Watling leaves Curtin for UWA

THE University of Western Australia (UWA) has head-hunted Curtin University’s top forensic scientist. Professor John Watling, who heads Curtin’s Bachelor of Science (Forensic and Analytical Chemistry) degree course, is due to begin teaching at UWA from July 1. The move is seen as a bid by UWA to become the state’s dominant forensic sciences teaching and research campus. And Professor Watling is taking his research associate, Allan Thomas, as well as several doctoral students. Professor Watling said he hoped it would be the opening step in a collaborative venture in the forensic science area with the final outcome being a special purpose institute. He said Curtin’s degree course, which he had established six years ago, was oriented towards chemical analysis, whereas work undertaken at the university WA’s centre was biologically oriented. “We are going, but we would like to see an institute created between the two universities,” Professor Watling said. “All four Perth universities teach parts of forensic science.” Curtin University’s executive dean, Professor Peter Lee, said Curtin remained strongly committed to the forensic science discipline and had advertised for three new staff to work in this area.

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