Professor Ramasamy Nagarajan gets Curtin’s highest recognition for academics

Miri – 15 December 2022 – Curtin University has recognised Professor Ramasamy Nagarajan with the title of John Curtin Distinguished Professor for five years for his distinguished service to the University, particularly in his role as Dean of Research and Development at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia), Curtin’s largest global campus and hub in Southeast Asia.

The title also acknowledges Prof. Nagarajan’s exceptional research skills and scholarly achievements over the 14 years he has been with Curtin Malaysia.

The title of John Curtin Distinguished Professor, introduced in 2005, is the highest honour Curtin University awards its academic staff and this conferral is the first on a Curtin academic outside of Australia.

Professor Nagarajan has been the Dean of Research and Development of Curtin Malaysia for the last three years, and is also Director of the Curtin Malaysia Research Institute, the campus’ multidisciplinary research centre specialising in applied research. He is, in addition, a professor in the Department of Applied Sciences at its Faculty of Engineering and Science.

In recent years, Curtin Malaysia’s research activity has experienced extremely strong growth in profile, volume and significance, especially in delivering scientifically-based solutions to the energy, biotech and manufacturing industries, the doubling of its Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student number, and achievement of a 4-star ranking in the MyRA (Malaysian Research Assessment Instrument), Malaysia’s comprehensive system for assessing the research capacity and performance of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive of Curtin Malaysia, Professor Simon Leunig, remarked that the conferral of the title of John Curtin Distinguished Professor, a title reserved for distinguished members of the University’s academic community, was a great honour for Professor Nagarajan and Curtin Malaysia, especially since it is the first time it is being conferred on an academic at a global campus.

He said John Curtin Distinguished Professors play a vital role in enhancing the University’s reputation as well as maintaining valuable relationships with external stakeholders and industry contacts. Their continued impact across a range of disciplines demonstrates Curtin’s commitment to transform lives and communities through education and research.

“Professor Nagarajan is a capable and visionary leader who has set in place very clearly defined goals and actions for the long-term growth and success of our R&D. Further advancement under Prof. Nagarajan’s leadership will greatly enhance our capacity to partner with various groups in research and make us a significant contributor to the sustainable social, environmental, and economic development of Sarawak and the broader national and international community,” said Prof. Leunig.

Prof. Leunig said the title also recognises Prof. Nagarajan’s talent and capabilities as a researcher in his own right. With a background in geochemistry, Prof. Nagarajan’s research interests include geochemistry (sedimentary rocks: clastics and carbonates and sediments), source to sink relationship of sediments, source rock evaluation, environmental geochemistry and biogeochemistry, regional geochemical mapping, and geochemistry as a tool for studying the earth processes.

Prof. Nagarajan has won a string of university and international awards for teaching and research, as well as numerous research grants and fellowships.

He has also published extensively in research journals and is a member of various professional bodies such as the Board of Geologists Malaysia, International Society of Environmental Relationship and Sustainability (ISERS), Association of Geoscientists for International Development (AGID), Geological Society of Malaysia, Society Earth Scientists (SES), Indian Association of Sedimentologists (IAS), Earth System Science Group (ESSG), and American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).

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Professor Ramasamy Nagarajan