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Teaching and Learning

Higher education is in the midst of a revolution and Curtin is among those leading the challenge.

Academic Leadership, Faculty & Student Success Centre

Professor Ammar Kaka

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus President

Professor Kaka before joining Curtin university, spent one year as the President of Applied Science University in Kingdom of Bahrain. Prior to this he served as the Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot Watt University Dubai, a position he has held since 2010. He led and grown the HWU Dubai campus to a student population of over 4000, 250 staff and a growing research culture.  Professor Kaka’s contribution to the transnational education in general and to the Dubai’s education landscape in particular has been immense.  Before this he spent 9 years at Heriot Watt Edinburgh campus and was involved in several senior roles including the Director of the MENA hub and the Director of Learning and Teaching. He was also the leader of the construction economics and management research group. 

He started his academic career at the University of Liverpool where he spent 9 years there as a full time faculty member of the Liverpool school of Architecture and Building Engineering.

Professor Kaka is also a Professor of Construction Economics and Management and has an international reputation for research on the planning, management, and control of construction projects. Author of more than 150 publications, he has held numerous funded research grants with impact demonstrated by the extent of citation and direct industrial application. He is a fellow of the RICS and member of the editorial boards of a number of international academic journals. He has supervised more than 30 PhD students to completion, many of which have developed into senior roles in governments, industry and academia.

Professor Chithirai Pon Selvan, PhD

Director – Research
Head of Faculty
Head of School – Science and Engineering

Professor Chithirai Pon Selvan has extensive experience in teaching engineering students and has worked in academia for over twenty-three years. He has published/presented more than 150 research articles in journals and conferences. He has been invited and honoured as keynote speaker, session chair, resource person, and technical committee member of various conferences held in UAE, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the UK. His research interests are in the areas of machine design, optimization techniques, manufacturing practices, renewable energy, and engineering sustainable development. He is the approved supervisor of many universities including Curtin University, Australia to guide PhD scholars and has produced many PhDs. He is a member of many professional societies including SAE, ASHRAE, IMechE, ASME, EI, ASQ, and ISTE. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), UK.

Prof Pon has received several prestigious awards in the UAE including the following.

  • “Teaching Excellence Award (2013-2014)” from Manipal University, Dubai.
  • “Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport (2017)” from Road Transport Authority (RTA), Govt. of Dubai.
  • “Dr. Kalam’s International Excellence Award for Education (2017)” from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Lovers Foundation, UAE.
  • “Distinguished Conservation Project Award (2018)” from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Govt. of Dubai.
  • “Alleem Sustainability Researcher Award (2018)” from Alleem Research and Development Centre, Sharjah.
  • “Sustainability Ambassador Award (2019)” from Road Transport Authority (RTA), Govt. of Dubai.
  • “Research Excellence Award (2020)” from Curtin University, Dubai.
  • “TAG Founders Award – Academic of the Year (2021)” from Transnational Academic Group (TAG), Dubai.
  • “Curtin Global Award (2022)” from Curtin Global, Curtin University.

Prior to joining Curtin University Dubai in July 2018, he served for 10 years in the UAE with Manipal University Dubai and Amity University Dubai.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +971 42452579

Dr Nidhi Sehgal

Head of School – Business and Humanities

Dr. Nidhi Sehgal is the Head of School of the School of Business and Humanities at Curtin University Dubai. She completed her PhD in Business Administration and is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. She holds two master’s degrees: one in the area of Business Administration with a specialisation in Human Resource Management and another in Philosophy with a concentration on Management. She was the university topper and secured a gold medal for outstanding performance in her MBA. She has also completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration.

She qualified with the National Eligibility Test for Lectureship conducted by the University Grants Commission, India. She has worked with prestigious government and private international universities in the UAE and India and has a rich teaching experience of over a decade. Prior to academia, Dr Sehgal has significant industry experience. She regularly presents her research papers at conferences and publishes her research in reputed journals. She has published research papers in the areas of teaching and learning, human resource management, and marketing.

Email: [email protected]

Dr Bilal Siddiqi

Director – Teaching & Learning, Lecturer

Dr Bilal Siddiqi has experience in both academic and operational spheres. He has a PhD in literature from the University College of London, where he was recipient of a three-year scholarship. During his PhD, he edited a cluster of articles on Fyodor Dostoevsky entitled, ‘Rethinking Dostoevskii: Literature, Philosophy, Narrative’ with the renowned Slavonic journal, SEER. He also co-wrote the introduction for this cluster. He taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UCL and supervised undergraduate theses in literature. He is also a qualified schoolteacher, with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Oxford University. He has taught at various secondary schools in London and Oxfordshire, teaching English Literature and Language to students in between the ages of 11 and 18.

On the administrative and operational side, Bilal has worked predominantly in the media and education sectors, serving as Executive Director for Samaa TV, one of the premier news channels in Pakistan, and as a Marketing and PR executive and later manager at Murdoch University Dubai.

Email: [email protected]

Ms Shelley Lawson

Acting Head – Student Success Centre

Shelley Lawson was an English Language teacher for more than twenty years at higher education institutions in Germany, South Korea, KSA, and the UAE and she now works as a lecturer in the School of Business and Humanities at Curtin University Dubai.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design, a Master’s in Media and Culture, and a Master’s in English Language and Applied Linguistics. She is currently conducting her PhD research into the credibility of personal stories on Twitter, and her other research interests include second language acquisition, culture, social media, and critical discourse analysis.

Shelley regularly presents at conferences and publishes her research, but still considers the most important and rewarding aspect of her job to be the teaching itself.

Email: [email protected]

Faculty – School of Business and Humanities

Dr Noor Ulain Rizvi

Lecturer – School of Business

Dr Noor Ulain Rizvi a PhD graduate in Finance from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, a top-tier institution recognized both in India and globally, has a rich academic and research background. She is a published author in the field and has participated in key conferences, including the annual meetings of the Asian Finance Association. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Education, and Master of Commerce from the University of Delhi and has been the university rank holder throughout.  At Curtin she teaches Finance Principles, Finance Instruments & Markets, Corporate Finance, Financial Derivatives, and Portfolio Management.

Awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the University Grants Commission (NET-JRF), Dr Noor has gained experience as a teaching assistant to eminent finance and banking professors. She is a member of the American Finance Association, Rotaract Society, and Asian Finance Association.

Dr Noor has received several prestigious awards in UAE including the following:

  • Global Curtin Award for Sustainability Initiative at Global Curtin Awards 2023.
  • Global Rising star award (Academics) at Global MaGEX 2022.
  • Rising star award (Academics) at Manipal Global Excellence Awards 2021.

In administrative capacities, she has served as the Program Coordinator for the BCom (professional) program at Manipal University Dubai, overseeing over 300 students. She played a key role in organizing the India Economic Summit 2017 at IIT Delhi and was the founding Director of the Rotaract club at the Delhi School of Economics.

Email: [email protected]

Dr Mahwish Anjam

Dr Mahwish Anjam holds her PhD in Management and her Master’s in Business Administration. She is also a certified corporate trainer with experience in delivering customised training. With over 21 years of experience as an educationist and corporate trainer, she brings strong communication, research, and administrative skills to her work. Prior to Joining Curtin University, she worked as an education manager and faculty member at various universities, including her last assignment as Dean of the College of Business at Al Ghurair University, Dubai. Her research interests include leadership, strategic management, HRM, and Organisational behaviour, with her articles published in various prestigious journals.

Dr Rex Bacarra

Adjunct Faculty – School of Business

Dr Rex Bacarra has received two PhDs. He graduated with a PhD in Management Research with concentration on Organizational Development and Human Resource Management at King’s College London, UK and another PhD in Philosophy at De La Salle University, Manila. He is also McGraw-Hill Education’s Digital Faculty Consultant for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)

He is a Noble Hero Awardee, the highest award given to an overseas Filipino by the UAE’s Philippine Consulate for excellence in the field and for his service to the community. The Khaleej Times profiled his story in an article entitled, “Dr Rex Bacarra: An Extraordinary Inspirer for Students”. He has been chosen as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf by Illustrado Magazine for 5 years in a row; interviewed by Abu Dhabi TV (ADTV) for excellence in the field of teaching; awarded as the “Outstanding Educator of the Year” by The United Federation of the Filipino-American Educators in New York, USA, August 2020; awarded with “Innovator of The Year – Education” during the XAGA Awards by Xpedition Magazine, 2019; awarded with “Educator of The Year” by The Filipino Times, 2019; Gulf News cited him as one the favorite and memorable teachers based on the interview conducted with former students.

He was invited by the United Nations and Heartfulness Organization as a speaker during the International Day of Peace, Dubai, UAE. He was also invited to give a leadership talk to the Joint Aviation Command of the UAE military in Abu Dhabi, and as a jury in the Global Pitch Competition consisting of several countries upon the invitation of the UAE’s Ministry of Economy.

Email: [email protected]

Mr Ankit Kathuria

Adjunct Faculty – School of Business

Mr Ankit Kathuria holds a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Marketing & International Business, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
He has more than a decade of industry experience holding marketing and digital leadership positions at UBER, EMAAR, OLX, and Make My Trip.

He has worked across international markets including Europe, the Middle-East, South Asia, and North America. He is the Founder and Managing Director of Solvetude Marketing Consultancy, which engages with businesses with a mission to help them devise their digital strategy and growth roadmap.

He has been awarded as one of the Most Influential Marketing Leaders by World Marketing Congress and also been listed in the Top 3 Digital Marketers in the Ecommerce and Online Classifieds category by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. He has been invited and honoured as keynote speaker and panellist in various conferences in the UAE, India, Germany, and Thailand. His article on the “Emerging Role of Digital Marketing in Indian Market” has been published by the Consultant’s Review magazine. He also has multiple marketing campaign case studies published with Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Email: [email protected]

Faculty – School of Science, Engineering, and Information Technology

Ms Sabiha Nuzhat

Program Coordinator & Lecturer – IT and Computer Systems
School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Ms Sabiha Nuzhat is a PhD candidate from Curtin University, Australia. She holds a Master of Science in Information Technology (Software systems) with Distinction from Heriot Watt University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computing Science from Murdoch University. During her studies at Murdoch Dubai, she received the honor of being a Valedictorian, and was awarded the ‘Academic Excellence Award by DIAC’ (Dubai International Academic City) and the ‘Colonel S P Wahi Leadership Award’ for demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities. She has been teaching for more than 10 years to Undergraduate students, mainly, programming languages such as Java, C, Python, and bash, data structures & algorithms, database systems, advance computer communication, mobile cloud computing, and software engineering to name a few. Sabiha has also been awarded fellowship by the Higher Education Academy, UK (FHEA) 2020 for her excellence in teaching, engaging classrooms, and positive student feedbacks.

Sabiha holds a certificate in Master of Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School – Scotland. Prior to teaching, she had been working in the marketing industry with main focus on social media and web marketing. She was also responsible for various employee trainings at the organization and holds an ISO qualified auditor certificate from QA Technic.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +971 42452312

Mr Mahesh Nagaraj

Lecturer – Physics Foundations, Electrical Systems, Lab Electronics
School of Science and Engineering

Mr Mahesh Raj Nagaraj holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and a Master’s in Computer Applications in Industrial Drives in Electrical Engineering, for which he secured a university gold medal. He has over 8 years of experience in teaching and student relations. His research interests are in the areas of Nano Technology; Artificial Intelligent and Neural Networks; Electrical Power Generation; Smart and Eco-friendly System; and Maximum Power Point Tracking for Photovoltaic System. He has hands-on experience in the installation of various engineering laboratories and is a certified professional in PLC and SCADA.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +971 42452565

Ms Bhavika Prakash Khetani

Lecturer – Cyber Security
School of Science and Information Technology

Ms Bhavika Khetani is a distinguished professional with a solid academic background, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Management from Manipal University, and a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity and Penetration Testing from Middlesex University. Her exceptional academic journey includes earning distinction for her thesis, a testament to her commitment to excellence. Bhavika was honoured to be invited to participate in a panel discussion event, where she provided valuable insights into thesis and research programs, further solidifying her reputation as an expert in the field.

As a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Information Security Consultant (CISC), Bhavika embarked on her professional career as a Teaching Assistant in Cybersecurity at Zayed University. In this role, she conducted engaging ethical hacking labs, developed vulnerable machines, and orchestrated numerous Capture The Flag (CTF) competitions, having over 300 students. Throughout her academic pursuits, Bhavika seamlessly balanced her roles, serving as an Adjunct Lecturer at Manipal University and Murdoch University.

Her dedication to education extended beyond the classroom, as she imparted knowledge to both Bachelor’s and PG Diploma students. Bhavika’s teaching philosophy centres around cooperative learning approach where she makes her classes not only informative but also enjoyable and interactive. Her passion for creating a dynamic learning environment reflects in her commitment to fostering a love for cybersecurity among her students.

Email: [email protected]

Faculty – School of Foundation Studies

Shahra Jafar Ali

Head of School – Foundation Studies

Shahra Jafar was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Academic Excellence Award and the Colonel SP Wahi Leadership Award during her time as a student pursuing a double major in Information Technology and Business Information Systems at Murdoch University Dubai.

During her time as a student, she began her career with Transnational Academic Group as an Adjunct Lecturer teaching Computer Productivity and Mathematics in the Foundation Program. At Curtin University Dubai, Shahra Jafar started as the Unit Coordinator and Lecturer for Mathematics and Computer Productivity, where she contributed towards the curriculum development of Physics and Chemistry in addition to her teaching portfolio. She has completed her Masters in Information Technology (Software Systems) from Heriot Watt University and is currently the head of Foundation Studies at Curtin University Dubai. Shahra is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.

She is simultaneously pursuing her PhD with Curtin University, focusing on Artificial Intelligence.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +971 4 2452576

Ms Ajita Nayar

Lecturer – Curtin Dubai Foundation Program

Ajita Nayar has a Master’s in Microbiology and Environmental Science and is an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. She is an experienced lecturer with more than 15 years of teaching both undergraduate and graduate students in Mumbai and Dubai. She is passionate about improving quality and adding value to Teaching and Learning practices and has been closely involved in curriculum and assessment design for undergraduate students. In addition to lecturing, she was also the Academic Counsellor and Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator at the American College of Dubai.

Ajita Nayar is also a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) and has managed International Educational for Sustainable Development (ESD) projects for the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) in the UAE and Qatar which were adjudged by UNESCO as one of the five Best Practices in the Arab region. She was invited by UNESCO to present her project design and activities at the World Conference on ESD in Nagoya, Japan. She has represented the UAE in numerous international gatherings on Education for Sustainable Development in Norway, Scotland, Malta, Poland, Macedonia, Sweden, and Morocco, and is a regional member of the Commission on Education and Communication of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ajita Nayar joined Curtin University Dubai in January 2018 and teaches Mathematics and Introduction to Statistics to the Foundation and Undergraduate students.

Email: [email protected]

Mr Nicholas Brown

Teaching and Learning Coordinator and Associate Lecturer
Curtin Dubai Foundation Program

Mr Nicholas Brown is the Teaching and Learning Coordinator at Curtin University Dubai. He teaches courses within the University’s Foundation program, focusing on areas such as Critical Thinking and Project Management.

Born in the United Kingdom, Nick graduated with a BEng (Hons) in Architectural Engineering in Edinburgh and began his career as a Mechanical Building Services Engineer. Nicholas then moved to Dubai, managing several projects, including Expo 2020 Pavilions, helping them achieve their LEED Gold Sustainability targets.

As the Teaching and Learning Coordinator, Nicholas supports students with understanding the types of academic writing, tips and tricks on paraphrasing, referencing, and understanding what credible sources are when writing assignments.

Email: [email protected]

Ms Liz Antonette Dacalan

Associate Lecturer – Mathematics
Curtin Dubai Foundation Program

Ms Liz Antonette Dacalan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Science Teaching Major in Mathematics from University of the Philippines. Currently, she is committed to advancing her expertise in the realm of education and pursuing a Master of Education (MEd) program at Murdoch University Dubai

She has amassed over 13 years of experience in teaching Mathematics that extends to fostering positive relationships with parents and students, effective classroom management and implementing impactful assessment strategies. In addition to her teaching portfolio, she has had the opportunity to teach Mathematics to students with special learning styles and needs (e.g. ADHD/ADD, Autism, Dyslexia). She joined Curtin University Dubai in January 2024 and worked previously in an international school in Dubai for 6 years.

Email: [email protected]

Zeeshan Khalid

Associate Lecturer – School of Foundation

Zeeshan Khalid obtained Master’s of Science in Mathematics from United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), UAE and his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from University of Lahore, Pakistan.

He has eight years of experience in teaching, educational assessment, classroom management and student relations. Currently He is teaching Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry in school of Science and Engineering and Curtin foundation program.  He holds Security System Engineer license from security agency regulatory agency (SIRA), Dubai and has four-year experience working as Project Engineer in ELV Systems projects including Blue Waters Dubai, Al Zahra hospital Dubai, Yass Mall, Amwaj Rotana Hotel and more.

Currently, Zeeshan is pursuing his PHD in Mathematics and Statistics from the Curtin University. His research is focused in field of financial mathematics. His research area includes optional contracts and valuation to optional contracts with jumps and high volatility. He was one of the finalists of Curtin Innovation Awards 2023.

 He joined Curtin University Dubai in January 2020. He has worked as an International Baccalaureate (IB diploma) Teacher for four years. He has won teacher of the year award from students for three consecutive years in that duration.

Email: [email protected]

Our faculties and centres

Faculty of Business and Law

Faculty of Business and Law

Behind great professionals are great degrees. The Faculty of Business and Law offers a wide range of quality courses with opportunities to connect with industry and gain international exposure.

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Faculty of Health Sciences

Make their health your career and join the next generation of helpers, healers and discoverers.

Faculty of Humanities

Faculty of Humanities

Our diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses provide you with the right skills, knowledge and experience to enable you to follow your passion and put it to work at Curtin.

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Faculty of Science and Engineering

If you’re fascinated by everything around you, we can help you to develop the knowledge and skills you’ll need to make tomorrow better.