Breadcrumbs

$1.6m awarded to Waikato University’s new Rutherford Fellows

11 October 2019

UoW Rutherford Fellows
Dr Jenni Stanley (left) and Associate Professor Melanie Ooi (right) are two of this year’s Discovery Rutherford Fellowship recipients.

Two top researchers have been awarded a highly prestigious award to carry out their research at the University of Waikato.

Associate Professor Melanie Ooi and Dr Jenni Stanley are two of eleven academics nationwide to receive the prestigious Discovery Rutherford Fellowship, which awards $800,000 to each recipient over five years to carry out their research.

The aim of the Fellowships is to attract and foster some of New Zealand’s early to mid-year researchers, and support their career development.

Professor Bruce Clarkson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research of the University, says such initiatives greatly contribute to the University’s research capability.

“We are proud to welcome Associate Professor Melanie Ooi and Dr Jenni Stanley as Rutherford Fellows to the University of Waikato,” says Professor Clarkson.

“Associate Professor Ooi and Dr Stanley will be joining a strong team of talented researchers at the University of Waikato. Both Melanie and Jenni will be an asset to this University, and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of their research.”

Associate Professor Melanie Ooi
Associate Professor Melanie Ooi is one of the leading instrumentation and measurement-engineering scientists in the Asia Pacific region. She currently works in the School of Engineering at the University of Waikato.

Associate Professor Ooi will build a plant detection system that uses specifically tailored LED light sources and precise imaging techniques to measure and detect the prevalence of undesirable plants.

This process will be implemented in real-time without using resource intensive computations so that it can be deployed by being directly attached to farming machinery. She will measure the light-reflecting characteristics of relevant herbaceous species throughout their life cycles, specifically crafting the LED light sources to optimally image the undesired species. The resulting plant identification system that she is developing will have the benefit of being both cost effective and resilient to rigorous use on farm equipment.

Dr Jenni Stanley
Dr Jenni Stanley is returning to Aotearoa New Zealand from the USA to take up her Rutherford Discovery Fellowship at the University of Waikato.

Dr Stanley’s research will aim to assess and effectively monitor New Zealand’s underwater soundscapes. Many countries have made statutory commitments to ensure that underwater sound pollution is at levels which do not harm marine ecosystems. However, a coordinated action to manage cumulative human-made sound levels is lacking, especially in New Zealand. Dr Stanley aims to fill this gap by using a collection of acoustic and visual sampling platforms, novel machine learning techniques and sound exposure models that will produce comprehensive datasets.


Latest stories

Related stories

University of Waikato partners with local iwi to build leadership support in schools

Dr Rachel McNae's award-winning expertise placed her in perfect stead to win a national grant…

Shipping containers

Modelling international trade regulations reveals hidden impacts

New Zealand recently signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an historic trade agreement between…

Dr Aydin Berenjian

Waikato researcher working on miracle vitamin that could lower Covid mortality

A University of Waikato researcher is working on a type of Vitamin K that could…

Earth’s magnetic field broke down 42,000 years ago and caused massive sudden climate change

The world experienced a few centuries of apocalyptic conditions 42,000 years ago, triggered by a…

Waikato marine scientists uncovering secrets to healthy estuaries

University of Waikato PhD students are carrying out important research into New Zealand estuaries in…

Waikato research identifies crucial role of education in supporting refugee and immigrant children

In 2016, UNICEF warned of the growing global crisis for refugee and immigrant children. Today,…

James Brott

Waikato engineering student lends technical skills to help restore historic wharf in Tokomaru Bay

The restoration of the semi-derelict Tokomaru Bay Wharf north of Gisborne has gained strong support…

emily-smith-smiling

Māori homestay a highlight in study abroad adventure

A full-immersion Maori homestay, combined with travel adventures and studying Antarctic bacteria, made up a…

Newly promoted academics

New Professorial Appointments for Waikato

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley has announced academic promotions for one new Professor…

Using robotics to discover smart solutions for 3D metal printing

Engineering doctorate student Ben Jackson relishes his role at Tauranga based metals research company TiDA…

Sarah Bahr

Applying machine learning knowledge on campus to reduce carbon emissions

Sara Bahr started her Summer Research project not knowing anything about industrial steam boilers. Now…

Why nice people commit fraud

Could kind, well-liked leaders be putting their company at greater risk of financial fraud than…