Geophysics began at Curtin (then called the West Australian Institute of Technology, WAIT) in 1967 in the Physics Department by Mr Stewart Gunson. Sam Coniglio was the first student to graduate with an Associateship in Geophysics at the end of 1968. In 1969 the next two third-year students to graduate were Norm Uren and Derek Reuben.
The first Geophysics degrees were awarded in 1972. Mr Norm Uren completed the first Geophysics masters in 1973. The geophysics course at that time was a part of the Physics stream.
The Department of Geology and Geophysics was formed in 1981. A Postgraduate Diploma in Geophysics was started the following year in 1982. Brian Evans was a student and then a lecturer there. After degrees were introduced at Curtin, this course became the Geophysics Honours stream.
The Department of Exploration Geophysics was established in 1989, with Norm Uren as the inaugural head. The first PhD student, Patrick Okoye, graduated from the Department in 1994.
Once established, the Department expanded rapidly in terms of students, staffing and annual turnover and produced the most graduates of any university in the southern hemisphere. At that time we were reputed to be the only specialist Department of Exploration Geophysics in the world (Geotimes, 1998).
In 1998, the Department was designated as a Centre of Excellence for Exploration and Production Geophysics by the West Australian Government.
In 2001, the Department of Exploration Geophysics moved from the School of Physical Sciences into the newly created School of Resource Science and Technology located in the Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC), Technology Park West, Perth.
After a restructure in 2007, the Department of Exploration Geophysics formed one of four departments making up the West Australian School of Mines (WASM) under the faculty of Science and Engineering.
In January 2018 the Department of Exploration Geophysics was dissolved to become the Discipline of Exploration Geophysics in the newly branded Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering, as part of a University-wide restructure.
We currently provide an undergraduate course in Exploration Geophysics (BSc) and a fourth year Honours program as well as Postgraduate, Master of Science and PhD courses. In addition, the Discipline has a large research component that provides the majority of our current funding base.
We continue to be an active participant in several Commonwealth Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs).
Department of Exploration Geophysics timeline
|1967||Stewart Gunson, from the Bureau of Mineral Resources (Canberra), arrives to establish the Associateship in Exploration Geophysics at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT).|
|1968||Sam Coniglio is the first Geophysics Associateship Graduate.|
|1972||The Associateship in Exploration Geophysics is accredited as a Bachelor's Degree.|
|1972/1973||The first students graduate after completing the Bachelor Degree in Exploration Geophysics.|
|1974||The first Master of Applied Science thesis is passed.|
|1981||The Department of Geology and Geophysics is established within the School of Physical Sciences.|
|1983||The Exploration Seismology Centre is established.|
|1987||The Director's Excel is awarded to staff from the Exploration Seismology Centre.|
|1990||The Department of Exploration Geophysics is formally established.|
|1992||The Department of Exploration Geophysics becomes a participant in the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Mineral Exploration Technologies (CRC AMET).|
|1993||The Department of Exploration Geophysics becomes a participant in the Australian Petroleum Cooperative Research Centre (APCRC).|
|1994||Dr Patrick Okoye becomes the first Geophysics PhD graduate.|
|1998||The Curtin Reservoir Geophysics Consortium (CRGC) is established.|
|1999||The Centre of Excellence for Exploration and Production Geophysics (CEEPG) is established and financially supported by a grant of $750,000 from the Department of Commerce and Trade.|
|2001||The Department of Exploration Geophysics moves from the School of Physical Sciences into the newly created School of Resource Science and Technology.|
|2001||The Department of Exploration Geophysics becomes a participant in the CRC for Landscape Environments and Mineral Exploration (CRC LEME).|
|2001||On the 1st of October 2001, the Department of Exploration Geophysics is co-located with CSIRO in the new Australian Resources Research Centre building in Technology Park, Kensington, Western Australia.|
|2004||The Department of Exploration Geophysics becomes a participant in the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gases Technologies (CO2CRC), following the conclusion of the APCRC.|
|2004||The Curtin Reservoir Geophysics Consortium (CRGC) is awarded the prestigious 2004 Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Distinguished Achievements Award. The award is presented to Founding Director Professor John McDonald, at the October SEG Conference in Colorado in recognition of research areas that were highly beneficial to the Exploration Geophysics industry.|
|2006||State Government and industry funding is awarded for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in High Definition Geophysics (CHDG) for five years.|
|2006||Both the BSc (Geophysics) and the BSc (Geophysics) Honours courses are re-accredited by the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (AusIMM).|
|2007||After a restructure, the Department of Exploration Geophysics forms one of four departments in the Western Australian School of Mines under the Faculty of Science and Engineering.|
|2009||The Department of Exploration Geophysics becomes a participant in The Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DETCRC).|
|2012||Federal funding is awarded for the building of the National Geosequestration Laboratory (NGL) of which the Department of Exploration Geophysics is a major collaborator along with CSIRO and UWA.|
|2018||The Department of Exploration Geophysics becomes the Discipline of Exploration Geophysics in the West Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering after a university-wide restructure.|
|2020||The Curtin University Centre for Exploration Geophysics (CEG) is established.|