2017 awards


A total prize pool in excess of $30,000 was awarded at the Commercial Innovation Awards Gala Luncheon in September 2017.

Overall winner

Cyber attack shield

Team: Mr Stefan Prandl, Associate Professor Mihai Lazarescu, Dr Sonny Pham, Dr Sie Teng Soh

Denial of Service Cyber Attacks, which swamp a server or website and cause it to crash, are becoming increasingly common. This innovation, the Probability Engine for Identifying Malicious Activity (PEIMA), uses powerful statistical techniques to detect and neutralise these attacks while keeping the online service running.

Category winners

Science and Engineering

Power Line Fault Detection

Team: Professor Syed Islam, Ali Tashakkori Jahromi, Professor Peter Wolfs (Central Queensland University), Dean Frost (Western Power)

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.

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Health Sciences

Extraction of anti-diabetic from lupins

Team: Dr Ranjeet Utikar, Associate Professor Stuart Johnson, Professor Philip Newsholme, Sharmilee Mane, Mrunmai Tapadia, Professor Vishnu Pareek, Dr Rodrigo Carlessi

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’.

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Curtin Business School

Next generation green refrigerants

Team: Associate Professor Ahmed Barifcani, CBS alumnus Greg Macham, Professor Moses Tade, Rakpong Peampermpool

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.

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UX-Machine to analyse human emotions

Team: Associate Professor Artur Lugmayr

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.

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Innovation in Education

National Schools Improvement Program

Team: Dr Jill Aldridge, Kate Ala’i, Ben Aldridge

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.

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Our sponsors

We wish to thank our sponsors for their contribution which make the Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards possible.

Gold sponsors

Griffith Hack logo              Innovation Capital logo

Bronze sponsor