Author: Editorial Team

MacDiarmid Institute 2018

Our focus is materials science research and technologies, especially the unexplored territory where chemistry, physics, biology and engineering meet. We collaborate to create new knowledge addressing the big problems of our time, and bring innovations to the marketplace and contribute to the New Zealand Economy. Our ultimate aim is to create technologies that can improve […]

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2018 FUNDING SUCCESSES

2018 MACDIARMID INSTITUTE INVESTIGATOR (MI) MARSDEN GRANTS Philip Brydon – University of OtagoSuperconductors with intrinsic magnetism: Origin, evidence and universal physics Geoff Jameson and Martin (Bill) Williams – Massey University Pectin methylesterases: tuning pectin function with complex variations upon a simple theme Stuart Wimbush – Victoria University of WellingtonAn ion-beam engineered microstructure for high-performance superconducting films […]

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INDEPENDENT POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

Dr Paul Hume Organic solar cells are an emerging technology for low-cost, sustainable energy production. When these absorb light, this triggers electron- transfer from a donor molecule to an acceptor molecule, forming charges. This process occurs within 100 trillionths of a second. Dr Paul Hume will be exploring how the charge-generation process depends on the […]

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NEW PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS 2018

Dr Volker Nock Dr Volker Nock is a Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Co- Director and Principal Investigator of the Biomolecular Interactions Centre at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. In his research he uses micro- and nanotechnologies to help increase our understanding of how biological systems function in health or disease. […]

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Apr
09

NEW STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS PARTNER IWI

Diane Bradshaw Diane Bradshaw has 25-years’ experience working in Māori development and in the public service. Diane Bradshaw is Stakeholder Relations Partner Iwi at our partner GNS Science, where she is based at the Wairakei Research Centre, Taupo, and will continue in her position at GNS Science while undertaking this new role for the MacDiarmid […]

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Apr
09

VIRTUAL MATERIALS

MacDiarmid Institute researchers use computers to reproduce conditions unachievable in a lab, such as the magnetic forces inside a white dwarf star. Some of New Zealand’s most innovative material science doesn’t happen on a lab bench or in a fume hood, but in the circuit boards and hard drives of university computers across the country. […]

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NEW ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATORS 2018

Dr Renee Goreham Dr Renee Goreham’s research niche focuses on the characterisation and synthesis of nanomaterials for biomedical application. For example, the synthesis of ultra-small metal nanoclusters for improved medical imaging or using nano-vesicles released by living cells for detection of disease or as a safe drug delivery system. Dr Viji Sarojini Dr Viji Sarojini’s […]

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BOARD, EXECUTIVE, STAFF AND STUDENTS

GOVERNANCE REPRESENTATIVE BOARD Mr Paul AtkinsChair of the Board Professor Richard BlaikieDeputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & EnterpriseUniversity of Otago Mr Will CharlesExecutive Director, Technology Development, UniServicesUniversity of Auckland Professor Don ClelandProfessor of Process Engineering Massey University Dr Ian Graham*Research, External Relations and CommercialisationGNS Science Dr Chris Kroger*Acting Team Leader Research and ContractsGNS Science Professor Wendy LawsonPro […]

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PARTNERING WITH THE SPINOFF

We partner with The Spinoff online magazine to provide a platform for all kinds of science content for their large and growing audience. Here are some of the articles about MacDiarmid Institute science that made their way onto The Spinoff in 2018.

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JOURNAL COVERS

Sally Brooker and co- workers Substituents drive ligand rearrangements, giving dinuclear rather than mononuclear complexes, and tune CoII/III redox potential.Dalton Transactions 47, 11749-11759 (2018) Jenny Malmström and co- workersEngineered systems to study the synergistic signalling between integrin-mediated mechanotransduction and growth factors (Review). Biointerphases 13, (2018) James D. Crowley and co- workersStrategies for reversible guest uptake […]

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BUSINESS SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS 2018

“I really had to get out of my comfort zone; you need to know what makes an idea unique.” DR NIHAN AYDEMIR, 2017 BUSINESS SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT Eldon Tate Eldon Tate will undertake the Advanced Management Program offered by Melbourne Business School. After completing his PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, Eldon co-founded and became CEO […]

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Apr
08

FUTURE LEADERS PROGRAMME

Running alongside our annual symposium in Auckland, serial entrepreneur and pitch coach Daniel Batten facilitated a two-day ‘Future Leaders Programme’ for our students and postdocs. The Future Leaders Programme is our annual workshop for our emerging scientists to prepare them for life after a PhD or Postdoctoral study. Each year the programme is focused around […]

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ALUMNI STORIES

Over 850 MacDiarmid Institute alumni are now using their expertise to make amazing scientific breakthroughs, mentor students, achieve commercial success, and be business leaders. Our alumni have amazing stories to tell. We created short (90 second) videos for school students who are considering whether to continue with science, to show them some of the many […]

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Into the future

Each year our graduates head into the wider world. Some delve into worlds of their own making and create their own startup companies, others explore industries large and small, government policy, research, and more. Some end up in disciplines and industries which did not exist at the start of their science journey. This is the […]

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Apr
08

SCIENCE OF SURFACES BOOTCAMP

This year 30 MacDiarmid Institute students – chemists and physicists – met up in Wanaka to discuss the science of surfaces, a key concept when working with nanomaterials of any type. Professor Shane Telfer, Dr Colin Doyle, and Dr Shen Chong, presented their expertise on the topic. Informal breaks included group hikes up Mt. Iron […]

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Apr
08

MESA 2018

The MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA) has been running for eight years, and facilitates networking and training for all MacDiarmid Institute students and postdoctoral researchers. In 2018, the MESA executive was: Erin Service (MESA Chair) Shalini Divya (Treasurer) David Perl (Secretary) and Geoffrey Weal, Geoffrey Laufersky, Edoardo Galli, and Tarek Kollmetz. This year the committee […]

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Apr
08

GERMAN DELEGATION

We welcomed a delegation from the German research organisations the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Fraunhofer Society, led by Mr Frithjof Maennel Deputy Director General, International Cooperation in Education and Research, BMBF and including Mr Maximilian Jedemann Deputy Director of Division Cooperation with Asia and Oceania, BMBF and Dr Eckart […]

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Apr
08

INDUSTRY PATHWAYS FOR SCIENCE GRADUATES

HOW DO YOU GO FROM A PHYSICS LAB TO ROCKET LAB? OR FROM A CHEMISTRY LAB TO A NEW START-UP COMPANY? Inspiring and informing people, particularly students, about the diversity of careers that science studies enable was the focus of the ‘MacDiarmid Science – to Industry and Beyond!’ Regional Lecture Series and the Regional Breakfast […]

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Apr
08

DISCOVERYCAMP AND NANOCAMP

The annual NanoCamp and DiscoveryCamp for Year 12 and 13 secondary school students are hugely popular and attract many more applications than there are places available. The five day, all-expenses-paid residential programmes give students an opportunity to learn about nanoscience through lectures and lab experience with MacDiarmid Institute investigators. The DiscoveryCamp programme is for Māori […]

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Apr
08

SPACE AND SCIENCE FESTIVALS

We had broad based and high profile MacDiarmid Institute engagement across the entire Space and Science Festival in the Wairarapa and Wellington. The MESA team ran the largest and busiest area of activities. Associate Investigator Dr Catherine Whitby gave a talk in the main hall, and then took part in a four- strong ‘Women in […]

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Apr
08

SUNSMART SCIENCE FOR SCHOOLS

Principal Investigator and University of Canterbury Associate Professor Martin Allen has designed and made lightweight, wearable, electronic UV dosimeters for skin cancer prevention and vitamin D research. This year, with MacDiarmid Institute support, Associate Professor Allen trialled the dosimeters at a SunSmart programme at Stanley Bay School in Auckland. Over several days, 245 students used […]

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Apr
08

DANCING WITH ATOMS

MacDiarmid Institute funding was pivotal in helping bring about the first documentary about Sir Paul Callaghan. Sir Paul, who established the MacDiarmid Institute and was the Institute’s first Director, played a major role in New Zealand as a scientist, environmentalist, public commentator, lecturer and mentor. Over 400 people attended the premiere of Shirley Horrocks’ documentary […]

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Apr
08

INSPIRE FESTIVAL 2018

This year we ran workshops at the annual INSPIRE Festival in Nelson in September. The Ministry of Inspiration is a charity in the South Island that each year runs the INSPIRE Festival with the goal of inspiring young minds with hands on science, technology, engineering, arts, maths and society (STEAMS) learning (https://ministryofinspiration.org). Associate Investigator and […]

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KŌRERO PARTNERSHIP WITH NZEI

Kōrero sessions were again held around the country – with two sessions held in each of three centres (Auckland 120 attendees, Wellington 32, Christchurch 49). These were again run by Principal Investigators Associate Professor Duncan McGillivray, Professor Eric Le Ru and Professor Paul Kruger. Associate Investigator Dr Anna Garden (University of Otago) attended the first […]

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Apr
08

EXISTING PARTNERSHIPS – NANOGIRL

In 2018 we partnered again with Nanogirl Labs to extend our programme into regional New Zealand, in partnership with their Nanogirl Live! stage show. “The data shows that our work with teachers through the MacDiarmid Institute’s Kōrero programme is transformational.” JOE DAVIS, FOUNDER & CEO, NANOGIRL LABS LTD

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EXISTING PARTNERSHIPS – HOUSE OF SCIENCE

Each of the eight House of Science regions has one MacDiarmid Institute-sponsored Nano-Chem kit, plus the Hutt Valley and Rotorua regions have each purchased a second kit, so there are currently 10 kits in circulation. 238 classrooms around the country used a Nano-Chem kit for a week in 2018. Over 9500 primary school students (including […]

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EXISTING PARTNERSHIPS

We have ongoing partnerships with many inspiring organisations and individuals throughout New Zealand to help share science knowledge and a passion for discovery with others. The aim is to generate a nationwide culture change where science and innovation are celebrated as the keys to New Zealand’s future prosperity. Partners include The House of Science, NanoGirl […]

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TAKING HI-TECH STORIES TO MUSEUMS AROUND THE COUNTRY, WITH MOTAT

We are developing a travelling science showcase that can be exhibited at different museums around New Zealand. The project is a collaboration with another CoRE, the Dodd-Walls Centre, the Museum of Transport and Technology and the Otago Museum, and will bring hi-tech science stories to the general public in a novel way. The showcase will […]

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Apr
08

SHOWCASING SCIENCE FOR FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY AT TE PAPA

We’ve partnered with Te Papa Tongarewa to include future sustainability science in the national museum’s new Te Taiao | Nature exhibition, opening in May 2019. As our Board Chair pointed out in his intro, materials science is the basis of all sustainable technologies, including new batteries, new solar photovoltaics and new types of low energy […]

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Apr
08

EXPLORING SYNERGIES BETWEEN TWO KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS – MĀTAURANGA MĀORI AND WESTERN SCIENCE

We partnered with the Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust to use materials science to better understand the natural colours of geothermal rocks and waters at the Whakarewarewa Village and surrounding areas within the Taupō volcanic zone. Welcoming the partnership, Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust Chief Executive Blair Millar said: “By working with traditional knowledge around the colours […]

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Apr
08

MATERIALISE – A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FORUM

We held a one-day forum – “MATERIALise: a sustainable future” – at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, in October. We heard from four international keynote speakers, each doing pioneering, discovery-driven, work in their fields of fundamental chemistry, physics, and materials science more generally. It is worth emphasising the fundamental nature of their research; […]

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Apr
08

PARTNERING TO DEEPEN AND FURTHER OUR ENGAGEMENT

Using science knowledge to develop key technologies that address national and global issues is at the heart of what we do. We have this year partnered with Whakarewarewa Village in Rotorua to foster whanaungatanga with Māori communities and to contribute towards ways Māori knowledge can be woven together with western science. We have also partnered […]

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PATENTS AND SPINOUTS 2018

DETAILS OF INVENTION DISCLOSURES Chris Bumby• Ultrafast curing of wood glue using magnetic microparticle heating Laura Domigan• Lens protein ocular adhesive Aaron Marshall• Treatment of waste from galvanising industry • Novel carbon electrodes for redox batteries Shane Telfer • Metal-organic frameworks for gas adsorption DETAILS OF PATENT APPLICATIONS Saurabh Bose • Neuromorphic network US Patent […]

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Into the community

Science is People One of Alan MacDiarmid’s favourite sayings was “Science is People”. Once again, we have truly put people in the centre of our science outreach this year with new and significant partnerships, and more than 50 public engagement activities throughout New Zealand.

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Apr
08

MEETING UNMET TECHNOLOGY NEEDS IN THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR

While spinouts are an important and high profile measure of our focus on delivering benefit to society, they are not the only mechanism. We also have an even greater number of research partnerships and licences with companies, the details of which must usually remain commercial-in-confidence. Many of these have been catalysed by our industry interface […]

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Apr
08

CASE STUDIES

SCIENCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP DELIVERS SOLUTIONS Engender Ltd was formed by MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator and University of Auckland Professor Cather Simpson in 2011 to provide a solution to the problem dairy farmers have of selecting the sex of their calves. It’s a pressing unmet need – in 2017, 1.77 million four-day-old bobby calves were sent to […]

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SPINOUTS

THE SCIENCE END OF BUSINESS MEETS THE BUSINESS END OF SCIENCE Three of the 15 spinouts associated with the MacDiarmid Institute have matured and grown to the point where they are demonstrating their benefit to society in terms of jobs created and product sold. While the specific numbers cannot be disclosed, two of the 15 […]

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IMPACT DATA

As a Centre of Research Excellence that was formed in 2002, the MacDiarmid Institute can give a long-term perspective of research impact by summarizing data over 16 years of achievement. The impact data shows that the 33 Principal Investigators of the MacDiarmid Institute and their groups have matched the performance of a well- performing NZ […]

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Into the marketplace

The aim of our materials science and nanotechnology research is to positively transform people’s lives and to benefit New Zealand. To achieve this we seek to get our innovations into the marketplace, both nationally and internationally. Since our inception in 2002, our scientists and their collaborators have developed many exciting innovations. Some have been patented, […]

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AWARDS 2018

Maan Alkaisi College of Engineering Established Researcher Award – University of Canterbury Christchurch City Civic Award for Public Advocacy and Community Services Margaret Brimble Appointed by Her Majesty the Queen as Dame Companion of NZ Order of Merit (DNZM) for Service to Science Elected Fellow of The Royal Society (FRS) – first female New Zealander […]

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Apr
04

THE CONTINUED IMPACT OF OUR RESEARCH

A CASE STUDY ON SURFACE ENHANCED RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY (SERS) SERS is a new field of spectroscopy that is capable of detecting single molecules. It has potential applications in sensing technologies. The research into SERS at the MacDiarmid Institute has made major contributions to this sphere. A paper from 2007 published in J. Phys. Chem. C. […]

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Apr
04

CONNECTING WITH RESEARCHERS AT UCLA

The discovery of conducting polymers – plastics that conduct electricity – won New Zealander Alan MacDiarmid the Nobel Prize in 2000. The research of MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator and University of Auckland Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic closely succeeds him in this field. Professor Travas-Sejdic’s research involves the next generation of advanced polymers that have revolutionary potential […]

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Apr
04

EXAMINING THE NANO- ENVIRONMENT BETWEEN CANCER CELLS

RESEARCH INTO MICRO-ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS WITHIN AND BETWEEN CELLS MIGHT ULTIMATELY RESULT IN TAILORED CANCER MEDICATIONS. Professor Maan Alkaisi is looking for the mechanism that triggers cancer. How is it, he asks, that people can carry a cancer-causing mutation from birth, but do not get the disease until much later in life? What nano- or micro-environmental […]

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Apr
04

METAL ORGANIC FRAMEWORKS

AN ENTIRE RUGBY TURF IN A TEASPOON: THE TINY CRYSTAL GAME-CHANGERS IN COMBATTING CLIMATE CHANGE. Can nano-crystals clean up water, gas and air? 2018. CO2 emissions rose. The IPCC issued warnings. World leaders gathered. And here in NZ, a group of MacDiarmid Institute scientists made significant headway on MOFs, or Metal-Organic Frameworks, tiny crystals that […]

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Apr
04

BIOMATERIALS AS SURGICAL TOOLS

More than 250 corneal transplants are performed each year but the number is limited to donor numbers and there are not enough. Synthetic or naturally derived surgical substrates offer a solution. The dream is to construct and repair what nature has taken billions of years to design — the eye, or at least parts of […]

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Apr
03

FEELING THE FORCE OF FUNGI TO STOP IT KILLING OUR FORESTS

IN 2018 THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED A $13.75 MILLION FUNDING BOOST FOR RESEARCH TO COMBAT THE SPREAD OF KAURI DIEBACK AND MYRTLE RUST. COULD MICROFLUIDICS BE THE SOLUTIONS WE ARE LOOKING FOR? Here in New Zealand, our native trees are currently under threat from two pathogens – an oomycete (water mould) called P. agathidicida, which causes […]

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Apr
03

WHEN PHYSICS MEETS BIOCHEMISTRY

COULD BIO-INSPIRED SELF-ASSEMBLED MAGNETIC STRUCTURES MAKE COMPUTERS MORE EFFICIENT? Anyone who has ever picked up a phone while it’s charging, or worked with their laptop on their knee, can tell you that electronic devices produce heat. It’s all down to the way electrons push through the device’s components, continuously giving up small amounts of heat […]

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Apr
03

BEYOND LITHIUM

NEW BATTERIES: THREE APPROACHES TO BUILD MORE SUSTAINABLE BATTERIES, SHOULD WE LOOK TO DIFFERENT MATERIALS? In today’s tech-hungry world, lithium batteries are ubiquitous. Everything from your mobile phone to the neighbour’s electric car rely on the metal, and it’s easy to see why. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries pack a punch, storing more energy than any other […]

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Apr
03

1. Out of the lab.

Printable solar panels, bioplastics, aluminium batteries, handheld gene testers and novel super-conductors. We tackle basic materials science and nanotechnology questions in the laboratory, to ultimately create something that will meet a need in the real world. We are especially focused on applications that will help our transition to a more sustainable way of life. Developments […]

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CHAIR’S REPORT

MATERIALS SCIENCE IS CRUCIAL TO MANY OF THE TECHNOLOGIES WE NEED FOR SUSTAINABILITY; NEW BATTERIES, SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS AND ENERGY EFFICIENT COMPUTING Paul AtkinsChair The 2018 IPCC report leaves us all in no doubt that we need to act now and we need to act fast if we are to have any chance of mitigating changes […]

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CO-DIRECTORS’ REPORT

THE CORE PURPOSE OF THE INSTITUTE IS THE WORK WE DO TRAINING NEW ZEALAND’S BEST STUDENTS TO BE THE SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS THE WORLD WILL NEED IN THE FUTURE. Nicola Gaston and Justin HodgkissCo-Directors Reflecting on 2018 – our first year as co-directors of the MacDiarmid Institute, it has been a year of new people, new […]

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PhD Scholarship – Superconducting Dynamos

PhD Project: Imaging overcritical currents in a high-Tc superconducting dynamo Superconducting dynamos are unusual devices which enable large DC currents to be injected into a closed superconducting coil. These small high-current (>1 kA) devices have the potential to revolutionise the design and use of superconducting magnets. However, the precise mechanism by which the dynamo operates […]

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Postdoctoral Fellowship – Flux pumps

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Superconducting flux Pumps (2.5 years–fixed term) We are seeking a qualified and highly motivated researcher to work on the study and development of kA-class superconducting ‘flux pumps’. These unusual devices are attracting international interest due to their ability to inject very large currents (>1 kA) into high-Tc superconducting coils. The successful applicant […]

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Feb
25
Feb
25

A mother-daughter science experience with Michelle Dickinson at AMN9

A Kitchen Science Cookbook by Michelle Dickinson is helping mothers to engage in the joys of science with their daughters.Read more in The Spinoff.

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Feb
25
Jan
25

AMN9 Wellington 10-14 February 2019

This year’s AMN9 conference will take place in Wellington. Read more at the official AMN9 website.

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Oct
26

Materialise: a science quest – the game

The world’s energy use is increasing dramatically. About 8% of the world’s electricity is used for computing, and that amount is growing rapidly, as we want our computers to do more for us. We need to do two things: create ways to generate more energy without damaging the environment create computers that still can run amazing […]

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Materialise: a science quest

The MacDiarmid Institute is leading a conversation about materials science and its contribution to a future New Zealand that is environmentally and economically sustainable.  As a way to broaden this conversation and include future users and creators of materials technology, we’ve created a game aimed at school students.    In this quest-style game, players meet […]

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Sep
25

Materialise: a sustainable future

                            Registrations are now closed. If you require any further information about this event email carol.wheatley@vuw.ac.nz.  Play the game ‘Materialise: a science quest’ here Watch our alumni videos here

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Commercialisation Manager at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advance Materials and Nanotechnology

The MacDiarmid Institute is a Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) and is hosted by Victoria University of Wellington. The MacDiarmid Institute has researchers based in seven partner organisations – University of Auckland, Massey University, University of Canterbury, University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, GNS Science and Callaghan Innovation. The Commercialisation Manager may be based […]

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Sep
20

Current MSc Scholarships

The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is New Zealand’s premier research organisation in materials science and nanotechnology. MSc studentships are now open across our research areas and partnership institutions. Successful candidates will become members of the MacDiarmid Institute, a national Centre of Research Excellence which provides collaborative opportunities and a thriving environment to work in.  As […]

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Sep
14

MacDiarmid researchers successful in latest MBIE round

The MacDiarmid Institute is pleased to share the following successes from MacDiarmid researchers in this year’s MBIE Endeavour fund round. All up, these grants come to around $28M, which is shared with non-MacDiarmid research collaborators in many cases (not all listed below).   Research Programs   Addressing the need for magnetic memory to enable superconducting […]

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Sep
04

Applications are now open for the 2018 round of MacDiarmid Institute Business Scholarships for Alumni

The MacDiarmid Institute is offering a limited number of competitive scholarships for alumni to undertake further postgraduate study in business-related areas.   This call is open to alumni who completed their PhD under the supervision of a MacDiarmid Institute investigator.   These scholarships can be used for qualifications including Master of Business Administration, Master of […]

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New Principal Investigators

The MacDiarmid Institute proudly welcomes eight new principal investigators. Pauline Harris Dr Pauline Harris is a lecturer in the Faculty of Science at Victoria University of Wellington, where she lectures in the Science and Society programme on science communication, science in everyday life and the importance of energy in society. She has a PhD in […]

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Aug
21

Alumni videos

How do you go from the lab to the marketplace? MacDiarmid Science – to industry and beyond! Alumni videos   Nihan Aydemir Kirsten Edgar Julie Kho Brendan Darby

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