2015 CY O’Connor Lecture

Curtin University Vice Chancellor Deborah Terry outlined a bold new approach she believes is critical to Australia’s competitiveness in the 21st century at the 2015 National Trust CY O’Connor Lecture on 3 March 2015.


Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry explored a transition to a knowledge based economy at the National Trust of Western Australia’s 2015 C Y O’Connor Lecture last night. G Pickering


Professor Terry paralleled renowned engineer CY O’Connor’s innovative and risk taking infrastructure projects with leading research, science and new technologies opportunities unfolding through the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project which will create the world’s largest radio telescope.

“We owe it to future generations to embrace bold projects such as the $2 billion radio telescope project, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be the largest and most international scientific facility that Australia has hosted,” she said.

Professor Terry explained while SKA would reach for the stars, it would also upskill the population delivering significant social, environment and economic outcomes to the broader community.

Curtin University has extensive links with SKA including the giant supercomputer housed at the Pawsey Centre at Western Australia Technology Park in Kensington, Western Australia.

Professor Terry encouraged a transition to a knowledge based economy during the lecture which she said would offer big data opportunities to Perth including a global hi tech niche.

“Much like CY O’Conner’s flagships projects, many of the current infrastructure projects Western Australia is involved with are equally hard to visualise, but they also have the potential to shape our State and directly impact the nation,” Professor Terry said.

The CY O’Connor Lecture is held every year on or about the anniversary of O’Connor’s death – 10 March 1902. The lecture, while not about O’Connor himself, recognises and celebrates his legacy by considering notions of creativity, sustainability and humanity in pursuit of excellence.

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