University of Waikato academics have been awarded funding for a broad range of major research projects.
A total of $249.1 million has been awarded to 69 new research projects through the 2018 round of the Endeavour Fund, New Zealand’s largest contestable research fund. The Fund invests in ambitious research projects that aim to improve the lives of New Zealanders by enhancing New Zealand’s economy, environment and society.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research professor Bruce Clarkson says it is University of Waikato’s best result ever. “It is due to a combination of factors most notably a group of outstanding researchers who have really embraced the concept of the MBIE Endeavour Smart Ideas fund and the excellent support from the Research & Enterprise staff in the preparation of the bids. The breadth of the research funded is impressive – from Personal Monitoring Technology in workplaces and earthquake engineering to environmental protection of land and water, new methods to detect invasive fish, and the novel use of marine invasive species. Associate Professor Leonie Pihama’s consistent success in MBIE and HRC contestable grants clearly places her as national and international leader in her field.”
Associate Professor Pihama's research has received full Endeavour Research Programme funding of over $2 million dollars – He Waka Eke Noa: Maori Cultural Frameworks for Violence Prevention and Intervention.
The full list of University of Waikato Smart Ideas grants:
- Professor Ilanko Sinniah – Omnidirectional earthquake isolation system. The project aims to produce a horizontal and vertical stabalising system to better protect buildings during earthquakes.
- Dr Adam Hartland – Isotope-based management of fertilser contaminants. The project evaluates the environmental impact of cadmium (a biotoxic metal found in phosphate fertilizers) on New Zealand’s agrisystems and aquatic ecosystems, using stable cadmium isotopes to trace its movement from soils into waters, plants and biota.
- Dr Clare Brown – New approaches to detect invasive fish. Invasive fish are a significant threat to New Zealand's freshwater ecosystems; this project will develop an innovative biosecurity system for detecting and monitoring the presence of these pests using scent-detection dogs.
- Dr Judy Bowen – Incorporating personal monitoring technology in workplaces The project will develop an innovative, ethical and evidence-based wearable monitoring approach for New Zealand workers in hazardous work environments.
- Professor Ian Hawes – Monitoring cyanobacterial blooms in lakes.
- Professor Chad Hewitt – Marine invasive allelochemicals: novel bioactive leads.The project investigates the chemical ecology of successful and highly competitive marine invaders to determine if they are a likely source of new bioactive compound leads relevant to pharmaceutical, animal and plant health sectors.