$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

Two Engineering student groups named Callaghan Innovation C-Prize finalists

Two teams of Engineering students from the University of Waikato have been named as finalists…

Dr Jessica Pasisi

Research on climate change aims to give voice to Pacific people

A University of Waikato researcher says some of the current colonial representations of climate change…

University of Waikato Radiocarbon dating

Waikato researcher re-writing history of ancient human movement across the Pacific

A University of Waikato researcher is re-writing the history of ancient human movement across the…

2020 New Professors

University of Waikato announces new professorial appointments

Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley has recently acknowledged new Professors and Associate Professors of the University.

Maui Hudson

Indigenous genomics under the microscope at SING conference

The University of Waikato is hosted the first ever SING Indigenous Genomics Conference as international…

It's time to care about our insects

Dr Chrissie Painting, along with 70 other researchers from 21 countries, are calling for immediate…

University education researchers receive over $822,000 in research funding

Three research projects involving Waikato researchers have received funding from the Teaching and Learning Research…

RH Innovation

Student-owned agri-tech startup gains business boost from Microsoft

A student-based agri-tech startup company that has developed an inventive way to measure moisture, salinity…

Louis Schipper & Vic Arcus

Waikato researchers aim to find out what happens to life as the world heats up

A large research project that seeks to understand how biology responds to increasing temperature could…

Professor Bryony James appointed new Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at Waikato

Professor Bryony James has been appointed as the new Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at the University…

Waikato Volcanologist confirms volcano and secures international conference in 2019

University of Waikato volcanologist, Dr Adrian Pittari, led a team that recently found evidence confirming…

 Dr Alison Campbell

Science educator named Honorary Fellow by the University of Waikato

A long-standing University of Waikato academic and science communicator has been named an Honorary Fellow…