FBL John Curtin Distinguished Professors

The title of John Curtin Distinguished Professor is the highest honour Curtin University awards its academic staff. It recognises the sustained contributions our researchers have made to the University and to the wider community. Recipients of this award demonstrate exceptional teaching and/or research skills, or scholarly, creative and artistic achievements. They have a significant record of public service and are nationally and often also internationally renowned.

Professor Fran Ackermann is a Research Professor in the School of Management. Fran’s main research interests lie in two areas. The first is complex project management with a particular interest in systemic risk, which stemmed from extensive work in disruption and delay modelling. Fran is interested in helping project managers avoid many of the pitfalls experienced on projects. The second is strategy development concentrating on elements of strategy making such as the identification of distinctive and core competences and stakeholder management within a negotiate paradigm. Her work has been cited more than 10,000 times.

Professor Alan Duncan has an established international reputation for academic scholarship in the development of econometric and policy evaluation methods, and their application to economic, social, health and public policy issues. He is ranked in the top 5% of economists worldwide overall. One of the most significant of Professor Duncan’s achievements has been the development of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre. The highly influential industry partnership with Bankwest has been an outstanding success. The partnership has delivered exceptional value, and is held in high regard by external stakeholders from politics, government, industry and the community sectors.

Professor Marylene Gagne has significantly contributed to the development and refinement of self ­determination theory for use in the field of organisational psychology and management. Much of Professor Gagne’s research has been produced in collaboration with industry, resulting in several company reports. This research has also led to the production of practical tools and resources for industry participants, including the creation of a new leadership training program, volunteer management frameworks and guides, and targeted recruitment campaign materials for volunteer involving organisations.

Professor Mark Griffin is Director of the Future of Work Institute at Curtin University. His research examines the link between individual and organisational capability in areas such as safety, leadership, well-being, and productivity. He has conducted large-scale collaborative projects with a range of industries including transport, health, education, energy, mining, and finance. He has developed assessment tools for use in these industries across four continents. Mark is a Fellow of the US Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Past Chair of the Research Methods Division of the US Academy of Management, and past recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

Professor Mark Harris joined Curtin in 2011 as a Professor in the Department of Econometrics and Quantitative Modelling and is now the Director, Graduate Research in the School of Economics and Finance. Prior to this, he held teaching and research appointments at Monash University and the University of Melbourne. Professor Harris has made significant contributions to the field of Applied Economics and has been nominated by the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts as an ‘expert of international standing’. To date he has been awarded eight ARC Discovery Project grants and has held ARC funding continually since 2003. This is in addition to receiving grants from both the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute funding bodies. Combined, these grants amount to around $3.5 million. His research and publication interests have been in the areas of applied economics and econometrics in general, with a recent focus on how these can be used in the broad area of health economics. Professor Harris has published nearly 70 journal articles, books and book chapters, which have been cited over 2,000 times, and he is regularly ranked in the top 10 per cent of economists worldwide. He was awarded the Curtin Business School’s Researcher of the Year in 2014.

Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and Professor in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance at Curtin University. As a Research Academic, her research expertise spans the role of housing in Australia’s ageing population, intergenerational housing concerns, housing pathways, housing affordability dynamics, and the links between housing and non-shelter outcomes. Her work has been recognised with several awards.  She is regularly invited to present keynote addresses due to her national and international profile. Professor ViforJ publishes widely in globally recognised interdisciplinary housing and economics journals. Her housing research is often cited in parliamentary debates and senate inquiry reports. It also attracts considerable media attention nationally.

Professor Sharon K. Parker is an ARC Laureate Fellow, Director of the Centre for Transformative Work Design at Curtin University, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Science. She is a recipient of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Award, and the Academy of Management OB Division Mentoring Award. She is currently an Associate Editor for Academy of Management Annals. She has published more than 80 articles in leading journals on topics like work design, proactive behaviour, and job performance. Her research has been cited more than 17,000 times.

Professor Ian Phau is an expert on luxury branding.  He is a frequent keynote speaker and panellist for various international conferences in luxury research.  He received national recognition in The Australian newspaper as a ‘Research Superstar’ – one of the top 40 Lifetime Achievers across all disciplines.  Professor Phau established the Biometric Consumer Research Lab at Curtin, the first of its kind in an Australian business school, specialising in integrated biometric methods, including eye tracking, EEG and facial expression recognition technologies.  The lab has won several awards including the Curtin Commercial Innovation awards and CSIRO ON Prime challenge.

Professor John Phillimore is a distinguished scholar and is the current Executive Director of the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy. He is a highly accomplished scholar in the areas of public policy, public administration, and political economy. He has extensive national and international networks with experiences in local and federal governments. Professor Phillimore appears regularly as an expert media commentator on Australian and Western Australian politics and policy. He is an active and engaged member of the Faculty of Business and Law, and University’s research network and has successfully completed a number of research projects for several government agencies and other public, private, and not-for-profit organisations.

Professor Dale Pinto is an outstanding and distinguished leader who has excelled in the service and commitment to his profession and University. Professor Pinto sets an exemplary leadership model that is agile, insightful, and respectful with a collaborative and inclusive approach. He is well-respected in the Legal, Accounting, Tax and Legal professions. He works tirelessly as a university champion advising, supporting and mentoring academics shaping the next generation of scholars.

Professor Piyush Sharma has more than thirty years’ overall professional experience, divided almost equally between industry and academia. He has served as a member of the Strategic Review Board of the Faculty of Business and Law, Curtin India Mission and the Academic Board of Curtin University. He is currently a co-leader of the Customer Experience Research Group, Innovation Research Hub (IRH) and Navigating Inter-cultural Experiences (NICE) platform in the School of Management and Marketing. He also serves as a member of the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts (2022-2024) and Associate Editor (Marketing) for Journal of Business Research. Professor Sharma is ranked among the top 2% researchers in the world across all fields of research and is also the most popular author from the Faculty of Business and Law at Curtin University since 2016 with more than 100,000 downloads and views.

Emeritus John Curtin Distinguished Professors

The titles of Emeritus Professor and John Curtin Distinguished Emeritus Professor are awarded to a Professor who is within six months of retirement from the University, and has demonstrated a distinguished service to research, learning and teaching and has raised the profile of the University, nationally and internationally.

Professor Harry Bloch’s research interests cover industrial economics,  international trade, economic development, productivity growth, history of economic thought and price theory. Most recently he has been working on the development of an evolutionary alternative to neo-classical price theory. He has published over 100 academic journal articles, more than two dozen book chapters, edited two books and recently published his first sole author book, Schumpeter’s Price Theory. He supervised more than twenty PhD students to completion, along with ten Master students and the dissertations of more than twenty Honours students.

Professor Nigel de Bussy joined Curtin in January 1994 as a lecturer in public relations, ultimately being appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor Business and Law in 2017. Under his leadership, the Faculty has achieved accreditation by EQUIS, AACSB and EFMD and is the only triple accredited business school in Western Australia. Also, under Professor de Bussy’s leadership, the Future of Work Institute was created, attracting a team with deep connections to industry and academic credentials of the highest quality. In addition, Bankwest has twice renewed its support for the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre – the leading economics and social think tank in the State.

Professor Therese Jefferson returned as Head of School after serving for three years as the Executive Director of Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences at the Australian Research Council. Throughout her career, she was involved with a wide range of applied economic and social research projects, including work commissioned by industry and policy organisations such as the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Fair Work Australia, Resources Industry Training Council, the WA Department of Health, and the WA Office for Women’s Policy.