Profiles

Steven Curnin

UTAS Home Dr Steven Curnin
Steven Curnin

Steven Curnin

Senior Lecturer, Police Studies and Emergency Management
School of Social Sciences

Room 536, Social Sciences Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 7158 (phone)

Steven.Curnin@utas.edu.au

Dr Steven Curnin studies the human factors of disaster resilience and specifically how we can improve our management of out of scale events. His work highlights the requirement to equip practitioners with simple cognitive aides, so they have the best opportunity to fulfil their roles under dynamic, complex and uncertain conditions.

Enhancing disaster resilience

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference in Sendai, Japan, on 18 March 2015. The Sendai Framework articulates the need to promote cooperation between academic, scientific and research entities and networks and the private sector to develop new products and services to help enhance disaster preparedness for effective response.

There is a community expectation that organisations involved in emergency management and crisis management arrangements collaborate, and make effective decisions prior to, during, and after a disaster. However, recent Commissions of Inquiry have identified that this is not always the case.

‘As researchers, we have a societal obligation to provide those that are expected to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters, with the appropriate tools that can improve their existing practice’.

The theory building of emergency management and crisis management is an emerging and important discipline. Equally important, is the necessity for the research utilisation of these findings so that the academic community can contribute to enhancing the disaster resilience of society.

Dr Steven Curnin is a lecturer located in the Police Studies and Emergency Management discipline of the School of Social Sciences in the College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). He has developed and teaches four undergraduate units required for a minor in emergency management for the Bachelor of Justice degree program. He is also the Director of the Disaster Resilience Research Group In this role he provides research leadership and is as an active member of a group of UTAS researchers investigating the complexities of decision making and collaboration in emergency management and crisis management.

Biography

Steven began his academic studies in health completing a BMedSci in nursing studies. He went on to complete three postgraduate degrees in emergency management including his PhD that was awarded in 2015 from UTAS. Steven commenced his current fulltime academic position at UTAS in September 2017.

Prior to embarking upon a career in academia, Steven had an extensive career working within disaster resilience initiatives that spanned operational and policy roles, both nationally and internationally. He has worked in emergency management and crisis management arrangements in the public service for state and federal government agencies including the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Australian Antarctic Division, in not-for-profit organisations including the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, with multinational corporations including Royal Dutch Shell, locally in the critical infrastructure sector with TasWater and for the military. His extensive experience as a practitioner in emergency management and crisis management arrangements affords him the opportunity to span the boundaries between industry and academia.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDSpanning boundaries to support effective multi-agency coordination in emergency managementUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2015
MEmergMgtUsing large civilian jet aircraft as an aeromedical platform in disastersCharles Sturt UniversityAustralia2011
BMedSci (Hons)The role of the nurse in pre-hospital careSheffield UniversityUnited Kingdom2003

Memberships

Professional practice

Based on his industry experience and research conducted in the critical infrastructure sector, Steven was invited to become a member of the Resilience Expert Advisory Group (REAG) in November 2015. The REAG forms part of the Australian Government’s Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN). The TISN is the Australian Government’s primary engagement mechanism for business government information sharing and resilience building initiatives on critical infrastructure. The REAG comprises representatives from Australian, state and territory governments, critical infrastructure owners and operators, academia and research organisations. The REAG’s mission is to promote the concept of sector and organisational resilience within the business community generally, and critical infrastructure owners and operators in particular.

Teaching

Teaching responsibility

Steven has developed and coordinates the minor in emergency management for the Bachelor of Justice degree program. This includes the following units:

Research Invitations

  • Invited panel member, ‘Decision making as an enabler of organisational resilience’, November 2016, 4th Workshop for the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty, Washington D.C., USA.
  • Invited speaker, ‘Building swift trust during disaster recovery’, September 2015, Australian Red Cross National Disaster Resilience Roundtable, Sydney, Australia.
  • Invited speaker, ‘Enhancing cross-sectoral engagement’, May 2015, 5th Australian Government Critical Infrastructure Conference, Sydney, Australia.

View more on Dr Steven Curnin in WARP

Expertise

  • Emergency management
  • Disaster resilience
  • Crisis management
  • Organisational resilience

Research Themes

Steven's research aligns with the University's theme of Creativity, Culture and Society with a research focus on Resilience and Wellbeing that promotes resilient and thriving communities in an era marked by social, cultural and technological change. This theme aligns to the aims and objectives of the Disaster Resilience Research Group where Steve provides research leadership as one of the directors.

Research Utilisation

Video Thumbnail

The strength of Steven's research and that of the research team is centred on impact, as is demanded by the partner industries and organisations. The research that Steven is involved with provides tangible outcomes for end-users that can be embedded into current practice. This video by Assistant Commissioner Rob McNeil from Fire and Rescue New South Wales provides an overview of the research Steven is currently conducting with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and highlights the benefits to industry.

Awards

  • 2010 Western Australia Department of Health Bali Memorial Fellowship. This fellowship provides the opportunity for the recipient to undertake a study tour to examine new innovations, best practice or evidence-based health in action with respect to disaster management. The fellowship allowed Steven to extend his research internationally to examine the role of civilian fixed-wing aeromedical services in mass casualty incidents.

Current projects

  • Managing decision complexity in emergency management and crisis management
  • Enhancing collaboration in emergency management between the public sector and not-for-profit sectors
  • Developing a National Disaster Management Research and Training Institute for the Government of Bangladesh

Fields of Research

  • Public Administration (160509)
  • Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
  • Policy and Administration (160599)
  • Studies in Human Society (169999)
  • Police Administration, Procedures and Practice (160205)
  • Decision Making (170202)
  • Medical and Health Sciences (119999)
  • Education (139999)
  • Organisational Behaviour (150311)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society (970116)
  • Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis (940204)
  • Law, Politics and Community Services (949999)
  • Information and Communication Services (899999)
  • Community Service (excl. Work) (940199)
  • Education and Training (939999)
  • Law Enforcement (940404)
  • Health (929999)
  • Government and Politics (940299)
  • Administration and Business Support Services (900201)

Publications

Steven publishes extensively in academic journals on the topic of emergency management and crisis management. His publications intersect with Policy & Administration, Business & Management and Cognitive Science.

Steven has also contributed to practitioner focussed publications that provide tangible direction for industry. These include The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, AirMed & Rescue magazine, a National Disaster Resilience Roundtable Report and an Australian Government guidance document.

The Australian Journal of Emergency Management AirMed & Rescue magazine National Disaster Resilience Roundtable Report: Co-working in Disaster Recovery Australian Government guidance document: Decision-making During a Crisis

Total publications

27

Journal Article

(18 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2019Brooks B, Curnin S, Owen C, Bearman C, 'Managing cognitive biases during disaster response: the development of an aide memoire', Cognition, Technology & Work pp. 1-13. ISSN 1435-5558 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10111-019-00564-5 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2019Curnin S, O'Hara D, 'Nonprofit and public sector interorganizational collaboration in disaster recovery: lessons from the field', Nonprofit Management and Leadership pp. 1-21. ISSN 1048-6682 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/nml.21389 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Tweet

2019Brooks B, Curnin S, Owen C, Boldeman J, 'New human capabilities in emergency and crisis management: from non-technical skills to creativity', The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 34, (4) pp. 23-30. ISSN 1324-1540 (2019) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2018Bearman C, Rainbird S, Brooks BP, Owen C, Curnin S, 'A literature review of methods for providing enhanced operational oversight of teams in emergency management', International Journal of Emergency Management, 14, (3) pp. 254-274. ISSN 1741-5071 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2018.10015420 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks BP; Owen C

Tweet

2018Brooks B, Curnin S, Bearman C, Owen C, 'Human error during the multilevel responses to three Australian bushfire disasters', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26, (4) pp. 440-452. ISSN 0966-0879 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-5973.12221 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2018Curnin S, 'Collaboration in disasters: A cultural challenge for the utilities sector', Utilities Policy, 54 pp. 78-85. ISSN 0957-1787 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2018.08.002 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Tweet

2018Owen C, Brooks B, Curnin S, Bearman C, 'Enhancing learning in emergency services organisational work', Australian Journal of Public Administration, 77, (4) pp. 715-728. ISSN 0313-6647 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12309 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Owen C; Brooks B

Tweet

2017Bearman C, Rainbird S, Brooks B, Owen C, Curnin S, 'Tools for monitoring teams in emergency management: EMBAM and TBM', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 32, (1) pp. 40-43. ISSN 1324-1540 (2017) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2017Bosomworth K, Owen C, Curnin S, 'Addressing challenges for future strategic-level emergency management: reframing, networking, and capacity-building', Disasters, 41, (2) pp. 306-323. ISSN 0361-3666 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/disa.12196 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Owen C

Tweet

2016Brooks B, Curnin S, Bearman C, Owen C, Rainbird S, 'An assessment of the opportunities to improve strategic decision-making in emergency and disaster management', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 31, (4) pp. 38-43. ISSN 1324-1540 (2016) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2016Curnin S, Heumuller E, 'Evaluating emergency management capability of a water utility: A pilot study using exercise metrics', Utilities Policy, 39 pp. 36-40. ISSN 0957-1787 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2016.01.003 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2016Owen C, Brooks B, Bearman C, Curnin S, 'Values and complexities in assessing strategic-level emergency management effectiveness', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 24, (3) pp. 181-190. ISSN 0966-0879 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-5973.12115 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Owen C; Brooks B

Tweet

2015Curnin S, Owen C, Paton D, Trist C, Parsons D, 'Role Clarity, Swift Trust and Multi-Agency Coordination', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 23, (1) pp. 29-35. ISSN 0966-0879 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1468-5973.12072 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 24Web of Science - 19

Co-authors: Owen C; Paton D

Tweet

2015Curnin SW, Owen C, Paton D, Brooks BP, 'A theoretical framework for negotiating the path of emergency management multi-agency coordination', Applied Ergonomics: Human Factors in Technology and Society, 47 pp. 300-307. ISSN 0003-6870 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2014.10.014 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 14

Co-authors: Owen C; Paton D; Brooks BP

Tweet

2014Curnin S, Owen C, Trist C, 'Managing the constraints of boundary spanning in emergency management', Cognition, Technology and Work, 16, (4) pp. 549-563. ISSN 1435-5566 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10111-014-0285-z [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Owen C

Tweet

2014Curnin SW, Owen C, 'Spanning organizational boundaries in emergency management', International Journal of Public Administration, 37, (5) pp. 259-270. ISSN 1532-4265 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2013.830625 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12

Co-authors: Owen C

Tweet

2013Curnin S, Owen C, 'Obtaining information in emergency management: a case study from an Australian emergency operations centre', International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2, (2-3) pp. 131-158. ISSN 2045-7812 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2013.057614 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C

Tweet

2012Curnin S, 'Large civilian air medical jets: Implications for Australian disaster health', Air Medical Journal, 31, (6) pp. 284-288. ISSN 1067-991X (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.amj.2012.04.001 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2

Tweet

Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2014Owen C, Bosomworth K, Curnin S, 'The challenges of change in future emergency management: Conclusions and future developments', Human Factors Challenges in Emergency Management: Enhancing Individual and Team Performance in Fire and Emergency Services, Ashgate, C Owen (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 219-230. ISBN 9781409453055 (2014) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C

Tweet

Conference Publication

(7 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2019Curnin S, Brooks B, Owen C, 'Augmented expertise in strategic decision making: lessons from Fukushima', The Fourth Northern European Conference on Emergency and Disaster Studies, 10 - 12 June, Uppsala, Sweden (2019) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2018McNeil R, Curnin S, Brooks B, Owen C, 'Is an incident controller just an incident controller?', Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC Conference Proceedings, 5 - 8 September, Perth, pp. 1-6. (2018) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2018Spence A, Brooks B, Curnin S, Owen C, 'EM exercising as a public private partnership: a good idea or impossible dream?', Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC Conference Proceedings, 5 - 8 September, Perth, pp. 1-6. (2018) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B; Owen C

Tweet

2017Curnin S, McNeil R, Brooks B, 'Is a SAR Commander JUST a SAR Commander?', Australian & New Zealand Search and Rescue Conference, 24 May, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (2017) [Keynote Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B

Tweet

2016Curnin S, Brouggy P, Roylett B, Muller C, Riley M, 'Organisational resilience: building and enhancing capability', Australian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference, 30 - 31 May, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia ISBN 9781922232403 (2016) [Plenary Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2016Curnin SW, Brooks B, 'Decision making as an enabler of organisational resilience', Programme for the 2016 Annual DMDU Workshop, 15-17 November 2016, Washington DC, USA, pp. 1. (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Brooks B

2013Curnin SW, Owen C, 'A typology to facilitate multi-agency coordination', Proceedings of the 10th International ISCRAM Conference, 12-15 May 2013, Baden-Baden, Germany, pp. 115-119. ISBN 978-3-923704-80-4 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C

Tweet

Entry

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Curnin SW, 'Organizational Boundary Spanning', Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance, Farazmand, A (ed), Switzerland (2016) [Entry]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_2476-1 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

Grants & Funding

Steven currently has three research grants in the field of emergency management, two with Assoc Prof Benjamin Brooks that are working with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre and the Bangladesh Urban Resilience Project He is currently the recipient of a State Emergency Management Program grant that assists the Tasmanian State Emergency Management Committee in delivering programs to address significant natural disaster resilience projects.

Funding Summary

Number of grants

5

Total funding

$778,302

Projects

Bangladesh Urban Resilience Project (URP) Phase 1 (2019)$23,157
Description
The overarching goal of the Bangladesh Urban Resilience Project is to create a professional emergency management training track across various levels of government in Bangladesh. Phase 1 of this research contributes to the establishment of a National Disaster Management Research and Training Institute. This project involves an evaluation of leading research related to the proposed training tracks to identify best evidence-based practice that will be incorporated into the curriculum. The project will also develop a monitoring framework, including performance indicators to monitor and evaluate the progress, and effects of the program.
Funding
C3ntre PTY Ltd ($23,157)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Curnin SW; Brooks BP
Year
2019
CALE Hothouse Internal Grant Scheme, round 1 2019 (2019)$8,710
Funding
University of Tasmania ($8,710)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Curnin SW
Year
2019
Measuring collaboration: a systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis (2019)$8,710
Description
This project will conduct a systematic literature search and co-citation analysis to identify the principal components for measuring collaboration to understand contemporary thinking on this topic and determine avenues for future research.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($8,710)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Curnin SW
Year
2019
Collaborating in emergency management: a guide for Tasmanian not-for-profit participation (2018 - 2019)$47,725
Description
This project will develop a research driven practical guide on collaboration in emergency management for Tasmanian not-for-profit organisations and partner agencies.
Funding
Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management [TAS] ($47,725)
Scheme
Grant-SEMP
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Curnin SW
Period
2018 - 2019
Decision making, team monitoring and organisational learning (2017 - 2020)$690,000
Description
The goal of this project is to provide outputs that facilitate enhanced decision making and team monitoring at strategic levels of emergency management. As part of this project we will examine how organisations currently learn from evidence and implement changes in practice to inform the testing and evaluation phases. Part of this work will be identifying opportunities and barriers to adoption of these tools and providing strategies that agencies can use to overcome these barriers. In this way we will contribute to enhancing the capability of agencies to effectively respond to emergencies now and into the future.
Funding
Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC ($690,000)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC
Research Team
Bearman C; Brooks BP; Owen C; Curnin SW; Rainbird S
Period
2017 - 2020

Steven is interested in supervising topics on emergency management, crisis management, disaster resilience and organisational resilience. He is also happy to co-supervise projects that span other disciplines and particularly those that intersect with the health sciences and management.