Media Advisory November 26

WAIKATO HAS MORE CAPACITY FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS
The University of Waikato says it has capacity to take on at least 100 more engineering students in the five programmes it offers. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce announced last week that he’d gained 1000 extra places for engineering students at universities and polytechnics next year which he hopes will go some way to address the shortage of engineers in New Zealand. In the 10 years Waikato has offered professional engineering qualifications, numbers have steadily increased to 350 but the School has capacity for 450 says Associate Dean of Engineering Professor Janis Swan. The Waikato degree offers five engineering disciplines – mechanical, software, chemical and biological, materials and process, and electronic – all accredited by IPENZ, the Institute of Professional Engineers. Engineering and information technology are the two occupations in most demand and Mr Joyce sees lifting student numbers in those areas as crucial to economic growth. “We’re conscious of the demand to produce work-ready graduates,” says Professor Swan. “To that end we’ve developed strong relationships with businesses so all our second and third year students have the opportunity to gain work experience while studying – we have a dedicated unit for finding work placements and work experience is usually the best way into a permanent job.”
 
UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO JOINS INITIATIVE TO BOOST MĀORI SAVING AND FINANCIAL LITERACY
The University of Waikato is part of a government and private sector initiative to boost Māori saving and financial literacy. The National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults, Tukua Kia Rere, at the University of Waikato will join Russell Investments, the Federation of Māori Authorities, the National Urban Māori Authority, the Māori Trustee and Ngāi Tahu to help create new plans and strategies and to complement existing work in designing Māori-specific savings schemes and delivering financial education programmes to Māori. The group has been established in response to the Māori economic development strategy and action plan released by the Māori Economic Development Panel. The plan identifies Māori saving and financial literacy as a priority work stream. The University of Waikato will be represented by Professor Diana Coben, director of the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults.
 
DAME SUSAN DEVOY TO RECEIVE HON DOC FROM UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO
Dame Susan Devoy, former world squash champion and community health advocate will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato next year. Dame Susan won the British Open Squash title eight times between 1984 and 1992, was World Champion four times, and at 34 was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand order of Merit. University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says Dame Susan is a very worthy recipient of an honorary doctorate. “She has achieved in so many different areas, and displays qualities of excellence, energy and commitment and sets herself high standards – all qualities that we encourage in our students.  She’s also one of New Zealand’s greatest sportswomen who happens to live and work in the University of Waikato region. ” Since retiring from professional play, Dame Susan has worked for a number of community and national organisations in either paid or volunteer positions. She will have her honorary doctorate conferred at the University of Waikato’s graduation ceremony in Tauranga in April 2013.
 
WAIKATO UNIVERSITY TO PLAY KEY ROLE IN NEW MĀORI GOVERNANCE WORKING PANEL
The University of Waikato’s newly established Te Mata Hautū Taketake – the Centre for Māori and Indigenous Governance – has joined government and private sector organisations on a working panel to ensure optimum value is gained from Māori assets. The initiative comes in response to recommendations 14 and 22 of the Māori Economic Development Panel’s Action Plan, announced in Wellington last week, and will focus on projects to identify governance models for complex Māori ownership structures and for upskilling the abilities of those governing Māori assets. Also represented on the working panel are the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Russell Investments, the Federation of Māori Authorities and the Māori Trustee. The working panel will be convened by Dr Robert Joseph, director of Te Piringa – Faculty of Law’s Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre at the University of Waikato, who’s a specialist in Māori governance, tikanga Māori and the law. He says the University’s historical involvement with Māori and the legal and educational expertise it could offer would be invaluable in both identifying suitable governance structures and implementing governance programmes.
 
CAFÉ SCIENTIFIQUE TO DISCUSS CHALLENGES FACING NEW ZEALAND LAKES
Global trends indicating increased algae blooms in lakes and rising lake surface temperatures will be explored at today’s Café Scientifique in Tauranga. University of Waikato Chair in Lakes Management & Restoration Professor David Hamilton will discuss the challenges of lake management, the value of water globally and options for New Zealand to continue managing its freshwater resources in his talk, Environmental Prosperity: Mapping a pathway for future freshwater management. Lakes in New Zealand are under increasing pressure from greater loads of nutrients entering them as a result of ‘land use intensification’. Professor Hamilton will discuss the rate of intensification, and explore the future options for the country. Professor Hamilton was awarded the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society medal in 2010 and the Waikato Kudos Award in environmental science in 2012. Café Scientifique is free, and open to anyone wanting to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. It is organised by Julia and Warren Banks and supported by the University of Waikato. Café Scientifique is being held today, Monday 26 November, 6.45pm for 7.15pm at Alimento, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. For more information please visit: www.waikato.ac.nz/go/cafescientifique.

ARE WE PREPARED FOR ANOTHER RENA?
How New Zealand would handle another oil disaster like the Rena is the topic of discussion at the University of Waikato tomorrow, Tuesday November 27. Chair of Coastal Science Professor Chris Battershill will hold a public lecture called The Rena, and Offshore Oil Exploration: Impacts and Preparedness. His lecture will explore the environmental impact of the Rena oil spill and how it may have influenced how New Zealand will respond to major pollution events in the future. Professor Battershill has been closely monitoring the environmental recovery of the Bay of Plenty following the grounding. He will look at oil spill event preparedness in New Zealand and compare the Rena grounding to Australian responses to oil spills as a case study for how well prepared New Zealand is for another disaster. The lecture takes place tomorrow, Tuesday 27 November, at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, beginning at 1pm. It is free and open to the public. It’s being held as part of the Geosciences 2012 conference being hosted by the Department of Earth and Ocean Science at University of Waikato from 25 – 28 November.

ROYAL SOCIETY HONOUR FOR LEADING MĀORI SCHOLAR AT WAIKATO UNIVERSITY
A leading social scientist and Māori scholar at the University of Waikato has been recognised for her work by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori and Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development, has been awarded the Dame Joan Metge Medal for her outstanding contribution in inspiring, mentoring and developing the capacity of Māori researchers through teaching and research. Professor Smith is nationally and internationally recognised as a scholar who has inspired and mentored many Māori and non-Māori social scientists. Her book Decolonising Methodologies has had a profound influence across the social sciences and has also influenced the humanities and sciences. Professor Smith has led the development of three Māori research institutes including Ngā Pae O Te Māramatanga Centre for Research Excellence at the University of Auckland, and is now the Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato. The Dame Joan Metge Medal is awarded for excellence and building relationships in the social science research community. Professor Janet Holmes FRSNZ, Chair in Linguistics, Victoria University of Wellington, was also a recipient of the medal for her outstanding contribution to linguistics

WAIKATO GLASSBLOWER A CLEAR WINNER AT CONFERENCE
University of Waikato glassblower Steve Newcombe won three out of the four awards on offer at the 10th Biannual Scientific Glassblowing Symposium in Dunedin last week. It soon became the running joke between delegates that if only he had entered the fourth category, he could have won that too. The prizes, which bring Steve’s award count over the years to 11, were awarded for best scientific piece, best artistic piece and best workshop. The scientific piece demonstrated a new technique of Steve’s called ‘rack and pinions’, while the artistic piece was a set of bells, with cogs and chimes which formed an impressive moving piece of art. “I was most blown away at my winning of the scientific piece, as the standard of entries was very high,” says Steve. Along with his glass masterpieces, his workshops have also created a buzz in the world of glassblowers. He has already been contacted by a North Island polytechnic to repeat his workshop for students and the British Society of Glassblowing, who would like to publish his findings in their journal.

DAME MALVINA MAJOR TO HOST ALUMNI AND FRIENDS RECEPTION IN TAURANGA
Senior Fellow in Music at the University of Waikato, Dame Malvina Major, will host an alumni and friends event alongside Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones at Mills Reef Winery in Tauranga, today, Monday 26 November. Dame Malvina will give a short history of her international singing career, discuss voice technique and run a master class with University of Waikato voice students. Waikato alumni and friends are invited to register to attend this free event to hear the latest Waikato University news and updates. Email rsvp@waikato.ac.nz to register.

FARMING: WHY SHOULD WE CARE? AN EVENING WITH PROF JACQUELINE ROWARTH IN AUCKLAND
Waikato alumni and friends are invited to register for an event at The Dominion in Auckland tomorrow, Tuesday 27 November, with Professor Jacqueline Rowarth and Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford. Dr Rowarth heads the University of Waikato’s agribusiness programme and is currently standing as a candidate for a Fonterra directorship. A frequent contributor to public debate on agriculture and agribusiness, Dr Rowarth will discuss the impact of farming on New Zealand’s economy and why it’s not just farmers that benefit. Email rsvp@waikato.ac.nz to register.

WAIKATO RIVER FOCUS FOR SCIENCE SUMMER SCHOOL
Investigating the past and present condition of the Waikato River will be the task for 40 top Year 12 students at the University of Waikato next week. The week-long Hill Laboratories Waikato Science Summer School will run from 2-7 December, and gives the students a taste of what it is like to study science and engineering at university. The Summer School is an annual event run by Rotary District 9930 and Waikato University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, with sponsorship from Hill Laboratories. The week will begin with an overnight field trip exploring areas such as Lake Taupo, Turangi, Wairakei and Mangakino. The remainder of the week will be spent in the Faculty of Science & Engineering laboratories, completing experiments using samples taken during the field trip.

WAIKATO GRADUATE HELPING RE-ENGINEER CHRISTCHURCH
University of Waikato graduate and engineering geologist Kit Lawrence moved to Christchurch before finishing his degree, after getting a job offer from out of the blue. Support service giant AECOM was looking for graduates to help it rebuild Christchurch after the earthquakes, and Kit’s CV crossed the right desk at the right time. “My supervisor Karsten Zegwaard must have sent my CV far and wide. I got a call from a guy in Auckland who had seen my CV. He passed it on to AECOM and a person from there called me up. I did a phone interview and a couple of weeks later I was living down in Christchurch.” He’s part of a growing geotechnical team, providing geotechnical assessment for industrial and commercial sites around Christchurch. After completing his BSc, Kit is heading back to Christchurch in February to continue working as part of the AECOM graduate programme.


 

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