Breadcrumbs

NASA scholars have liftoff

14 May 2019

Two University of Waikato students are off to the US for internships at NASA.

Rosemary Swears and Steve McCabe took out two of the four inaugural scholarships. The New Zealand Space Agency scholarships were created to allow New Zealand tertiary students to work collaboratively on research with a NASA mentor. The Economic Development Minister David Parker says the standard of applications demonstrates the high quality of New Zealand’s tertiary education and the way we prepare students to achieve at the highest level in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Steve McCabe's project is looking at miniature sensor networks for extreme terrain.  Steven is currently in the final stages of completing a PhD in Electronic Engineering. He decided to pursue this degree after learning about a problem which prevents people with implanted medical devices such as pacemakers, from having MRIscans. After several years of research, he patented various design solutions to overcome this problem and has since licensed them to an Australian implant company, Saluda Medical.

During his internship, Steve will be working on small wireless sensors for planetary exploration. These devices are designed to operate in constellations and provide mapping and monitoring of environmental conditions. On his return, he hopes to continue the collaboration with NASA Ames and enable more space-related research within New Zealand.

Rosemary Swears project is looking a biosensor development for health monitoring. Rosemary is currently completing a Master of Science (Research). Her enthusiasm for chemistry was sparked as a teenager when she heard a radio interview with explosives chemist Jackie Akhavan, and later, attended a STEM day at IWM Duxford. During her undergraduate degree, Rose found new passions to pursue: analytical chemistry and high-power rocketry (collaborating on a project to design and characterize a series of new inexpensive, environmentally-friendly solid rocket fuels).

With the skills she will gain during the internship, Rose hopes to have a hand in developing hardy, lightweight scientific equipment to launch aboard suborbital sounding rockets, and to be part of the continuing flourishing of home-grown space industry.


Latest stories

Related stories

crowd

Public support for union default

A new survey of nearly 1500 New Zealanders shows the majority support a union default…

Jeremy Zolnai-Lucas

Nice work if you can get it

Young Londoner needs a job, walks into Waikato and becomes a research programmer.

Brendan and co

New funding for Kaumātua study

Waikato professor to lead $2.5 million Kaumātua study with a mana motuhake focus.

Professors Robyn Longhurst and Lynda Johnston

Research looks into ‘belonging’ for disabled people

Understanding why and where disabled people feel they belong is the focus of a joint…

University of Waikato partnership with Genomics Aotearoa

University of Waikato extends partnership with Genomics Aotearoa

Key leaders from the University of Waikato met with representatives from Genomics Aotearoa (GA) today…

James Brasington web

Beware the zombie river

New Zealanders are in danger of creating “zombie” rivers, because we’re locking our waterways into…

Ethan Flintoft receiving Award from NZGS

Ethan’s our new poster boy

The research work of a first-year civil engineering student at Waikato University has earned him…

Professor awarded $1.1m research grant for child concussion study

Professor Nicola Starkey from the University of Waikato has been awarded a project grant of…

Eibe Frank

Learning to discriminate: Can machines learn to identify pest species from photos?

University of Waikato's Professor of Computer Science Eibe Frank will discuss machine learning at a…

3MT Yasmine

How toddlers communicate without words

Highly commended three-minute thesis for student studying toddler communication.

NAISA and sunshine

The first day of formal sessions is on at the Native American and Indigenous Studies…

Historic gathering of Indigenous experts

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association has started in Hamilton, with a record number…