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FACILITIES

Anechoic chamber

Anechoic chamber. Image: ska.gov.au

The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy maintains and operates an anechoic chamber in building 314. This facility includes an ETS-Lindgren FACT 3 semi-anechoic chamber with an internal area of approximately 6 (L) x 3 (W) x 2.7 (H)m, an automated turntable and antenna mast, CISPR 16-compliant EMI Test Receiver (meeting civil and military standards) as well as an extensive range of antennas and other RF accessories to support EMC characterisation and compliance testing.

Contact: Professor David Davidson

Australasian Joint Research Laboratory for Building Information Modelling (BIM)

The Building Information Modelling (BIM) laboratory is a facility supporting collaboration between research and industry expertise from Curtin University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, China. The laboratory focuses on developing leading research that integrates BIM with other advanced concepts and technologies to improve the performance and productivity of building projects in the energy, mineral and construction industries across Australia and China.

Contact: Professor Xiangyu Wang

Bio-Activated Materials Laboratory

Laser-based structural-health laser-ultrasonic/acoustic-emission health-monitoring (Bio-Activated-Materials – BAM lab apparatus).

Bio-Activated Materials Lab contact: Dr Navdeep Dhami

laser Based Structural Health Monitoring Lab contact: Professor Abhijit Mukherjee

Curtin Aquatic Research Laboratories

Curtin Aquatic Research Lab

Curtin Aquatic Research Laboratories (CARL) supports undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and research programs in the fields of aquaculture, marine science, ecotoxicology, aquatic ecology and aquatic resource management. The purpose built facility is one of a kind in Western Australia and supports a vibrant research culture.

The newly renovated laboratories consist of four controlled environment trial rooms with reticulated with air, oxygen and water. Experiments can be conducted in either fresh, brackish or marine water. The laboratories are accomplished and highly regarded in the industry, having housed an array of aquatic organisms utilising customisable tanks and equipment, with the assistance of highly skilled staff.

Adjacent to the trial rooms is a well-equipped analytical laboratory with capabilities in water quality, nutrition, live feeds and algal cultures, microscopy and a multitude of other analyses.

 

Contact: Rowan Kleindienst

Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute facilities

red cell

The Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) unites leading researchers across biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences and public health in a central location, creating a multidisciplinary research community. It is a multi-user research facility covering more than 1,500m2. The entire area is a certified Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) facility with the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.

There are 10 multi-purpose laboratory modules for general laboratory work and 25 smaller task and equipment-specific laboratories that are available for researchers to use. CHIRI hosts five major areas of research equipment strength operating under a shared resource laboratory (SRL) model including:

  • Microscopy and histology – confocal and fluorescent microscopes, Nuance camera and a histology suite for producing magnified visual or photographic images of small objects. Applications include localisation of proteins, cell-cell interactions and 3D reconstruction – watch 360-degree virtual experience
  • Flow cytometry – cell sorting and analysis technologies for detecting and measuring the physical and chemical characteristics of cells or particles
  • Tissue culture – four levels of tissue culture activity based mainly on sample type – watch 360-degree virtual experience
  • Molecular biology – technologies for analysing gene and protein expression, as well as protein interactions
  • Mass spectrometry – liquid chromatography coupled with multiple analyser configurations to accurately quantify small molecules in biological samples

The CHIRI SRLs are all supported by scientific staff members who are able to train users on the instruments and provide support. For more information about any of the facilities, including use, inductions and training, please visit CHIRI’s Facilities web page.

Contact: chiri@curtin.edu.au

Desert Fireball Network & Global Fireball Observatory

The Desert Fireball Network (DFN) is a distributed network of automated observatories for tracking meteorite fireballs, re-entering space debris, satellites and rocket launches. The network currently covers around three million km2 of Australia and has an estimated total value of $4 million. Current funding (ARC LIEF and DP) has allowed it to expand globally, covering 15 million km2, with international partners across 5 continents, to form a Global Fireball Observatory (GFO). The combined DFN+GFO has an estimated total value of $6 million.

Contact: Dr Eleanor Samsom

Digital Mineralogy Hub

Curtin’s John de Laeter Centre houses advanced instrumentation for high-quality chemical, mineralogical and microstructural analysis, and high-resolution imaging. The Digital Mineralogy Hub Facility hosts a Tescan Integrated Mineral Analyzer (TIMA GM) — a fully automated, high-throughput, analytical Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) for analysis of sample composition and morphology.

Contact: Dr Mark Aylmore

Flourimeter

The Edinburgh FLS980 is dedicated to state-of-the-art fluorescence and luminescence measurements. The facility is capable of both steady-state and time-resolved modalities for the detection of spectral emission in the visible and near-infrared regions (up to 1400 nm), excited state lifetime measurements with the use of picosecond lasers and a microsecond flashlamp. The instrument can measure samples in solution and solid-state, with the possibility of temperature-controlled modalities with the use of a cryostat.

Contact: Max Massi

Gas and liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry

A range of hyphenated chromatographic and mass spectrometry instruments for separation and trace analysis of organic contaminants and materials.

Contact: Professor Jean-Philippe Croue

GeoHistory Facility

The GeoHistory Facility houses state-of-the-art laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) equipment including two RESOlution excimer lasers, a Nu Plasma II multi-collector and two Agilent quadrupole mass spectrometers (7700 and 8900 QQQ). The facility provides single stream and split stream trace element and isotopic analysis of most solid materials with applications in Earth, environmental and planetary science. The instruments are located in a modern, purpose-built space and we provide collaborative and commercial access to academia, government and industry, both nationally and internationally. Find out more here.

Contact: Professor Noreen Evans

Geoscience and microanalysis facility

The Microscopy and Microanalysis Facility (MMF) houses a broad range of advanced microanalysis instrumentation providing high-quality chemical, mineralogical and microstructural information, and high-resolution images for research and technical publications. The facility staff have expertise in materials and earth science research, which is used to support both academic research and applied projects for the Western Australian minerals and energy sector.

Contact: Dr Zakaria Quadir

Geoscience atom probe

The Curtin Geoscience Atom Probe (GAP) facility is the first of its kind to be established for applying atom probe tomography to geoscience research. Atom probe tomography (APT) is a nano-scale analytical technique capable of 3D imaging and chemical-isotopic identification of atoms within a small, targeted sample volume. It combines single-ion detection with time-of-flight mass spectrometry to produce a 3D spatial reconstruction of elemental distributions at the atomic level. Typical data volumes are approximately 100 x 100 x 500 nm, with a spatial resolution of ~1 nm and chemical sensitivity down to 10 µmol/mol (atomic ppm). In addition to geological samples, the facility is also used to analyse engineering materials such as metal alloys, semiconductors and synthetic nanoparticles.

Contact: Dr David Saxey

Green Electric Energy Park (GEEP)

Solar panels and wind turbines against blue sky

The Green Electric Energy Park (GEEP) is an innovative laboratory that features futuristic power-system concepts based on environmentally friendly, renewable energy technologies. It can be used to build microgrids with variety of sources such as solar PV, wind turbines, hydro turbines and hydrogen fuel cells. The power and weather data are continuously captured for research and teaching purposes. GEEP is unmatched because of its innovative features such as remote deliverability, its types of renewable energy sources and how they are integrated and displayed. It has served as a model for renewable energy laboratories in Australia as well as in the other countries in Asia.

Contact: Associate Professor Sumedha Rajakaruna

Horticulture Research Laboratory

Facilities include three temperature controlled rooms, six temperature and humidity control cabinets, a Hunter Lab ColourFlex, UV/VIS Spectrophotometer, a Servomex Infra-Red CO2 and O2 Gas Analyser, two Agilent Gas Chromatography instruments -6890N, a Waters HPLC, a Lloyds texture analyser and a digital refractometer.

Contact: Peta Beech

Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE)

Curtin has established the HIVE to assist researchers to better understand their research data and to develop new visualisation techniques with increasing volumes and complexity of research data occurring.

Contact: hive@curtin.edu.au

Hydrogen storage

The Hydrogen Storage Research Group is well equipped to measure the hydrogen storage properties of a range of materials and has the following facilities and equipment:

  • A suite of manometric instruments for gas sorption (typically H2 or CO2) in materials from -196 °C to 1000 °C, up to pressures of 200 bar
  • Temperature programmed desorption analyser equipped with a mass spectrometer for gas analysis
    Simultaneous Thermal Analyser (DSC-TGA)
  • Infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR)
  • Prototype thermal battery (thermochemical energy storage) systems operating from 400 – 900 °C
    Electrochemical analysis equipment for battery testing, cyclic voltammetry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Chemical synthesis facilities operating under inert gas, for the synthesis of air-sensitive materials
  • A range of furnaces, argon gloveboxes, mechanical mills and cryomills
  • Direct access to X-ray, spectroscopy, microscopy equipment (SAXS, XPS, XRD, TEM, SEM) and other characterisation facilities on site

Contact: Professor Craig Buckley

John de Laeter Centre

The John de Laeter Centre (JDLC) is a collaborative research venture involving Curtin University, the University of Western Australia, the CSIRO and the Geological Survey of WA. It hosts more than $25 million in world-class analytical and mass spectrometry infrastructure supporting geological, marine, forensic and nuclear sciences.

Facilities at the John de Laeter Centre include, but aren’t limited to:

Large Geometry Ion Microprobe (LGIM)

The LGIM is a large mass spectrometer that allow in situ isotopic and trace element micro-analysis of complexly zoned minerals in grain mounts and thin section plugs, with a spatial resolution of 5–20 microns.

Contact: Dr Allen Kennedy

Luxury Branding Consumer Research Laboratory

The Consumer Research Lab specialises in the use of biometric measures including eye-tracking, facial expression and brainwave analysis to conduct market and consumer research. These methods are capable to track consumers’ cognitive, attitudinal, affective, and behavioural resposnes at a second-by-second level, in a lab, field or even an online setting. The Consumer Research Lab has collaborated with Redbull, Lotterywest, HBF, RAC amongst others to optimise their product concepts, sensory profiles, marketing communications, website usability, user experience and store atmospherics. Learn more about the Consumer Research Lab here.

 

Contact: lbrc.lab@curtin.edu.au

Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory

Murchison radio astronomy observatory. Image: scienceimage.csiro.au

The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) is located in the pristine radio-quiet of Western Australia’s Mid-West region, 315 km north-east of Geraldton. The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA) is the only entity in Australia with a licence to conduct activity on the MRO, other than the site owner, CSIRO. CIRA has access to more than 100 gbps of dedicated data transport capacity between the MRO and Curtin. CIRA conducts a number of radio astronomy instrumentation activities at the MRO that enable and support a variety of science outputs.

Contact: Tom Booler

Murchison Widefield Array

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a low-frequency radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory. The MWA has been operational since 2013 and was the first fully operational SKA precursor instrument. The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy operates and maintains the MWA on behalf of an international collaboration of 20 universities and research organisations.

 

Contact: Tom Booler

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

400 MHz NMR spectroscope for characterisation of molecules.

Contact: Dr Ching Goh

Particle Image Velocimetry Facility

The time-resolved particle image velocimetry facility is used to investigate the fluid dynamic characteristics of flows. The facility consists of a powerful laser, advanced optics and instrumentation that will work in combination to investigate the flow features.

Contact: Associate Professor Ramesh Narayanaswamy

Pavement Engineering Research Facilities

Pavement Facilities for unbound granular/aggregate coursing, blacktop mix stabilisation, hydrated cement treated crushed rock bases (hctcrb) and cement modified crushed rock bases.

Contact: Dr Amin Chegenizadeh

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

Curtin is a joint venture partner in the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre that provides service and expertise in supercomputing, data, cloud services and visualisation and enables research across a spread of domains including astronomy, life sciences, medicine, energy, resources and artificial intelligence. The Centre is one of two, Tier-1, High Performance Computing facilities in Australia, whose primary function is to accelerate scientific research for the benefit of the nation.

Contact: admin@pawsey.org.au

Radio frequency labs

The Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy maintains high-specification RF labs in Building 610. This facility includes a suite of modern equipment for characterisation and test of instrumentation, including an Agilent PNA-X vector network analyser and a customised Focus Microwaves iCCMT-101 impedance tuner designed to operate to <100 MHz. This facility also includes a small screened room that provides the radio quiet environment necessary to exploit the full capabilities of the test equipment.

Contact: Tom Booler

Resources and Chemistry Precinct

Curtin chemistry building

The Resources and Chemistry Precinct houses Curtin’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences and the WA Government’s ChemCentre. With more than 200 professional scientists, engineers and support staff, it creates a foundation for high-impact and industry-relevant research for the resources and chemistry sectors.

Scanning Probe Microscopy Facility

The SPM facility houses advanced instrumentation for high-quality chemical, mineralogical and microstructural analysis, and high-resolution imaging. It includes instruments for atomic force microscopy, scanning tunnelling microscopy, optical near field microscopy and confocal Raman microscopy.

Contact: Thomas Becker

Structural Dynamics Laboratory

Reaction frames, loading equipment, shake table and split Hopkinson pressure bar systems. Learn more here.

Contact: Professor Hong Hao

Trace research Advanced Clean Environment (TrACE) Laboratory

The Trace Research Advanced Clean Environment (TRACE) lab provides a dedicated ultraclean working environment for molecular and genomic research. The 434 m2 class 100 (ISO 5) facility houses five class 10 (ISO 4) laboratory modules with 3 layers of HEPA air filtration containing specialised equipment, liquid handling robots and storage facilities.

The facility is certified as a Biosecurity Approved Arrangement Class 5.1 laboratory (BC1), and together with strict user management protocols, this facility provides a world class environment for sensitive detection of single copies of DNA molecules. These capabilities enable the Curtin team to provide results at a higher confidence than other testing facilities.

The lab can support a range of uses needing clean environments; it was originally designed to conduct geological studies on Moon rocks, and has recently been adapted to conduct molecular composition investigations in Earth rocks. Environmental and ancient DNA studies both share a common need to remove contaminants from the environment and thus the facility is currently dominated by these uses.

Contact TrACE facility management: Belinda Cox

Tribology Laboratory

The multidisciplinary Tribology Laboratory is equipped with the instruments for friction and wear measurements from Rtec Instruments (Universal Tribometer), Ducom Instruments (Linear Reciprocating Tribometer, Abrasion Tester (dry sand/rubber wheel ASTM G65)) and for optical surface imaging from Altimet (AltiSurf 530, surface roughness ISO standards). The laboratory is also equipped with a number of custom-built rigs, including FZG gear test, tribo-corrosion (low stress) and pin-on-disk (reciprocating, unidirectional) rigs.

Contact: Dr Pawel Podsiadlo

Underwater acoustic recorders

The Centre for Marine Science and Technology has designed and built more than 30 autonomous underwater acoustic recorders for long-term, high-fidelity recording of the marine landscape.

Contact: Malcolm Perry

Vibrational Spectroscopy Facility

The Vibrational Spectroscopy Facility includes:

Bruker IFS66 FTIR which includes, an A390 microscope with reflectance, transmission, and ATR modes, harrick diffuse reflectance, horizontal attenuated total reflectance, vertical attenuated total reflectance, polarized grazing angle reflectance, diamond anvil cell and a photoacoustic coupler.

Dilor Labram dispersive Raman spectrometer with 514 nm, 633 nm, and 785 nm excitation.

Nicolet iS50 FTIR with MIR and FIR capability and single-bounce diamond ATR.

Nicolet iN10 MX FTIR microscope with reflectance, transmission, and ATR modes, focal plane array detector and Germanium mapping ATR.

Contact: Peter Chapman

WA Argon Isotope Facility

image of WA Argon Isotope Facility

The John de Laeter Centre houses the WA Argon Isotope Facility (WAAIF), specialising in applying the 40Ar/39Ar technique to any rocks and minerals that contain potassium, including hornblende, sanidine, plagioclase and basalts. The 40Ar/39Ar dating method is used to measure the age and timing of a large variety of geological processes, from meteorite samples as old as the Earth (4.5 billion years) to the age of historical events such as the Vesuvius eruption (79 AD).

Contact: Associate Professor Fred Jourdon

WA Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Facility

Marble Bar rock formation by Graeme Churchard (Wikicommons)

WA-OIG is an internationally-recognised group contributing to world-class research in the fields of organic and stable isotope geochemistry, palaeogenomics and geomicrobiology. Learn more here.

Contact: Professor Kliti Grice

X-Ray Surface Analysis Facility

The John de Laeter Centre houses advanced instrumentation for high-quality chemical, mineralogical and microstructural analysis, and high-resolution imaging. The Western Australian X-Ray Surface Analysis Facility provides access to a state of the art X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy system for studying surface elemental and chemical composition.

Contact: Dr Jean-Pierre Veder