Curtin and Cisco appoint two eminent Professors to lead technology centre

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Curtin University and Cisco have appointed two leading Professors to help establish and lead the Curtin-Cisco Centre for Networks – John Curtin Distinguished Professor Iain Murray and Cisco Visiting Professor Reza Nejabati.

World-renowned expert Professor Nejabati, from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, has been appointed to Curtin as a Cisco Visiting Professor and interim Co-Chair for the Centre. Professor Murray, from Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, has been appointed as the other interim Cisco Co-Chair.

The Centre for Networks, based within Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, will undertake important research to support industries looking for a simplified and more automated approach to managing their IT networks. These innovations have the potential to accelerate transformation across sectors such as health, education, defence, mining and government, as they work to converge their IT and operational networks.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Moran welcomed the appointments.

“Professor Murray is a distinguished researcher who has made remarkable achievements in the world of technology accessibility and the benefits it provides to members of the low vision community.  His work on Curtin’s Internet of Things MicroMasters program has been instrumental in its success and we are delighted to recognise him as Chair of this important Centre,” Professor Moran said.

“Professor Nejabati is a Professor of Intelligent Networks at the University of Bristol, working on ambitious research projects focusing on hardware and software development for future networks. He is an internationally-recognised researcher and will assist the centre leadership team in establishing the Centre and developing its long-term strategy.”

Cisco said it is redefining networking with new software and hardware that can provide comprehensive network automation, assurance and security, allowing IT to simply deliver what their business needs. Cisco’s Vice President for Australia & New Zealand Ben Dawson shared the importance of appointments and the impact of the Curtin-Cisco Centre for Networks.

“Cisco is pleased to have Professor Murray and Nejabati join the Curtin-Cisco Centre for Networks and Cisco’s Research Chair Program. The Centre for Networks plays an important role in providing relevant research, industry insights and use cases, as we build the intent-based network of the future, to securely connect any user, on any device, on any network to any application,” Mr Dawson said.

“An initiative of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration program, these appointments will conduct research across key industries around intent-based networking, with the aim to accelerate their digital transformation – building networking solutions with built-in simplicity, security, agility and automation.

In partnership with Curtin’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, the education component of the Centre will include professional-level training courses, undergraduate and postgraduate units and three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which will all focus on network programmability, automation and analytics.

The first MOOC, launching 22 June, is titled Introduction to Software Defined Networking and will be led by Professor Murray, Dr Himanshu Agrawal, and Curtin’s Nazanin Mohammadi.

Professor Murray and Nejabati are also involved in the Cisco Research Chair Program, run in collaboration with Flinders University, La Trobe University and the University of New South Wales.