Media Advisory June 28


Professor Janis Swan was awarded the JC Andrews Memorial Award on June 24, the most prestigious award bestowed by the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology Inc. Presented at the institute’s annual conference, the award recognises Professor Swan’s contribution to contribution to science and technology in the food industry. It commemorates Massey University’s first Chancellor, Dr John Clark Andrews, who proposed that a food technology degree course be established at Massey University in the early 1960s. Before coming to Waikato University in 1997, Professor Swan worked in the food industry for several years, completed a PhD in chemical engineering and worked in meat industry research.


Research conducted at Waikato University over the past 12 years is playing a key part in a new facility dedicated to driving a massive titanium industry in New Zealand. Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp opens the Titanium Industry Development Association on July 2. The building is housed on Windermere Campus in Tauranga, where the University of Waikato and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic share a campus. The titanium development association is government-funded and aims to help firms develop new titanium products for the international market using powder metallurgy consolidation methods. It sprung out of Titanox Development Ltd which was established in 1997 to develop market-ready products based on the work led by Waikato University’s Professor Deliang Zhang. Professor Zhang says there is potential for titanium to provide a $1 billion industry for New Zealand.


Waikato University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford, heads to Rotorua this week to speak to students at five secondary schools. He will visit Rotorua Girls’ High School and Western Heights High School on Wednesday June 30 before having lunch with Rotorua’s mayor and councillors. On Thursday Professor Crawford speaks to students at Rotorua Boys’ High School, Rotorua Lakes High School and John Paul College. Many of the schools have students at Waikato University who have won numerous scholarships, including the prestigious Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarships – the top scholarship offered at Waikato University.


Waikato University Māori and Theatre Studies graduate Moko Smith is the first Māori and 13th New Zealander to be accepted to study at the Jacques Lecoq international theatre school in Paris. The 23-year-old, who also studied French at Waikato, has been working at Theatre du Soleil in Paris for the last year. He enjoyed the physical style of Theatre du Soleil, a company borne out of Jacques Lecoq, and decided he wanted to learn more. “It will give me the chance to explore Māori material and begin an exploration of what could be a Māori theatre style. I see a huge wealth of richness in our culture that could lend itself so well to theatre; the stylised movements of whaikōrero and haka, the metaphoric and multi-layered language of whaikōrero, the mythology surrounding the gods, all hold within themselves a lot of potential, and I hope to use my training at Lecoq to explore this.” Smith’s course starts in October and will last two years, the French equivalent of a masters degree in performing arts, he says. Meanwhile he’s busy applying for scholarships to help him pay his way. “Last year I lived in a theatre for three months, in the washing machine room, so you never know what Paris can throw at you.” Smith will return home for a month in July.


A University of Waikato staff member is on her way to the 2010 World Equestrian Games, beginning in September. Jenny Chandler, a technician officer from the university’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was named as part of the New Zealand team heading to Kentucky for the games. Chandler, who will be riding on Lace, is one of five New Zealand representatives competing in the endurance event, which covers a 160km course and can take up to 13 hours to complete. The games run from September 25 through to October 10 and are held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. To ensure she and Lace get to Kentucky, Chandler will be hosting a series of fundraising events. See

Do early childhood educational transitions matter in the longer term? This is the focus of a free public lecture at the Faculty of Education. In this lecture visiting scholar Aline-Wendy Dunlop from Scotland’s University of Strathclyde will focus on the experiences of a group of young people who have participated in a 14-year longitudinal study. A cohort of 150 children was tracked through their education from pre-school to the last year of secondary education. The lecture will consider a theoretical framework for transitions, pose some questions about educational transitions, and propose key features of transitions and ambiguities that merit attention in early childhood and beyond. The free lecture is on 20 July from 5:30-6:30pm in Room TL2.26 at Waikato University.


Music PhD student, doctoral scholarship recipient and Hillary Scholar Elizabeth Dobson is experiencing further international musical success. Following her invitation last year to attend the Bang on a Can Music Festival in the US, Dobson’s composition Hindrance for a May Morning has been accepted for performance at the 2010 Australasian Computer Music Conference in Canberra at the end of June. The composition uses pre-recorded digital music samples manipulated through a midi controller over which a soprano sings live. The words to the piece were adapted from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Dobson travels to Canberra to perform her work along with fellow music student soprano Diantha Hillenbrand. This Australian premiere of Hindrance for a May Morning follows on from the Perth premiere in March of Dobson’s percussion solo piece Parihaka, which was performed by fellow “Bang on a Can” attendee Louise Devenish, a top young Australian percussionist.


Transistors in a laptop computer are now just a few tens of nanometres in size, that is, a millionth of a centimetre. This is nanotechnology. However, it isn’t just about computers, it will also bring new ways of fighting disease, help build cheaper and more efficient solar cells, and allow us to interact with our environment in new ways. Our food will be traceable to source, our health will be able to be monitored continuously, and new textiles and fabrics can be smart enough to react to conditions. It will also enable us to make new chemicals and materials. Is this safe? Shaun Hendy from Industrial Research Ltd speaks at the next Hamilton Café Scientifique about the opportunities and risks of nanotechnologies. Dr Hendy is currently the Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. The café is on Thursday July 8 at 7.30pm and is held at The Bank on Victoria St in Hamilton. Café Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The café sessions are supported by the University of Waikato.


The University of Waikato, in partnership with Unitec, presents the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Symposium on July 15. The two-day symposium is organised in a series of five workshops, which include presentations by leading researchers and academics from Waikato University’s Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research. The closing session is presented by Professor Alister Jones, Dean of the university’s Faculty of Education. The symposium is part of the university’s commitment to deliver leading-edge courses to trainers and develop a knowledge base in the area of adult literacy and numeracy. Last year, the university’s Faculty of Education won a multimillion-dollar, three-year adult literacy and numeracy contract from the Tertiary Education Commission to train tutors at polytechnics, wānanga, private training establishments and in workplaces. The Adult Literacy and Numeracy Symposium takes place on July 15-16 and is held at Unitec in Auckland.

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