May
08

Change in leadership sees MacDiarmid Institute head in new direction

Chair of the MacDiarmid Institute Board, Paul Atkins, today announced the appointment of Associate Professor Nicola Gaston and Associate Professor Justin Hodgkiss as Co-Directors of the Institute. “I’m delighted to see both Associate Professor Gaston and Associate Professor Hodgkiss take up the roles of Co-Director of the MacDiarmid Institute.  Both have long experience as MacDiarmid […]

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Aug
11

MacDiarmid Deputy Director Nicola Gaston talks with Kathryn Ryan about the science of stuff used to make things

MacDiarmid Deputy Director Nicola Gaston talks with Kathryn Ryan about the science of stuff used to make things Listen to the Podcast on RadioNZ  

By Christoph Hasenoehrl | In The Media . Newsroom
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Oct
12

Nanoscale melting: how size changes thermodynamic stabiility

The properties of nanomaterials change in a number of different ways, some of which are predictable, while others can be quite surprising! Nanoparticles usually melt at lower temperatures than the bulk material, due to the reduced stability of atoms at the surface. This paradigm – called melting point depression – has been challenged by experimental […]

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May
20

Dr Nicola Gaston – Exploring latest advances in science

How to melt a teaspoon in a cup of tea and how chemistry can help unlock new wine markets are among innovative scientific developments people will be able to learn about at a free talk in the Masterton Town Hall next week. Chemistry and physics experts from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at […]

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Nov
30

Women of Influence Recognised

Four MacDiarmind Institute Investigators; Margaret Brimble, Michelle Dickinson, Nicola Gaston and Kathryn McGrath were shortlisted in the Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Excellence Awards. The Women of Influence Awards identify the bold, energetic women who are helping shape New Zealand and its future across eight categories. They acknowledge women who are having an impact well beyond their […]

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Oct
17

Women of Influence and Young Science Communicators: Movers and Shakers of Our Future

The first celebrating New Zealand Women, a Fairfax Media and Westpac initiative, now it its second year, and the second New Zealand’s young science communicators in the Sir Paul Callaghan EUREKA! Awards, a Rotary initiative running now for three years. Professor Margaret Brimble, an Associate Investigator in the institute and based in the School of […]

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Sep
05

Women of Influence Profiled

Four MacDiarmind Institute Investigators; Margaret Brimble, Michelle Dickinson, Nicola Gaston and Kathryn McGrath have been shortlisted in the Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Excellence Awards. The Innovation and Science category recognises women who are driving innovation within a business, workplace or community, through their work in the sciences, medicine, academia, IT and biotechnology, finance, engineering or in organisational design and management.    Source: […]

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Jun
22

Sisters are doing it together

One of the most motivating pieces of advice scientist Dr Nicola Gaston ever received was being told how to dress. It was 2012, and Gaston was leaving her job at Industrial Research Ltd to take up a lecturing post at Victoria University. She was invited to give a farewell address and discuss her scientific work. […]

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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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Mar
18

Women in Science

More women than ever are stepping into labs, but few of them are making it to science’s highest offices. In an article featuring two Principal Investigators from The MacDiarmid Institute – Dr Nicola Gaston and Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble – science reporter Jamie Morton looks at what can be done to close the gender gap.  Related article Nicola […]

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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
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
20

Nicola Gaston on Sexism in Science

The MacDiarmid Institute’s Dr Nicola Gaston speaks with Radio New Zealand’s Bryan Crump about sexism in science.  SOURCE: Radio New Zealand Nicola’s Blog Why Science Is Sexist Read More

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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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Structural properties of materials at the nanoscale (Reeves, Gaston)

The difference between trapping by tunnelling through the bandgap barriers and trapping at defect sites will be investigated. The results will contribute to understanding charge transport properties in wide-band gap optical materials. Our theoretical insight will also be applied to calculate the structures of metallic systems from first-principles, developing new techniques that enable us to […]

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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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Dec
13

Quantum Chemistry with Dr Nicola Gaston

What we’re particularly interested in is illustrated by the version of the periodic table shown on this page. Here each metal atom in the periodic table is coloured according to the structure it adopts in the bulk, which is simply a way of describing the arrangement of the atoms in space. So aluminium, for example, […]

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Understanding electronic and optical properties of nanoparticles and nanostructures (Gaston, Kaiser, LeRu)

Further work will be aimed at understanding electronic transport in graphene, a new form of carbon, consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms that has many unique properties.  One focus will be graphene prepared by different techniques.  Finally, electronic structure calculations are used to characterise the development of metallicity in nanoscale metal clusters.  This […]

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