre in computational science.

“I am overwhelmed to receive this prestigious award and continue to be amazed at the growth of computational science research capability in Western Australia,” Professor Rohl said.

“This is an increasingly important research capability internationally and Western Australia is well positioned to take on a leadership role in Asia Pacific.”

“I also congratulate the other nominees and award winners at the WAITTA awards. Recognition of IT excellence in Western Australia will continue to ensure we attract the brightest minds to our universities and build a sustainable IT workforce,” Professor Rohl said.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Development, Professor Graeme Wright, said the University was delighted that Andrew’s significant efforts have been recognised in this way.

“His role in leading iVEC and the establishment of the Pawsey Centre have been instrumental in growing and supporting research activity in computational chemistry, radio astronomy, and marine and geological sciences at Curtin and more broadly in Western Australia and we wish him continued success.”

Further information about the WAITTA (now INCITE) awards can be found on the WAITTA website.