Further human knowledge
and enhance society

See how we’re redefining the boundaries of scientific knowledge and driving research that’s bringing positive change to our lives, communities and society.

The key issue:
Humanity has a long way to go

Science has taken us a long way in the industrial and post-industrial age. For many of us, life is undoubtedly better. For even more of us, life is still a struggle.

For instance, according to the United Nations, 6-8 million people die every year as a result of water-related diseases and disasters. 783 million people do not have access to clean water. Almost 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation.

6-8,000,000 people die each year from water related
diseases and disasters

783,000,000 people do not have access to clean water

These are just some of the challenges humanity faces. And with increasing populations placing growing pressures on our way of life, we need to ask – and answer – different questions.

What is UWA doing about this global issue?

When we talk about furthering human knowledge and enhancing society at UWA, we’re talking about research that spans the world of science, and the world itself.

Working with colleagues around the globe, we’re pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge – the boundaries of what’s currently possible. We’re asking new questions and discovering answers in the most surprising places.

At the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), a global centre of excellence in astronomical science and home to over 50 world-leading researchers, we’re driving the development of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – the world's biggest ground-based telescope array. It will expand our understanding of the universe and drive technological advancement.

“So SKA (the Square Kilometre Array) is the world's largest producer of data, bar none. We're talking about exabytes of data, so that's a billion-billion bytes – that's about the same data volume as the entire Earth produces per year, which the SKA will produce in one day.”

Peter Quinn

  • The Frequency and Quantum Metrology Research Group at UWA is improving standards, technologies, systems and precision clocks and oscillators to test and expand the fundamental principles and foundations of physics. This is research with far-reaching potential as high-quality clocks and oscillators underpin technologies like GPS, radar, optical fibre communications and mobile phones.

  • Our team at the Centre for Evolutionary Biology is addressing evolutionary questions in diverse organisms – from plants to insects, fishes, frogs and humans – generating new knowledge that feeds into conservation and natural resource outcomes worldwide.

  • The Geographic Information Science group is mapping the complex relationships between built environments – from rapidly growing ‘megacities’ to rural communities – and human health and wellbeing, drawing together interests in urban planning and policy, health sciences, demography and spatial analysis.

  • Our human geographers and planners are working with communities, governments and universities worldwide to address the economic and social sustainability of cities and regions, focusing on the challenges of social inequality, economic development, urban growth and demographic change.

More Knowledge projects

Prof. Linqing Wen

Audio-band Gravitational Wave Detection, Multi-Messenger Astronomy and Supercomputing

Several advanced ground-based laser interferometer gravitational-wave detectors are expected to be operational around 2015.   These include two LIGO detectors in the US and VIRGO in Europe.   First direct detections of gravitational waves from compact binaries of neutron stars and black holes are likely around 2017. A real-time search pipeline that…

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Prof. Linqing Wen

Using Pulsar Timing Array data to detect gravitational waves from supermassive black hole binaries.

A passing gravitational wave will affect the local space-time metric on the travel path of a radio pulse and can lead to observable fluctuations in its arrival time at Earth.  There is an international effort in using pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) to detect gravitational waves. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array…

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Prof. Malcolm McCulloch

Response of Western Australian coral reefs to climate and environmental change

Increased levels of atmospheric CO2 is not only causing global warming and associated mass coral bleaching, but is also lowering the oceans’ pH and hence carbonate ion concentration, upon which corals depend to calcify their skeletons. Locally, increased pollution from for example runoff from degraded river catchments or dredging, can…

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