Media Advisory October 12

Student success to be celebrated at Blues Awards

More than 60 high-achieving students who excel in sports or the creative and performing arts will be acknowledged at the Wallace Corporation University of Waikato Blues Awards this Friday. The Blue is a prestigious award for excellence in sport or creative and performing arts, and recognises regional and national excellence, through to world champions. They are one of the University of Waikato's strongest traditions, dating back to 1971. Thirty-six University of Waikato students will be recognised for their sporting achievements this year, alongside 21 students who have made considerable contributions to the creative and performing arts. Among the awards to be given out will be the Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, Pou Ahurea (Māori Person of the Year) and Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year. The Wallace Corporation University of Waikato Blues are on Friday October 16 at the Avantidrome, Cambridge. For more information visit

Invisible revolution the subject of new prof’s lecture

We’re living in a revolution, but most people are unaware of it, says University of Waikato’s Professor Bernhard Pfahringer who will deliver his Inaugural Professorial Lecture tomorrow, Tuesday October 13. Professor Pfahringer says the information gathered from devices such as Smart Metres installed to measure our electricity consumption, and fitness trackers that record exercise and even track sleep patterns is what data collectors look at. From this information, it’s possible to identify patterns that can be useful to predict future trends or preferences. Professor Pfahringer first came to the university as a post-doctoral research fellow in 1996 to work in the Machine Learning Group in the Computer Science Department and went on to join the staff in 2000, bringing his family with him from Austria. Professor Pfahringer’s lecture Dawn of the Age of Data is at 6pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The Opus Bar will be open from 5pm.

PR campaigns seek to inspire Generation Active

How do you motivate people of all ages to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle, and have lots of fun at the same time? From a ‘Mount your Maunga’ hill-climb challenge, to getting Waikato workplaces to walk a combined 9.8 million steps, to a ‘Colour Rush’ fun-run, public relations students from the University of Waikato’s Management School came up with plenty of novel ideas for their client, Sport Waikato. Four finalist teams will present the results of their PR campaigns at a showcase awards evening this Thursday, October 15. The 14th annual Chesterman Group Public Relations Campaign Award 2015 will go to the team that impresses the judges most with their applied knowledge of public relations strategy, sound research and execution of ideas. This event is free and members of the public are welcome. Presentations begin at 6pm in the PWC lecture theatre, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road. Parking off Gate 10, Silverdale Road.

Literary Encounters to be relived in Sargeson Lecture

Poet, critic, dramatist and soon-to-be fiction writer Murray Edmond will take the audience on a memoir-based journey through key literary encounters in the annual University of Waikato Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture. Like Sargeson, Edmond grew up in Hamilton and his formative literary experiences come from their shared roots. In his lecture, Edmond will evoke his youthful and formative meetings with well-known New Zealand literary figures including Sargeson, Kendrick Smithyman, Mary Stanley, James K. Baxter, Hone Tuwhare, R.A.K.Mason, Denis Glover and Charles Brasch. Edmond has published 13 books of poems. Letters and Paragraphs (1987) and Fool Moon (2005) were New Zealand Book Awards finalists. He has also been active in experimental and innovative theatre companies and currently works as the dramaturge for Indian Ink Theatre Company. The 13th annual Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture ‘Who Would a Would-Be Be: Literary Encounters’ is this Wednesday October 14 at 5.30pm in S.1.02 (S Block), University of Waikato. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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 at Waikato University. The lecture is free and open to the public, but to ensure a seat RSVP at

Business challenge asks students to find cream in the milk business

As global dairy prices plunge, Hamilton-based manufacturer Waikato Milking Systems knows its future success depends on growing its international markets, and designing better products than its competitors. Teams of third-year management students at the University of Waikato have stepped up to the challenge of acting as ‘business consultants’ to the company, as they compete for a $2500 cash prize in the 39th Waikato Management School Case Competition. Each of the four finalist teams in the competition will present their long-term growth strategies for Waikato Milking Systems to a panel of judges this Wednesday October 14. Judges include University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Professor of Agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth, Mark McCabe (Partner at PWC), Nicole Measures (Waikato Milking Systems), and Andrew Johnson (MD of Lightwire and IT Partners). This free public event starts at 6.30pm in the PWC lecture theatre, MSB1.04, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton.

Refugee stories form theme of theatre students’ play

The current refugee crisis, as well as the history of refugee movements, forms the base of an original play production taking place in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts next week. Devised by University of Waikato Theatre Studies’ students and directed by senior lecturer Dr Laura Haughey, Sea and Smoke is a physically bold production which tells the stories of children throughout time who have to journey away from their parents and their home to be safe. The production pulls from both the current crisis and other refugee stories, all the way back to the Kindertransport of World War II. Sea and Smoke is from October 14-16 at 7.30pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Seats are limited and bookings can be made through Hannah Wright at Tickets are $10 (cash sales only at the door).

Looking after the kids

Kids are so cute, but when their horns start to grow they can hurt each other and the handlers who look after them. Melissa Hempstead, a PhD student at the University of Waikato, is studying dairy goat welfare and has been awarded a stipend from AgResearch worth $30,000 a year plus payment of fees for the next four years as she investigates ways of reducing pain associated with disbudding – the destroying of horn bud cells of juvenile animals to prevent future horn growth. It is typically performed using a cautery iron. Melissa says it’s necessary to disbud calves and kids, but she’d like to find less painful ways to do it and will be investigating different pain relief methods, the best age to disbud kids, different techniques and how disbudding impacts the animals’ brains.

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