Media Advisory October 27

Iranian student wins Three Minute Thesis competition

Broccoli, Iranian art, natural disasters and rotting fruit were among the topics presented by 10 finalists in the University of Waikato’s Three Minute Thesis competition on October 21. The PhD students had three minutes and a static Power Point slide in which to explain their theses to the judges. The winner was Neda Nourmohammadi with her presentation “Shaping the future: reconciling the contemporary Iranian art with dynamic identity”. Runner up was Sarah Lockwood with “A match made in crisis: a self-organised, youth volunteer response to crisis events”. The People’s Choice Award went to Jason Sun with his presentation on developing a laser-based sensor system that non-destructively detects rot inside fruit and vegetable entitled “Seeing Through Layers”. Neda will take part in next year’s Trans-Tasman 3MT final in Australia. For more information visit

Free lecture on gravity’s telescope

The University of Waikato is the venue for a lecture by Dr Nicholas Rattenbury. Dr Rattenbury is a Rutherford Discovery Fellow in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland, and a member of a Japan/New Zealand collaboration that uses the largest telescope in New Zealand to detect extra-solar planets. Nearly 2000 planets have been discovered orbiting stars other than our own Sun. In this Ten by Ten talk, Dr Rattenbury describes how New Zealand has contributed to the discovery of extra-solar planets using a phenomenon predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity – the bending of light by gravity. The lecture is on Thursday October 29 at 7pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public, but to ensure a seat RSVP at

Waikato Business 2025: A view to the future of business

What will business look like in 2025? Join three experts for a free, one-hour panel discussion this Friday October 30 about what business will look like in 10 years and what you need to know to prepare, taking into account likely economic, environmental and social changes. The three panel speakers are Deloitte New Zealand’s corporate social responsibility manager Xavier Black, who has 10 years’ experience designing and evaluating social impact programmes; Waikato Management School’s Professor Juliet Roper, whose research on corporate sustainability includes a long-running survey of business sustainability practices in New Zealand that began in 2003, and Tama Potaka, Tainui Group Holdings corporate services manager. This event, ‘Waikato Business 2025’, will be held at the University of Waikato’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, from 10am-11am. Registration starts at 9.45am. For more information see

Are new migrants good or bad for economic growth?

A free public seminar ‘The economics of social diversity and cities’ will be held at the University of Waikato’s Management School this Friday October 30 hosted by the economics department. The guest speaker is Dr Nazmun Ratna, a senior lecturer in economics at Lincoln University, who will discuss her research into the economic impacts of immigration and cultural diversity in cities in the United States, over a 30-year period from 1980 to 2010. Two of her key research findings are that cultural diversity increases the average income of the working-age population; and the higher the proportion of foreign-born residents in a city who are not fluent in English, the smaller the economic benefits of cultural diversity. The seminar starts at 1pm in MSB0.01, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road.

Waikato University students happy with study experience

A student survey conducted by i-graduate asked international and domestic students at more than 200 tertiary institutions to complete a comprehensive survey of their experience. The survey covered application, arrival, learning, living and support at the institution, along with whether they would recommend it to others and factors involved in their choice of institution. More than 260,000 students from 20 countries took part. All New Zealand universities took part in the international survey, however only Waikato has offered the survey to domestic students. For Waikato, 742 international (53%) and 2038 domestic (23%) students took part. Overall, they rated their experience at the University of Waikato as second best in New Zealand and 49th globally. Of the international students, 94% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the University of Waikato, well ahead of the global benchmark of 90%. And more than 80% of both domestic and international students would recommend the university to others, a figure that has steadily increased from 68% in 2008.

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