Media Advisory March 07


The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s first music director is being awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato. British-born Maestro James Judd worked with the NZSO for almost a decade and during his tenure he raised the orchestra’s international profile and supported performance and recordings of New Zealand composers. The orchestra played at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the specially televised millennium concert with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as soloist; it also had a spot in the BBC Proms as part of a European tour. Mr Judd took on an unprecedented number of recordings for the Naxos label, including three symphonies by New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn and conducted several world premieres, including Michael Nyman’s Saxophone Concerto and Gareth Farr’s Hikoi. Now the NZSO’s Music Director Emeritus, James Judd will have his honorary doctorate conferred at a special ceremony at the Waikato University Academy of Performing Arts on Wednesday March 16.


Innovative uses for marine resources is the topic of the first University of Waikato Inaugural Professorial Lecture for 2011, to be held next week. The free public lectures showcase some of the latest research from the university’s newest professors. Professor Chris Battershill, newly appointed Chair in Coastal Science in the Bay of Plenty, will discuss the new and useful chemicals now emerging from the study of how marine organisms adapt to environmental change. He’ll explain how identifying the main driving forces in coastal ecosystems can help both conserve marine biodiversity and open our eyes to exciting new possibilities. Professor Battershill’s lecture Atom to Atoll: Investigation the Resilience of Marine Organisms in the Face of Environmental Change will take place at Waikato University’s Academy of Performing Arts on Tuesday March 15 at 6.30pm. He will also repeat the lecture in Tauranga on Thursday March 17 at the Bongard Centre on Cameron Road.


Waikato University’s Te Piringa-Faculty of Law will host New Zealand’s Governor General Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand this month. Sir Anand Satyanand was sworn in as New Zealand's 19th Governor-General in August 2006. Sir Anand has had a lengthy career as a lawyer, judge and ombudsman as well as contributing to many community, professional and sporting groups. During his visit to the university, Sir Anand will present a lecture entitled The Architecture of Elections in New Zealand - a Governor-General's Perspective. This free public lecture will take place on Tuesday March 22 from 10.30am-11.30am at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, room L4.


Waikato University’s Radiocarbon Dating Unit recently celebrated two successes – a new lab and the milestone of processing more than 30,000 samples since opening in 1974. The new Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Dating Lab was built to cope with increased demand for sample processing over the last five years. The new lab means that the Radiocarbon Dating Unit can increase the number of small samples it processes, as well as expanding into specialist dating areas. Items as small as a grain of rice or a strand of hair can be tested with the most common sample being charcoal, followed by shells. The unit also tests around 200 bone samples a year. Last year the unit dated charcoal from either side of an axe head from Australia. The axe was found to be 35,500 years old and may be the oldest ‘ground-edge’ stone tool of its kind to ever be discovered. The discovery had implications for the evolution of human technology.


Te Piringa – Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato enrolled its first students 20 years ago. As part of its celebrations the faculty is hosting a Justice in the Round Conference next month, where speakers will address issues of justice from custom and cultural perspectives, rights, and dispute resolution. Current faculty Dean Professor Bradford Morse says the conference is for scholars and practitioners. “We want to gather a group of people already working for justice to consider it in the institutional, ideological and cultural contexts and see how ideas and concepts might be improved of redesigned.” The Justice in the Round Conference takes place on April 18-20. The faculty will continue its 20-year celebrations with student oriented events and a celebratory dinner after the conference wraps up on April 20.


Using chicken feathers to make bio composite materials and studying Antarctic aquatic microorganisms are just two of the exciting topics which will be supported by Waikato University’s masters and doctoral research scholarships this year. Twenty-three Faculty of Science and Engineering students were awarded research scholarships towards their studies. Fifteen scholarships were awarded to masters students who will receive up to $12,000 over a period of a year and a contribution towards enrolment fees for that year. Five domestic and three international scholarships were awarded to doctoral students. Among the doctoral scholarships were three INTERCOAST Doctoral Research Scholarships – requiring each student to spend six months of their studies in Germany at Bremen University. Winners of Doctoral Research Scholarships (both domestic and international) will receive living costs of up to $22,000 per annum for up to three years and an amount equal to their annual tuition fees.


As China's booming economy has been widely considered as driven by increasing investment, the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in China's regional development has been emphasised both in academic literature and government policies. The influence of FDI on regional economic development is exerted through channels of investment, innovation, and diffusion. However, no consensus has been reached with regard to the relationship between FDIs and regional indigenous development. A Waikato University free public seminar will see guest speaker Professor Kingsley E. Haynes, from George Mason University in Virginia in the United States, explore the relationship between FDIs and regional inequality within less developed countries. Professor Haynes is professor of public policy, decision sciences, geography and public affair at George Mason University and is Director of the Virginia State Economic Development Centre. His seminar takes place on Wednesday March 9 from 1-2pm and is held at the University of Waikato campus, room MSB.1.03. For more information visit Waikato University’s events website.

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