You Start with a Great University

In April of this year Arno Penzias was interviewed by Linda Clark on National Radio. Arno Penzias is known for the discovery with Robert Wilson in 1965 of the Cosmic Microwave Background a discovery for which they received the Nobel Prize. However, the Linda Clark interview was entirely about the commercialisation of research, a subject […]

Read More

Rhode Island Adventure

During July, MacDiarmid graduate student, Giovanna Moretto, had the chance to travel to Newport, Rhode Island, to present her research at a Gordon Conference. Part of a collaboration involving Simon Hall and David Officer at Massey University, Andreas Markwitz at GNS, and Tony Burrell at Los Alamos National Laboratories, she has shown that Ion Beam […]

Read More

Victoria University Recruits Pablo Etchegoin

In September, our programme of research in electronic and optical properties of materials (Theme II) and in soft matter (Theme IV) will be significantly boosted by the arrival of Dr Pablo Etchegoin from London. Pablo, who comes originally from Argentina, did his PhD at the Max Planck Institut für Festkörperforschung and the University of Stuttgart […]

Read More

Mark Warner Wins Agilent Prize

  Professor Mark Warner, one of the MacDiarmid Institute’s International Advisory Board members, has won the 2003 European Physical Society’s premier Hewlett Packard/Agilent prize, an award of significant value that counts amongst its previous winners a galaxy of subsequent Nobel Laureates. Mark, who is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge and a […]

Read More

Hoiho Pushing the Boundaries

  Exploring a new class of material is rarely easy, and understanding the principles behind it is often even more difficult. In many cases the observations scientists can make about a material relate to the properties of it as a whole, but when it comes to relating this to the basic atomic structure, difficulties arise. […]

Read More

Emulating Nature

  The crystalline petals extend in twinkling, feathery patterns looking for all the world like snowflakes or thin pieces of delicate coral. Looking at some of the scanning electron microscope images produced by Canterbury University doctoral student Shelley Scott and senior physics lecturer Simon Brown, one can’t help but be taken by the beauty. The […]

Read More

Brilliant Colours

  Many scientific discoveries are first inspired by Nature. However, in the case of some twisted and layered nanostructures with special optical qualities, scientists learned how to make them in the laboratory first and then they discovered that Nature does the same thing – in the shiny wings of the scarab beetle including New Zealand’s […]

Read More

From the Director of the MacDiarmid Institute

The MacDiarmid Institute has just completed its first year of existence. The formation of Centres of Research Excellence has resulted in three significant changes. First, and probably most important, we gained access to equipment. For years we have laboured under the extreme difficulty posed by New Zealand’s policy of providing grant funding for depreciation but […]

Read More

MacDiarmid Institute Sponsors Awhina Programme

  Every Wednesday five mentors of Maori or Pacific Island descent who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate science programmes at Victoria University of Wellington travel to Porirua College to work with students, assisting them with their science study. Their work forms part of the Awhina Programme, a mentoring scheme aimed at getting more Maori […]

Read More

Virtual Meetings by Video-Conference

  Because the MacDiarmid Institute ranges over several institutions the practice of holding seminars by video-conference has become a key activity.  The seminars are held monthly and participants are Victoria, Canterbury, Otago, and Massey, and Industrial Research Ltd in Lower Hutt. Overseas video links have been made with universities in the USA and the UK.  The […]

Read More

New Honours for Alan MacDiarmid

    Professor Alan MacDiarmid, from whom the Institute takes its name, has joined the circle of New Zealand scientists who have been made Fellows of the Royal Society of London. There are now 39 New Zealand scientists, including Ernest Lord Rutherford, to have received this title. Alan also received a Doctor of Science, honoris […]

Read More

The Coming of the Synchrotron!

  The end of an era is looming for many of Australia’s so-called “suitcase scientists”, but their colleagues in New Zealand should prepare to pack their bags for Melbourne. In less than four years, Australia will have its own synchrotron – a $NZ240 million science research tool that is becoming the “default” method of research […]

Read More

European Research Funding – The 6th Framework Programme

  In early June I participated in a Ministerial Delegation to the European Commission for briefings on the EU 6th Framework Programme (FP6) and to explore possible R&D relationships between NZ and the EU within FP6. FP6 is a response to the perceived need to establish EU competitiveness with the USA and Japan. Like NZ, […]

Read More