Media Advisory June 2

Agri-event to kick off Fieldays

The University of Waikato will host an Agri-event (5.30pm-7.30pm, June 9) to highlight and strengthen its links with industry in the lead-up to Fieldays. The business networking event will feature a presentation on the importance of soils from Professor Louis Schipper, a panel discussion on Working with Waikato led by Agribusiness Professor Jacqueline Rowarth and the presentation of the 2015 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship. For more information, visit

Drugs and driving survey

The University of Waikato is conducting research into prescription and non-prescription drug and medicine use, and driving in New Zealand. New Zealanders are being asked to complete the survey to find out what types of drugs and medicines people take before they drive, the types of driving people do and people's perceptions of how drugs may affect driving. The survey takes about 15 minutes and is anonymous. The research has ethical approval from the School of Psychology Ethics Committee at the University of Waikato with funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency. To complete the survey, go to

Whatever floats your boat

The University of Waikato's annual First-Year Engineering Design Challenge race day is this Friday. During the first-year engineering paper - ENGG180 Foundations of Engineering - teams of students design and build model boats (to develop awareness of the engineering design process and foster skills such as effective team work and problem solving). The culmination of this process is to compete against each other in a race series to determine which team created the best boat (a combination of fast, manoeuvrable and reliable). The winning student boat then competes against a staff boat. Race day is this Friday, June 5 from 10am-3.30pm at Oranga Lake on campus.

Agribusiness in focus for the University at Fieldays

This year's Fieldays theme, 'Growing our Capability in Agribusiness', is one the University is embracing as it gets ready to showcase its latest research and innovation at the 2015 National Agricultural Fieldays. This year's Premier Feature stand will highlight how mutually beneficial links with industry are assisting research projects that are solving some of the world's big problems, with projects from students, graduates and researchers on show. The University of Waikato has been a strategic partner of Fieldays since 2007, with founding Vice-Chancellor Sir Don Llewellyn helping establish the iconic event in the 1960s. The University will update live from Fieldays, using hashtag #waievents on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Professors take the stage at TEDx Ruakura

University of Waikato Professors Priya Kurian and Debashish Munshi have been announced as speakers at Hamilton's first TEDx event in June. Professor Kurian is a professor of political science and Professor Munshi is a professor of management communication and what brings them together is a shared concern about issues of diversity, equity, and sustainability. They are passionate about the idea of what they call sustainable citizenship and they like to work with diverse groups of people on negotiating contentious public issues. They recently completed a project on "Sustainable Citizenship: Transforming Public Engagement on New and Emerging Technologies," funded by a Marsden Grant of the Royal Society of New Zealand. They will be joined at TEDx Ruakura by Masterchef New Zealand winner Aaron Brunet, with more speakers to be announced in the coming days. TEDx Ruakura will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato on June 20. To register for the chance to purchase a ticket in the small audience, visit:

WEB days proving popular

More than 600 Year 12 and 13 students from the central North Island, along with 42 secondary school biology teachers from 22 schools, will take part in  Waikato Experience Biology days, an event run by the University of Waikato's School of Science. The days are Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday June 10. Students will attend lectures given by university academics on topics such as biotechnology, plant responses to the environment and animal behaviour, examination of human skulls, and the process of evolution. In addition, a practical laboratory session featuring key elements of biotechnology methodology will be investigated. 

Eco-friendly approach to business strategy challenge

Four teams of students will do battle in the finals of the 38th Waikato Management School Case Competition tomorrow, June 3, which is a highlight of the strategic management paper STMG391; the capstone of the Bachelor of Management Studies degree. The winners receive a prize of $2500 from event sponsor ASB Bank.  Students have had two weeks to research a case study of a real New Zealand business; the 3R Group; an eco-friendly company in Hastings that recycles product and packaging waste on behalf of its clients. The four teams have to pitch their recommended growth strategies for the 3R Group to a panel of external judges, by explaining how they plan to double the company's revenue within three years. The event starts at 6.30pm in the PWC lecture theatre, Waikato Management School, with drinks and nibbles from 6pm. Members of the public and media are welcome to come along.

Bring in the clowns

University of Waikato third-year Theatre Studies students are presenting an anti-war documentary-musical for their annual production. It's called Oh, What a Lovely War! and it's been a challenge for senior lecturer and performance director Gaye Poole to pull together a cast of 18 who must not only to act, but sing and dance as well. The satire, written in 1963, focuses on the World War I and features musical-hall tunes, songs from the time and parodies of hymns. It's performed in a non-naturalist style with the characters written as Pierrots – sad, trusting clowns who wear loose white shirts with large buttons, satin ruffles and white pants. The actors change only their headgear and use props, such as bayonets or parasols, when they change character. Oh, What a Lovely War! runs for four nights, June 3-6 at the Academy of Performing Arts.

Scholarship winner's research likely to benefit NZ's kiwifruit industrys

This year's New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship winner, Danielle Lelievre, is conducting research that looks likely to benefit New Zealand in an increasingly competitive global industry – kiwifruit production. The former Wanganui Girls' High student is studying the development of flavour in the G3 cultivar of kiwifruit, a cultivar that was introduced to replace the Hort16A kiwifruit that had been severely impacted by Psa. Danielle has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Waikato and was awarded $22,000 from the National Fieldays Society to support her Masters research. Her research is part of a larger collaboration programme with the University of Waikato, Plant and Food Research and Zespri.

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