The value of collaboration “We leverage our robust and vibrant science collaborations to bring together those people and organisations that will work with us to deliver more for New Zealand. We are insatiable in this quest that our activities will create a stronger future for all New Zealanders.” – Kate McGrath

In this issue we meet some of our new investigators, catch up with some of our Alumni making waves in research and industry and take a look at some of the exciting education initiatives that the institute has undertaken in recent months.

Download this issue

Table of contents

  • Editorial: A place to live
  • Controlling their own destiny
  • Making Patterns
  • Transparency
  • New Faces: Michelle Dickinson
  • Kōrero with scientists
  • Enthusing future scientists
  • Discovery Awards
  • A Place to Live
  • New Faces: Kevin Smith
  • New Faces: Tim Woodfield
  • Alumni: Jon Kitchen – Luminescence sensing
  • Alumni: Ojas Mahapatra – Photonic Innovations
  • Opinion: Time To Process
  • Alumni: Cosmin Laslau – Evaluating energy ideas
  • Editorial: A place to live

      What a world we have created through The MacDiarmid Institute and yet there is so much more to come. This first Interface Issue of 2014 marks a new phase for us as an institute as we begin to embark on a number of new endeavours. During 2014 we are holding a public forum in […]

    Read More

    Controlling their own destiny

    The scientific legacy of Dr Bill Robinson is a new Institute at Victoria University Wellington bearing his name. The Robinson Research Institute is a newly-formed institute at Victoria which comprises the 25 scientists and engineers who previously formed the Superconductivity & Energy team at Callaghan Innovation (formerly IRL). This team has moved in its entirety from their previous employer to Victoria University […]

    Read More

    Making Patterns

    These days, the sound of drilling at the University of Canterbury is usually associated with the huge amount of construction going on after the earthquakes, but sitting in Maan Alkaisi’s office on the fifth floor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering building, the drilling outside his office signifies something far more auspicious. “So you’re witnessing the sign with my name being changed. I got promoted to […]

    Read More

    Transparency

    Gazing out from the fifth floor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering building on the Canterbury campus, it seems fitting that one of Martin Allen’s research areas is transparent devices for smart windows. “There’s so much glass involved in modern construction that actually being able to make fully transparent devices, that can go onto that glass and harvest their own energy from the sun, is […]

    Read More

    New Faces: Michelle Dickinson

    Michelle Dickinson has always been interested in how things work. Her father, an aircraft engineer, would leave bits of circuitry lying about the house (Michelle remembers this frustrating her mother somewhat) and encouraged Michelle to take things apart and put them back together again.  This natural curiosity and an ability in maths and science was nurtured at school—“at no time was I ever made to […]

    Read More

    Kōrero with scientists

    A scheme to make it possible for primary teachers to Kōrero  (converse) with scientists is being developed by The MacDiarmid Institute. In two-hour interactive workshops, teachers explore basic concepts (like magnets, light, acids and bases) with scientists as well as hearing about areas of specialist research. “Interacting with scientists is a rare experience for many teachers, but you see them getting […]

    Read More

    Enthusing future scientists

      Nanocamp 2014 BACK ROW: Sebastian Hallum-Clarke, Ruiteng Liu, Morgan King, Mitchell Oxenbridge, Peter van Nieuwkoop MIDDLE ROW: Hansuel Nam, Teague Harvey, Sarah Messenger, Elizabeth Lunn, Paul Schlumbom, Harley Phong FRONT ROW: Emily McCarthy, Anna Hendrie, Ella Austin, Nancy Zhou     Fifteen teenagers from throughout New Zealand spent a week in Wellington at The MacDiarmid Institute’s Nanocamp in early January. By the end, they were bubbling over […]

    Read More

    Discovery Awards

    The Discovery Awards scholarship opened me up to a whole new world of science and its real-life applications. When I applied I really didn’t know what to expect, but after some persistent persuasion by my lovely science teacher Amanda Gibbs, and some good old scientific curiosity, I sent in my form and was lucky enough to be accepted with nine […]

    Read More

    A Place to Live

    Presented by The MacDiarmid Institute and Victoria University of Wellington, in association with Wanganui District Council and the Royal Society of New Zealand. Delegates to the 2012 Transit of Venus Forum in Tolaga Bay and Gisborne, initiated by Sir Paul Callaghan, were strongly in favour of another Forum in a provincial centre to maintain the momentum. The choice of Whanganui as host city honours […]

    Read More

    New Faces: Kevin Smith

    Kevin Smith, newly arrived Head of the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland and Associate Investigator of The MacDiarmid Institute has hit the ground running since arriving in the country in January. He’s been doing the usual relocation stuff, dealing with the construction noise as the iconic Science Centre building on the corner of Wellesley and Symonds Streets is rebuilt, along […]

    Read More

    New Faces: Tim Woodfield

    Tim Woodfield works at the interface of disciplines. His research spans materials science, advanced materials, materials science, biological materials, biology, and includes the study of cells and tissues. This nexus of research areas came about through his underpinning interest in both how things work (manifesting as engineering) and the study of life and living organisms (biology). He pursued both these overarching interests, studying mechanical engineering at […]

    Read More

    Alumni: Jon Kitchen – Luminescence sensing

    Dr Jon Kitchen is setting up a new lab at the University of Southampton. His research area—supramolecular materials chemistry—can be used to develop devices that test for compounds in a variety of situations, from a simple carbon monoxide test for inclusion in home smoke detectors to detecting chemical warfare agents or monitoring DNA activity. The basis of his research is synthesising […]

    Read More

    Alumni: Ojas Mahapatra – Photonic Innovations

    Ojas Mahapatra is one of those enviable people who gets paid to do what he loves. In 2013, he became the CEO of Photonic Innovations, a spin-out company from the University of Otago which is commercialising gas detectors for industries where levels of potentially toxic gases need to be monitored. The technology was developed by Professor Andrew Wilson and uses […]

    Read More

    Opinion: Time To Process

    Dr Nicola Gaston teaches in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at VUW. Her research aims to improve our understanding of the functionality of materials. In particular she looks at the development and variation of physical properties as a function of size, from simple clusters of a few atoms, to large nanoparticles and bulk materials, using accurate quantum mechanical calculations and […]

    Read More

    Alumni: Cosmin Laslau – Evaluating energy ideas

    When Cosmin Laslau was at school, nanotechnology was an up and coming area of science receiving large amounts of publicity. Being tremendously excited by the opportunities, as well as being young and impressionable, he started down the nanotechnology research path. His career has been a mix of study, research and commercialisation, skills he now uses as a Research Analyst at Lux […]

    Read More