Almaden Adventures

  It was the first plane I had ever missed in my life. As I lay asleep at the gate the flight connecting me from LAX to San Jose left without me. What do you expect after a 12 hour flight from Auckland, a delayed plane, and an airport bar? Missing the plane wasn’t the […]

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What’s Happening? – Theoretically

  Every discovery is usually a product of theory and experiment, and the MacDiarmid Institute’s new deputy director, Shaun Hendy, knows only too well how important both are for science. “More and more happens in silicon rather than in the lab these days,” he says of his successful and productive collaborations with experimental physicists in a range of research areas. […]

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Extending the OE

  When David Williams left New Zealand in the mid-1970s, he was anticipating a two-year OE and hoping for a change in direction after his PhD in electrochemistry. More than three decades later, he finally returned home in 2006 to take up a position at his alma mater, the University of Auckland, and to join the […]

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The Student and Post Doc Symposium 2008 – “An Overview of Institute Expertise”

  The Symposium “An Overview of Institute Expertise” was held at Victoria University of Wellington on the 10th and 11th of November. There were 45 participants drawn from the six partner sites of the Institute and from the University of Auckland. Eric LeRu, associate investigator in the Institute, organised the symposium which coincided with a […]

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Being a PhD Student in New Zealand

  Raoul Peltier, France What degree are you doing?A PhD in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Auckland, supervised by Professors David Williams and Margaret Brimble. What is your research about?Antifreeze glycoproteins found in Antarctic fishes inhibit the growth of tiny ice crystals at cold temperatures. This allows the fish to survive in […]

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Scientists leading the way

  In the final presentation to the Student Symposium Paul Callaghan reminded those present that our namesake, Alan MacDiarmid, began his career in New Zealand at Victoria College, as it was then. His inspirational qualities of greatness in science combined with a genuine interest in people, particularly young people at the beginning of a scientific career, […]

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David and Goliath

  Jim Metson, Ashton Partridge, Richard Tilley and Shane Telfer formed part of a MoSRT-sponsored delegation to Japan in December 2007. Our brief was to explore collaborative opportunities between New Zealand and Japan in the field of nanotechnology. This builds on a bilateral cooperation MoU that was signed by MoRST and its Japanese counterpart in 2005. We visited […]

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Beavering away in Saskatchewan

  During July-August of this year I visited the University of Saskatchewan in Canada as part of my sabbatical leave. The university is the largest in the province (about 30,000 students), and hosts the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, and a large engineering school. The visit was hosted by Prof Safa Kasap in the Computing and […]

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Sensitive New Age chemistry

  Sometimes, a very small amount of something can have a big effect. Minute traces of contraceptive estrogen in waterways can affect fish, toxins from algal blooms can cause shellfish to become dangerous to eat, and bacteria in air conditioning can lead to Legionnaire’s disease. A major issue has been finding a way to detect something […]

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The MacDiarmid Institute Discovery Awards

  The first five Discovery Awards pupils, Ben Jones, Kate Tartawhiti, Nikita Hunia, PJ Campbell and Jardin Rose, along with teachers and members of their families, were welcomed to the programme in December. Three of the pupils will be placed at the University of Canterbury and two at Victoria University of Wellington. These are pupils […]

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MacDiarmid – a necessary luxury

The multi-million experiment that is the MacDiarmid Institute is both a necessity and a luxury for New Zealand, according to its new director, Dr Richard Blaikie. That may sound a little edgy, but it makes sense when you consider the strategic importance of fundamental science in underpinning the discoveries that lead to an economy strongly […]

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