Media Advisory May 9

Engineering at Waikato set to grow
The University of Waikato has had engineering courses on offer since 2002, and from B Semester 2016, will be adding civil and environmental engineering to the mix. The new programmes have been developed to produce graduates with the skills and knowledge to address New Zealand and the world’s growing environmental and infrastructure needs. The new programmes will sit alongside the university’s five existing engineering programmes – chemical and biological, electronic, materials and processing, mechanical and software, all of which have full accreditation from the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ). B Semester starts July 18.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

App a new addition to Waikato University Open DayBuilding your own schedule, navigating around campus and connecting with others on social media are just some of the features of the new Waikato University Open Day app being introduced for this year's event on Friday May 13. The annual event, which is free and open to the public, is designed to showcase the qualifications, academic excellence, student support, facilities and lifestyle the university offers students. The app has been designed to make all of this more accessible and ensure everyone's day goes as smoothly as possible. Open Day is also a chance for prospective students and the community to explore the new Law Building opened last month. Throughout the day, prospective students will be able to try their hand at science experiments, take part in tours around the halls and campus, and talk to staff and students about study options. For more information about Open Day visit
Contact: Anna Nielsen, 07 858 5656, or

In the danger zone: the perils of over-exercising and under-eating
Western cultures are bombarded with messages about being slim, with the implication being that slim is healthy. This isn’t always the case, and in the era of professional sport, female athletes in particular are often pushing themselves to the max and doing serious and sometimes long-term damage to themselves. University of Waikato academics will discuss society’s obsession with weight and performance in a live online question and answer session taking place on Wednesday this week. The public can join the session and submit their own questions to the panel that includes a scientist, sociologist, educator, philosopher and a former Olympian. For more information and to submit questions, go to Alison Robertson, 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or

What’s in a song?
Aspiring song-writers will have the chance to hone their skills with a new course being offered by the charitable trust Play It Strange and the University of Waikato. The Song-writing 101 course will begin next year at the university with the support of an innovative new songwriter’s expansion to the Play It Strange website. Titled Strange World, it will offer guidance and tutoring for secondary school students, allowing them to develop and refine their song-writing talents. As part of the partnership, the university will offer IT and social media support, and also offer scholarships in song-writing. Under the agreement, CEO and founder of Play it Strange Mike Chunn (of Split Enz and Citizen Band fame) will provide mentoring and coaching services to scholarship students. University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says music is already strong at Waikato and working with Play it Strange seemed a natural fit for expanding the student experience.
Contact: Alison Robertson on 07 858 5135, 027 309 4420, or

History and meaning of Matariki
The University of Waikato and Waikato Museum have teamed up to create a long-running exhibition on modern Māori astronomy and promote a better understanding of the history and meaning of Matariki. Te Whānau Mārama: The Heavenly Bodies will open at Waikato Museum on May 28 2016 and run until July 13 2018. The exhibition examines the traditional Māori societal view of the night sky and how it is being revitalised in the modern world. University staff Associate Professor Rangi Matamua, Dr Hēmi Whaanga, Dr Ann Hardy and PhD candidate Hohepa Tuahine are the exhibition curators. They’ve worked with the museum, The Royal Society of New Zealand, the community and used their own research to put the exhibition together. To acknowledge the rising of Matariki on June 28 2016, a series of events will be held in the Te Whānau Mārama gallery at Waikato Museum. For more information, visit
Contact: Associate Professor Rangi Matamua, 07 838 4466 ext 6312, or, or Dr Ann Hardy, 837 9178, or

Holding a tune, and finding it laterImagine if Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony wasn’t ever recorded because a young Ludwig forgot to jot down the famous notes “Da-da-da duuumm”. Thanks to advances in Music Information Retrieval (MIR) technology, musicians won’t have to worry about forgetting or misplacing that next big hit. Professor of Computer Science David Bainbridge from the University of Waikato is creating tools that will make composing, storing, retrieving and performing music much easier and more intuitive. Professor Bainbridge will talk about his research at his Inaugural Professorial Lecture ‘Mozart’s Laptop’ on Tuesday May 17 at 5.15pm at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Inaugural Professorial Lectures are the university’s way of introducing its latest professors to the community and are free and open to the public.
Contact: Mike Watson, 07 838 4235, or

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