Aug
11

MacDiarmid Investigators Cather Simpson and David Williams discuss how materials science is changing the way farmers analyse milk – Our Changing World

MacDiarmid Investigators Cather Simpson and David Williams discuss how materials science is changing the way farmers analyse milk – Our Changing World Listen to the Podcast on RadioNZ

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Jun
21

What Industry Wants

At certain times of year, usually when a grant round has been announced, academics will pick up the phone and ring people in industry to drum up support for their applications.

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May
16

MacDiarmid Institute Refunded: Thank you and congratulations

With the news that we have been successful in gaining funding through to the end of 2020 I get to be a bit self-indulgent this week and focus on thanking people for their participation and support during the past year or so as we developed the strategy for the bid. Many people have played very […]

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Feb
28

Want more? Be specific! AND explain why

More of everything no matter what it is? And while we generally place boundaries on our own demands ourselves or they are placed there for us, in the end if there were no consequences would we ever stop? But in wanting or asking for more shouldn’t we know what the more will be used for; […]

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Dec
20

The Christmas Wrap

We’ve had another big year. We welcomed two new Deputy Directors Profs David Williams (UoA) and Alison Downard (UoC) (Shaun Hendy stepping down at the end of last year and Simon Brown at mid year). We also welcomed six new Principal Investigators (Natalie Plank (VUW), Cather Simpson (UoA), John Kennedy (GNS), Duncan McGillivray (UoA), Bernd […]

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Dec
16

Izon

“Izon Science designs and manufactures precision instrumentation for nano- and micro-scale particle analysis. The instrument systems, the qNano and qViro-X, are now in use in a wide range of research institutes and universities around the world.” www.izon.com Izon Sciences has benefited greatly from MacDiarmid work addressing the mechanisms of particle transport through nanopores (research conducted by […]

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Dec
06

The Bid is Gone – YAY – let the doing begin!

Eight months of living and breathing the MacDiarmid Institute Centre of Research Excellence funding proposal to come down to a click of the mouse. Where were the trumpets, the marching band, the ticker tape parade?! Shouldn’t such a momentous occasion be marked with an explosion of lights and fanfare rather than the soft snoring sound […]

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Nov
08

Just how important is mentoring?

There were many components to his talk but towards the end he introduced a particular exemplar of something that worked to enhance innovation and achieve economic benefits via research translation within an environment  that included or indeed was potentially even triggered by the University of Waterloo. Communitech in Canada, (http://www.communitech.ca/) started by a group of […]

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Aug
30

Success = People

By almost anyone’s definition the MacDiarmid Institute is a very successful research consortium of leading New Zealand scientists.  The success is achieved and maintained through the willingness of its members to participate in impactful science research in a collaborative vein.  But it is much more than that.  Our people deliver on the broader strategic aims […]

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Jun
21

Simon Brown Deputy Director 2011-2013

Simon was the inaugural holder and instigated our first commercialisation plan, introducing the concept of scoping and in-depth projects. These projects are geared to facilitate the analysis of MacDiarmid Institute research with respect to its commercial potential.  They act as a conduit; providing the beginnings of a feedback loop between the commercial and research domains […]

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Nanomaterials for Biological Applications

We use multidisciplinary approaches to develop magnetic nanoparticles, quantum dots (QDs) and silver nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Magnetic nanoparticles (including superparamagnetic nanoparticles) of well-defined shape are being developed with  Carla Meledandri. We are investigating their magnetic resonance properties in suspension, and their potential as MRI contrast agents to improve cancer detection. The question of how […]

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Interacting with the Animate

This objective concerns manipulations and measurements of single biological cells within controlled, specific micro and nano-environments. We have particular interest in examining the responses of biological cells to lithographically-defined surfaces and materials. The interactions of cells with bio-imprinted patterns, used as secondary culture platforms, can be explored – it is found that the cell morphology […]

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Transport in the Nanoworld

Understanding of nanofluidics has the potential to revolutionise the way in which particle sensing and analysis, and ultimately molecular biology, is done. We seek to manipulate transport of fluid and particles in and around micro- to nano-scale devices, individual pores and porous materials. We use elastomeric tunable nanopores to study a wide range of interesting […]

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Bottom-Up Soft Engineering

In the spirit of traditional condensed matter physics, this Objective focuses on understanding how the macroscopic properties of soft materials emerge from the chemical composition of, and the interactions between, the molecular components. We study the organisation of proteins into higher order assemblies, building on our successful manufacture of protein nanotubes (fibrils) from readily available […]

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Mar
15

From The Other Deputy – David Williams

This will be brief, since the bidding season is at its frenzied height. The Marsden deadline has just passed and MBIE looms. Large documents are being assembled. Wise heads will offer opinions. Other wise heads will weigh A versus B. Yet more heads will ponder cost against benefit. A huge amount of intellectual effort is […]

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Sep
24

MacDiarmid Investigators success with MSI bids

Congratulations to the following MacDiarmid Institute Investigators named on awarded MSI grants, in no particular order:   New Cathodes, $964,050 over 2 years: Simon Hall (Lead Scientist, MU) Magnetic Devices, $3.9 m over 4 years: John Kennedy (Co-Lead Scientist, GNS) and Simon Granville (IRL) [Grant co-lead with Nick Long, IRL] Laser Micromachining, $7.8 m over […]

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Jun
29

Commitment and Collegiality

These plans will be the basis for a joint meeting between the Board and the Science Executive at the end of July. They define what we are doing now and what we intend to do, forming the basis for our rebidding proposal. The meeting was great and showed to me yet again how amazing the […]

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May
18

Building collaborations and partnerships and defining our future

The Forum is a partnership between the MacDiarmid Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, the Royal Society of New Zealand and Te Aitanga a Hauiti iwi and the East Coast community of Tolaga Bay. Sir Paul Callaghan conceived the idea of the Forum and drove it. He envisioned an event in which collectively we considered New […]

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May
11

Developing our innovation potential, big and small, skills and businesses

The programme has several facets aimed at pushing forward potential commercial programmes within the MacDiarmid Institute, providing an amazing training platform for our students and postdoctoral fellows, developing and strengthening our network throughout our Partner institutions and more broadly the regional incubators and getting our Investigators engaged in commercialisation concept development. The programme is delivering […]

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May
10

Auckland Joins Partnership

The MacDiarmid Institute’s network is growing, with an official partnership with the University of Auckland announced this week. The new arrangement builds on a long-standing relationship between the two institutions, and will facilitate more in-depth collaboration and sharing of resources, while strengthening reputations on both sides.”This is a really big deal for us,” says MacDiarmid […]

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Apr
11

Electrochemistry Bootcamp

Professor David Williams introduced the theory and fundamentals, which was complemented by lectures on batteries by Professor Simon Hall and lectures on nanotechnology and sensors by Professor Alison Downard. This provided a good mix of theory and applications, and the challenging lectures were enjoyed by all. Camp-style lodging and delicious food was provided by MESA […]

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Dec
16

Last thoughts for 2011

We have had a large number of successes this year, starting with Professor Sir Paul Callaghan (VUW) being named New Zealander of the Year which led straight into our biennial International conference.  This year the conference was held in Wellington and it was the largest of the five that we have held, bringing several hundred […]

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Organising protein fibrils (nanotubes) into higher order assemblies (Gerrard, Downard, Williams(D), Travas-Sejdic, Blaikie)

With collaborators in other Theme areas (particularly Themes 1 and 5), we will develop methods for organizing the fibrils into higher order structures and will explore the properties of the new materials.  

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Shape and size control of nanocrystals for biomedical applications (Tilley, Williams(D), Hendy)

We are part of a multidisciplinary team developing magnetic nanoparticles and quantum dots (QDs) for biomedical applications.  We propose to extend the liquid phase synthesis of QDs to new materials containing silicon and germanium.  Biomolecules, such as antibodies, will be attached to the QD surface with the aim of targeted delivery of drugs to disease […]

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Functionalised surfaces (Travas-Sejdic, Downard, Hall, Williams(D))

Our work focuses in three areas: i) Optimisation of new approaches for grafting nanoscale organic layers on conducting and non-conducting surfaces and development of methods for patterning the layers and exploiting their reactivity. The approach under study relies on the generation of radicals which attack and bind to the substrate, resulting in strong and stable […]

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Manipulation of Individual Biological Cells (Evans, Alkaisi, Williams(D), Partridge)

Novel physical technologies will be used for studying biological systems, and exocytosis in cancer cells will be studied using the biochip and BioImprint technologies we have developed.   Additionally, a new project has been established to investigate how cells interact with micro/nano patterns made of biocompatible materials. An investigation that will lead to bioactive/biocompatible coatings […]

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Nov
24

Prof David Williams: 2011 Maurice Wilkins Centre Prize

Prof David Williams was awarded the 2011 New Zealand Institute of Chemistry’s Maurice Wilkins Centre Prize. The prize is awarded to a member of the Institute who has made a significant contribution to some branch of chemical science, in the past five years. David is based in the Department of Chemistry at Auckland University and […]

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