Media Advisory October 18

RARE DEGREE FOR SCIENTIST

A scientist who studies measurement - temperature measures in particular - is being awarded a Doctor of Science degree at Waikato University graduation this week. Hundreds of students are graduating at ceremonies in Hamilton on October 20 and 21, but Rod White is the only one who'll be having a DSc conferred. White is Head of Temperature Standards at the Measurement Standards Laboratory at Industrial Research Ltd based in Lower Hutt. His work spans both industrial and fundamental techniques and includes noise thermometry, radiation thermometry, and platinum resistance thermometry. "Metrologists engage in a type of arms race," says White. "Our job is to build the national measurement standards according to the international definitions for the various units of measurement, like the meter, the second, and the kelvin. These standard instruments are then used to calibrate the commercial measuring instruments." He's currently the New Zealand representative on the CIPM (Comité International de Poids et Mesures) Consultative Committee on Thermometry (CCT), which oversees the definition of the temperature scale. He's also an active member of four of the CCTs nine working groups. Graduation ceremonies are being held at the university's Te Kohinga Marama Marae on Wednesday October 20 and Founders Memorial Theatre on Thursday October 21 and guest speakers include founding chief executive of Kiwibank Sam Knowles, New Zealand Antarctic Medal recipient Professor Tim Naish, Waikato University Writer in Residence Albert Belz, and Academic Director of Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai.

RESEARCHERS RECEIVE $60,000 FUNDING JUMP START

Three researchers at the University of Waikato have each been awarded a $20,000 Tech Jumpstart investment to support early stage research and technology development. Biologist Associate Professor Vic Arcus has received the funding for his project in the molecular biology space, which will involve the development of a new display system for high-throughput protein screening. The new display method could potentially create larger libraries of protein targets and promote greater binding efficiency. Engineer Associate Professor Rainer Kunnemeyer's project involves engineering new cytometry equipment for cell counting and analysis. He hopes to reduce the size of the equipment, making it much smaller than existing cytometers, for use in field testing. Fellow engineer Nihal Kularatna is designing improved power management systems for surge protection. He hopes to develop more reliable surge protection devices that can withstand higher surge voltages such as severe lightning strikes. Tech Jumpstart is an initiative run by WaikatoLink Limited, the commercialisation arm of the university. The investment is intended to help researchers progress their ideas to proof-of-concept stage.

PHD STUDENTS COMPETE IN THESIS SPEECH CONTEST

Finalists in Waikato University's Thesis in Three competition battle it out on October 27 for a $5000 research funds prize. About 60 students took part in early rounds of the competition, which sees university doctoral students outline their theses in just three minutes. This year's competition finalists are Waikato Management School's Azilawati Banchit and Zakaria Boulanouar; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' Clare Browne and Debrin Foxcroft; Faculty of Science and Engineering's Ehsan Negahbani and Nelson Lebo; School of Maori and Pacific Development's Jillian Tipene and Keao NeSmith; Faculty of Education's Hamish Crocket, and Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences' Michael Walmsley. The Thesis in Three competition is part of Postgraduate Research Month which the university is running during October to support the recruitment and development of postgraduate students. Other events throughout the month have included a quiz night, a doctoral information evening, faculty seminars and research conferences. The Thesis in Three finals night, which is presented by New Zealand comedian Te Radar, is free and open to the public. The finals take place at 7pm on Wednesday October 27 and are held at Hamilton's Clarence Street Theatre.

BIG BOOK COLLECTION FOR LAW SCHOOL

Canada's High Commissioner to New Zealand Caroline Chretien is visiting Waikato University this week to make a significant donation of books to Te Piringa - the Faculty of Law. It's the first step on Waikato University's path to establish New Zealand's first Centre for Canadian Studies. Financial assistance for the collection has been provided by the Tainui Maori Trust Board (replaced by Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc) who donated the original funding to support building the law library collection. Matching funding has been given by the Canadian Government through the International Council for Canadian Studies and the High Commission of Canada in New Zealand. More than 130 books will be handed over at a special function on Thursday afternoon. The bulk of the collection focuses on Canadian law and indigenous peoples, but it also covers other aspects of Canadian including environmental planning.

ROWERS WIN OFF THE WATER

New Zealand's World championship rowers Emma Twigg and Juliette Haigh notched up a land-based victory last week when they featured in the winning team at Waikato Management School's annual PR Campaigns competition. Their team, called Lime Light PR, was one of four competing in the competition final. They had to give written and oral presentations of their case which was for the national organisation Parent to Parent, which works with families with disabled children. Lime Light's campaign focused on building stronger relationships with paediatricians; the judging panel said their strategy was simple, well thought out, inexpensive and do-able. Emma Twigg says it had been a bit frantic fitting in team meetings and rehearsals with heavy rowing demands, but she'd learnt a lot researching Parent to Parent, relevant statistics and working with her team to create a strategy. With New Zealand hosting the Rowing World Championships, it's meant Twigg and Haigh who study at Waikato part-time could finally complete the last two papers of their Bachelor of Communication.

UNIVERSITY GETS SET TO UNVEIL ITS NEW PITCH

Waikato University open its new indoor cricket pitch next week. The three-lane cricket pitch on Silverdale Rd is a collaborative project between the university's U Leisure, Hamilton Junior Cricket Association, Hamilton Star University Cricket Club and the Hamilton Cricket Association. U Leisure General Manager Mark Ingle says the $140,000 project has taken four months to complete and has already been given a seal of approval from the cricket community. "Feedback has been very positive so far," he says. "The lanes have the longest run up with plenty of natural light and are available for a wide range of people to use." The official opening ceremony for the new pitch takes place at 3.30pm on Friday October 29.

CHEMISTRY QUIZ TO CHALLENGE SCHOOL STUDENTS

The University of Waikato's annual ChemQuest will provide the ultimate test for Year 12 chemistry students this week. The after-school event gives students studying chemistry at NCEA Level 2 the chance to compete for the ChemQuest trophy and other prizes. About 50-60 teams of three are expected to attend. "ChemQuest is always a big hit with students and this year should be no different. We always try to make it light-hearted and enjoyable, but of course there is that competitive aspect to it too, with some serious chemistry happening. There's even a place for students with musical interests as well - all along a chemistry theme of course," says event organiser Professor Bill Henderson. The current trophy holders are St Paul's Collegiate, who have a strong record of success in the competition. "I'm sure the other teams will be trying really hard to beat them!" The ChemQuest takes place at 7pm on October 20 and is held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, PWC lecture theatre on Hillcrest Road.

BLURRED FIXATION AT WAIKATO UNI

Waikato University's graphic design students showcase their work in an exhibition next week. Blurred Fixation is an exhibition featuring the final degree projects by undergraduate students from the university's Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design. This year's exhibition theme is "beyond functionality" which encourages students to explore the idea of pushing functional design beyond functionality. The exhibition will have a mix of print, interactive, game and new media which will explore the exhibition theme. Blurred Fixation takes place from October 27 to November 5 at 10am-6.30pm on weekdays and 10am-4pm on weekends, and is held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, S Block. This exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://www.degreeshow.waikato.ac.nz/

WAIKATO GRAD WINS TAURANGA AWARD

A Tauranga solicitor and University of Waikato graduate has won a young professionals award in the Bay of Plenty. Nicole Carson graduated from Waikato in 2007 with a Bachelor of Laws. She now works in general practice at Burley Attwood Law in Tauranga and teaches up to eight jurisprudence tutorials a year for the University of Waikato's Diploma of Law in Tauranga. Mrs Carson won the Young Professional Employee of the Year award at the annual Young Read Woudberg Tauranga Young Professionals Awards on October 9. The awards are run by Rocket, a group of young professionals affiliated to the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce. The awards aim to recognise young employees and business owners in Tauranga and promote to the region and nation the fact that these people are key to the city's economic growth.

DESIGN INSTITUTE AWARD FOR COMPUTER GRAPHIC DESIGN GRADUATE

A clever idea has won a University of Waikato computer graphic design graduate a Design Institute of New Zealand award. Marc McHardy won a DINZ bronze award in the student category for his interactive poster, developed for his Waikato degree show project. The interactive advertisement for hi-top sneakers uses face detection technology and two cameras, one above the display unit and one in the screen itself, which allows the viewer to virtually ‘enter’ the 3D world of the product. “The idea is that if we see something that reacts with us, we will be drawn in,” says McHardy, who graduated last year. “As you walk towards the screen, like you would in a mall, the sensor picks up the movement and a sticker on the advert peels away inviting you to step closer, and then closer still. “At close range, the face detector tracks your movement from side to side allowing you to see ‘into’ the screen and explore the product in a tailored setting. It’s as if there’s an environment within the screen.” McHardy’s innovative degree show work, which was supervised by Simon Laing, has already been showcased in two magazines and on TVNZ 7’s Ad Show. As a direct result he secured a job as an interactive designer with Wellington new media design firm Click Suite, an international award-winning company which produced the world’s first-ever interactive television documentary.

WAIKATO UNI PROVIDES INVESTMENT EDUCATION WORKSHOPS

Waikato University's Continuing Education is offering two workshops on Investment Education. The first workshop is on Investing and will introduce participants to the different options available, from banks and bonds to property and shares. "It's aimed at people who are just starting out investing, and not sure how to approach it", says Karen Tindall, Adult and Community Education Advisor for Continuing Education. The second workshop is on Sharemarket Basics and will cover the basics of trading, buying and selling, and how to read a sharemarket report. This workshop is targeted to those who are new to sharemarket information, and it acts as a refresher for active share investors. "The outcome for this course includes knowing how to buy and sell shares, and creating a simple portfolio," says Mrs Tindall. Workshop One takes place October 19 and October 26 followed by Workshop Two on November 2 and November 9. Both workshops run from 6.30pm-8.30pm and cost $65 per workshop, including workbooks. These workshops are run in conjunction with the New Zealand Shareholders Association Inc (Waikato Branch). For more information on these workshops visit www.conted.waikato.ac.nz

A MATTER OF PUBLIC HISTORY

How is the history that is done in websites, signs and heritage trails different from that done in books and journal articles? What is public about public history? What happens when you take sculpture out of an art gallery and put it on the street? A Waikato University public lecture considers the implications for history, theory and practice as it asks how the practice, methods and audience for public history relate to that of academic history. This lecture is presented by Dr Conal McCarthy from the Museum and Heritage Studies Programme at Victoria University. The lecture takes place at 11am on Friday October 22 and is held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, room S.G.03. For more information visit http://www.waikato.ac.nz/wfass/PHRU/

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

The New Zealand curriculum raises new questions and challenges to do with what counts as learning, how learning takes place and how it might be sustained over time. The University of Waikato Faculty of Education presents a symposium entitled Making a Difference: An Extended Conversation About Learning, next month. The symposium builds on interests and collaborations of Faculty of Education staff around learning across the life span and will see staff contribute to conversations about learning by sharing their research findings. Keynote speaker Professor Guy Claxton, well-known author and initiator of the Building Learning Power Programme, will set the scene for the day-long symposium which takes place on Friday November 5. This symposium is followed on November 12 by another symposium entitled Making a Difference in Classrooms and Centres: The Intersection of Theory and Practice. This symposium celebrates the contributions Faculty of Education staff have made to theory and practice that enhances teaching and learning. Both symposiums, which are intended for teachers, school leaders and researchers, are part of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Education which takes place in November.

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