Media Advisory June 23

Canterbury earthquake lessons to be discussed at Tauranga’s Café Scientifique

At Tauranga’s next Café Scientifique Dr Barry Davidson, Director of Compusoft Engineering and former president of the Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand, will examine the 2011 Canterbury earthquake damage, its causes and implications for everyone in New Zealand. Dr Davidson will also describe current structural seismic design philosophies, and the shortcomings of these approaches, and review some of the modern technologies that are expected to lessen the impact of the next ‘big one.’ Supported by the University of Waikato, Café Scientifique is a forum for discussing science issues, where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The next Café will take place today, June 23, at 7pm at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Entry is $5 and refreshments are provided. For more information please visit: or email

City plans up for discussion at Winter Lecture Series

As Hamilton City Council explores plans to better connect the city with its natural resources and enhance its central shopping precinct, the University of Waikato will consider whether the city can also learn from the revitalisation of its Canadian namesake, Hamilton, Ontario, and other design practices, at its annual Winter Lecture Series. On August 27, the final lecture in the series features Canadian Neil Everson, Acting General Manager of Planning and Development for the city of Hamilton, Ontario. Mr Everson led the successful revitalisation of Hamilton, once known as the steel capital of Canada, to what is now Ontario’s No. 1 city to invest in. He will discuss the steps his team took, the planning around the city’s change and the hurdles they encountered and overcame in the process. Speaking alongside Mr Everson is alumnus and Hamilton property developer Andrew Yeoman. Mr Yeoman is an advocate of urban design, a principle that focuses on addressing how people interact with their environment in new housing construction. Also speaking at the lecture is demographer and senior lecturer Professor Natalie Jackson, whose research focuses on the affect an ageing population has on future population growth. The Winter Lecture Series is held each Wednesday in August from 6-7pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Visiting lecturer helped turn Penang green

A Malaysian politician largely responsible for cleaning up Penang will reveal some of the ways he did it during a special lecture at the University of Waikato in July. Boon Poh Phee is a Minister in the Penang State Legislative Assembly and is responsible for welfare, caring society and the environment. Penang is in the midst of being transformed into a smart, clean, green and safe city and among the environmental measures that have been taken are encouraging waste minimisation, developing a new solid waste management system, establishing buy-back centres and material recovery facilities, collecting food and green waste for composting, instituting car free days and banning the use of free plastic bags and styrofoam containers. Boon Poh Phee will outline how the transformation of Penang was carried out and what other steps need to be taken, providing valuable insight into how similar ideas could be adopted in New Zealand. He will deliver his lecture on July 10 from 5.30pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

Visiting cyber security expert to deliver important message

One of the world’s leading cyber security academics will outline the role education can play in supporting and protecting computer infrastructure at a lecture this week. Fulbright specialist Professor Corey Schou is visiting the University of Waikato where he is working with Dr Ryan Ko and the country’s first cyber-security lab to advise on assessment and curriculum development for the rapidly expanding industry. Professor Schou - the University Professor of Informatics and Associate Dean at Idaho State University - established the first Centre for Academic Excellence in information assurance and is responsible for setting computer security training standards in the US. He will be speaking in lecture room S 1.02 at 6pm tomorrow, June 24.

Important archive finds new home

The collected archives of New Zealand’s “first and greatest music historian” have found a new home at the University of Waikato library. Associate Professor Martin Lodge from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Music Programme says the John Mansfield Thomson Archive forms a valuable part of New Zealand music history “and perhaps people don’t understand how important this is”. The archive is stored in a controlled environment in the library but is open to anyone interested in accessing the extensive notes, images and personal papers. Thomson was a prolific writer and collector and the archive represents about half of his work, with the other half stored in the Turnbull Library in Wellington. As well as biographies of individual musicians, performers and composers, Thomson wrote the Oxford History of New Zealand Music and the Biographical Dictionary of New Zealand Composers, both now regarded as definitive works on their subjects. Anyone interested in accessing the John Mansfield Thomson Archive should contact the University of Waikato library.

Study questions answered at university information session

The University of Waikato has an information session coming up where faculty staff and recruitment advisers will be available to answer questions about study, discuss study options and help potential students make plans for their futures. The information sessions are being held at the Student Centre on the University campus on July 2 from 2pm-6pm. All are welcome.

Waikato student awarded Zespri fellowship for Psa research

University of Waikato PhD candidate Rasika Subasinghe has been awarded a Zespri Innovation Fellowship for her research into the host cell wall degrading strategies of the Psa bacteria in kiwifruit. Each year, as part of their efforts to encourage continued research into the kiwifruit industry, the Zespri Innovation Fellowship group identify key topics in areas where there is a specific need for research. This year topics included Psa, fruit quality and supply chain, on orchard productivity and health and nutrition. When considering a suitable university, Rasika’s main consideration was the research expertise of the faculty and the degree of relevance of such expertise to her intended project. She says that the University of Waikato’s approach and the way the entire PhD enrolment process was handled was great, especially where her supervisor Dr Michael Clearwater was concerned and this gave her confidence that she had “found an excellent university”.

My Father was a Race Alien: Globalisation and Immigration in New Zealand

This is a tale of a young Lebanese man leaving behind the hardships of his home country to search for new opportunities in New Zealand during the mid-20thcentury. He marries a New Zealand woman, has two children, and they are compelled to integrate into this new culture and way of life, ignoring their Lebanese heritage. Professor Michèle Akoorie, from the University of Waikato’s Management School, is one of those children. She will deliver her Inaugural Professorial Lecture next month using her family history as an example of what it was like for people who came here from non-European countries and were classified as ‘race aliens’. Professor Akoorie’s specialisation is International Management and her family history has led her on a research journey which considers aspects of globalisation and immigration in New Zealand. Her Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘My Father was a Race Alien’, is on July 15 at 6pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the University’s way of presenting new or newly promoted professors to the wider public.

Record win for Hamilton Boys’ High at Waikato chemistry challenge

Hamilton Boys’ High School teams were awarded first and second place at the annual NZIC Analytical Chemistry Competition last week. The University of Waikato event challenged 96 enthusiastic Year 13 students to spend a day in the University’s chemistry laboratories. This was the second year in a row that Hamilton Boys’ High School has won first place in the competition and also follows a win in October last year when the school scored first place at the University’s ChemQuest chemistry quiz. Tauranga Boys’ College were awarded third place, followed by Lynfield College in fourth and Tauranga Girls’ College in fifth place.

Reduced price balcony tickets available for King’s Singers

Balcony seat ticket prices have been reduced from $55 to $35 for a concert at the University of Waikato by the King’s Singers on June 27 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available via the Ticketek website, or in person at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The performance, The Great American Songbook, pays tribute to the most enduring and influential American popular songs of the 20th Century. Recipients of two Grammy Awards, the Midem International Classical Award and recent inductees into the Gramophone Hall of Fame, the King’s Singers repertoire ranges across every genre.

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