Beating Post-PhD Depression

When he talks to science students approaching the end of their degrees, Benjamin Matthewson says that most tell him if they can’t keep doing research, they have no idea what lies ahead. Yet roughly seventy percent of PhD graduates will not go on to find employment in the sciences. This stark statistic looms large for Ben. […]

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Leading the Blind

For his third career, MacDiarmid graduate David Garrett is aiming to restore sight to the blind. It may sound improbable, but not much more so than the path he has taken to get there. You’d be hard-pressed to invent a more original CV. At age forty, he has secured his first academic post, working to prototype […]

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Starting a Revolution

Dr Andrew Preston is ready for the next challenge – starting his own business. It’s a big idea; nothing less than revolutionising academic publishing. As he sees it, we’re still using 17th century scientific traditions. In particular, Andrew and his business partner, Daniel Johnston, want to modernise the whole peer review system. The pressure is on […]

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Just a Few Words of Encouragement

 Elf Eldridge describes his unusually rocky road to physics research, his burgeoning career as a science communicator, and the immense impact MacDiarmid researchers have had on his life. Kia ora, I’m Elf – or ‘technically’ James Alexis Eldridge. I wasn’t a great student at high school, scraping through most of my subjects apart from English. […]

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The Power of Interface …

It’s no exaggeration, says Dr Evan Blackie, that reading an early copy of Interface about the MacDiarmid Institute and an inspirational foreword by Sir Paul Callaghan directly influenced his return to New Zealand from Japan, where he was having a working holiday, first as an ESOL teacher, then as a science editor. After graduating with a […]

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Discovery Awards 2011

In December 2011 seven pupils from around New Zealand including Christchurch, Nelson and the Wellington region attend a two day introduction to the Discovery Awards programme. During the two day event they were involved with interactive science sessions with Howard Lukefahr and Elf (James) Eldridge and also met their lab  supervisors for the two week […]

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Tensor Times

Mark Hunter turned out of bed, got breakfast for his two young sons, then quickly checked his emails before he did anything else. The word ‘unanimous’ grabbed his attention immediately and sparked an adrenalin rush. He’d been expecting word from the Ampere Group about his thesis, which he’d entered into their competition. There were none of […]

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The 7th annual MacDiarmid Institute Student and Post-Doc Symposium, Wellington 17-18 November 2011

The 2011 symposium was our biggest yet, with over 100 students and post-docs attending alongside the parallel annual Investigators’ meeting — a strong testament to the vitality of the institute. The symposium theme “What’s Next?” provided an opportunity to engage with a range of issues regarding career pathways beyond the MacDiarmid Institute. Dr Cathy Foley (materials […]

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The Emergence of MESA

  2011 was an exciting year for the MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association, or MESA as we’re known. Prior to the 2010 Student and Postdoc Symposium I had sent round a few emails asking for interested people to join me in an emerging scientists committee. I couldn’t believe the response. The idea to form the committee came after some discussions […]

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The New Zealand Paradox

  What can we do to lift prosperity in New Zealand? The tools and concepts needed to answer this question have their origins in statistical physics. This is a problem tailor made for physicists and mathematicians at Industrial Research Ltd. Professor Shaun Hendy explains. Nanotechnologists sometimes trace the origins of their field back to a 1959 […]

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Distinguished Awards in 2011

  Professor Jeff Tallon was awarded the 2011 New Zealand Institute of Physics’ Dan Walls Medal. The Dan Walls medal is awarded to the physicist working in New Zealand for at least the past ten years who is deemed to have made the greatest impact, both nationally and internationally, in his/her field of research. Jeff is a […]

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The Ultimate Video Game

  Most research techniques or instruments are familiar only to the people who work with them, but there are a few that have become well known outside the scientific community. X-ray crystallography, or more generally X-ray diffraction, is one of them. Pioneered by Nobel laureates Max von Laue and the father/son combination of William Henry and […]

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Joe’s Birthday Bash

  A special symposium entitled A Brief History of VUW Condensed Matter Physics was organised to mark Joe Trodahl’s approaching 70th birthday by Franck Natali, Ben Ruck and Natalie Plank, and on 9 December 2011 family and friends gathered to pay tribute to his long, productive and still extremely active, research career. The physicists took […]

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Transit of Venus Forum – Lifting our Horizon – Gisborne 5-8 June 2012

  As the shadow of Venus crossed the face of the Sun on 8 June 2004, Professor Sir Paul Callaghan began his new career in public science communication at Te Papa, with a talk on science and the future. It was introduced by Radio New Zealand National presenter Kim Hill, and broadcast as part of […]

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AMN-6 – Sixth International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology

    The University of Auckland Business School 11-15 February 2013   The Sixth International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AMN-6) will take place in February 2013 in Auckland. The AMN conferences are biennial events and have developed a strong reputation over the past decade for bringing together leading researchers at the forefront of advanced […]

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Journeys in the Real World

  At the November meeting of over 150 MacDiarmid Institute members, six outstanding young alumni summed up their life experiences on some not so linear paths to science. They added up to many years waitering at the Fisherman’s Table in Palmerston North, thousands of dirty dishes, catering for the rich and famous, including the Queen, ballet dancing, van […]

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