Author: Editorial Team

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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Nov
06

The Best 100 Experiments

In 2013, The MacDiarmid Institute in conjunction with The New Zealand Teachers Council, launched a competition to find the The Best 100 Science Experiments for Kiwi classrooms. Primary School teachers from around the country entered their experiments, with the chance of winning a place in the “Experiment Bank”. The competition will run again next year, with 100 experiments being […]

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Oct
25

Research translation academic style: The elements of getting it right

There are many extraordinary exemplars internationally where the universities act as the vibrant hub of a burgeoning startup and innovation system.  Graduates are employed in their hundreds including a hefty chunk of PhD graduates.  Indeed these PhD graduates are right at the heart of it, starting the new companies and/or having the high level skills […]

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Oct
23

Nature Of Science

The MacDiarmid Institute has created these resources to help teachers and students better understand the Nature of Science, the overarching, unifying strand of the New Zealand Science Curriculum. Through ‘Nature Of Science’ students learn what science is and how scientists work. They develop the skills, attitudes, and values to build a foundation for understanding the world. They come […]

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Oct
23

Nature Of Science – Meet Our Scientists

  Bill, Alex, Cather, Maan, Shaun and Sandy work at The MacDiarmid Institute. They all do science for a living, but have very different jobs and persepectives. One thing they all have in common is their passion for science. Click on a scientist’s name to watch their video, or watch the whole playlist here.     […]

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Oct
11

Opportunity calls to the prepared mind! Are you a prepared mind?

I don’t believe in serendipity – show the exact same information to several people, even several people with the same type and level of training and some will shrug their shoulders and go so what and a very few will smile and realise that they have something – something that could be great.  And then, […]

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Sep
27

When do you actually think about what might be vs. when could you? Maximise the full impact of your research!

At one level all of these questions have the same answer – to have impact! Impact within the research discipline, impact on the wider community and ultimately, impact on the World. Research makes a difference.  And let’s face it all of us want to make a difference, most likely as big a difference as possible. […]

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Sep
13

Mobilising our forces and creating strong partnerships

People working together to create a single entity, to realise a specific outcome or to explore and resolve a problem using their individual and collective expertise.  So everyone should jump at the chance of working together – right?  Furthermore they should immediately see the advantage of teaming up with people of complementary skills and creating […]

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Sep
12

Our Stories: Jim Metson

It wasn’t so long ago that ministries didn’t have scientific advisers or if they did, they were in-house appointments, but in recent years such jobs have tended to go to those working outside the building – such as Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, or Dr Ian Ferguson, the […]

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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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Aug
28

Pounamu In The Media

Full media release can be found here. Game Day media release can be found here. Pounamu has appreciated coverage from the following websites/publications Radio New Zealand – http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2567478 Harakeke Hub – Children at Amesbury School. TechDay NZ Science Teacher Gravida Te Papa SciBlogs EsocSci Science Learn Social Media Join the event on Facebook follow the #Pounamu tag on Twitter […]

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Aug
27

MBIE Appoints Chief Science Advisor



“Science and innovation are central components in the Government’s agenda to improve business productivity and the quality of life for New Zealanders, and underpin New Zealand’s economic success,” Deputy Chief Executive Paul Stocks said.

 “As the Ministry responsible for science, we deliver policy and services that develop and support a high-performing science and innovation ecosystem. […]

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Aug
16

Get off the Grass!

The book is the follow up on Paul’s 2009 book “Wool to Weta” Transforming New Zealand’s Culture and Economy, both published by Auckland University Press.  In the few years prior to Paul’s death he began to explore the ideals of New Zealand and its economy and the place that science had in working to define […]

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Aug
16

Get off the Grass Launched

On Thursday 15th August, more than two hundred people turned up at Victoria University of Wellington to see the launch of Get Off the Grass, a book that was co-written by the late Sir Paul Callaghan and MacDiarmid Institute investigator, Professor Shaun Hendy. At the launch Victoria University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Neil Quigley, spoke about the […]

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Aug
12

Pounamu : Exploring a science savvy New Zealand in 2023

Media Release Monday August 12 – Media Release: Pounamu: exploring a science savvy New Zealand in 2023 Date: August 29 12.00pm – August 30 12.00pm Location: Anywhere with an internet connection Issued by: The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, StratEDGY Strategic Foresight Mātini māmano ka rapa te whai By many, by thousands, the work (project) will be […]

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Aug
02

Jeff Tallon Victoria University of Wellington Distinguished Alumni

Jeff has many plaudits already including being awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s top award; the Rutherford Medal in 2002, jointly being presented the Inaugural Prime Minister’s Science Prize in 2009 with Dr Bob Buckley his long-time colleague, collaborator and friend and receiving a DSC from VUW in 1997. Jeff has held a James […]

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Institute For The Future – Foresight Engine

  The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is an independent nonprofit research group. IFTF works with organizations of all kinds to help them make better, more informed decisions about the future. IFTF provides the foresight to create insights that lead to action.   Pounamu is being run with the support of the Institute for the […]

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Jul
19

Callaghan Innovation: Research for Economic Growth

In it is summarised many of the messages that we have been hearing since Callaghan Innovation was launched on 1 February of this year.  The business proposition was strongly stated: Callaghan Innovation will deliver the research needs of New Zealand high value manufacturing industry in order to create real dollar returns. Few would challenge such […]

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Jul
05

New Deputy Director Professor Alison Downard

Alison is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Canterbury she started as a lecturer at Canterbury in 1988, which was her first academic appointment.  She is a founding Principal Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute.  Alison is an internationally recognised leader in surface modification and engineering using electrochemical methods.  She has pioneered many of […]

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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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Jun
18

Wayne Ngata joins MacDiarmid board

Dr Ngata, based in Ūawa (Tolaga Bay) on the East Coast of the North Island, is of Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāti Ira and Ngāti Porou descent. He has a significant history of involvement with the MacDiarmid Institute and its former Director, the late Sir Paul Callaghan, including a key role on the steering and […]

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Jun
13

Previous Years

Award for outstanding Maori and Pacifika year 12 and 13 pupils. $1000 plus 2 weeks lab experience. “I entered this Award wondering whether to do law or pursue a career in science and I leave wondering whether to do Physics, Chemistry or Engineering. The discovery awards programme has shown me the importance of R & […]

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Jun
07

Is collaboration actually a competitive advantage?

They are discussing it in opposition to competition.  As a way of undoing a bad couple of decades for New Zealand, with an overly competitive [income and input][1]system touted as being the root of why as a country we have not delivered as many outcomes as our potential capacity indicates that we could.  That collaboration […]

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May
27

New IAB Chair

Distinguished scientist and new MacDiarmid Institute International Advisory Board Chair, Dr Jeff Tallon spent his formative years mucking about in sheds with crystal sets and Popular Mechanics, taking things apart and figuring out how to put them back again. This quintessential Kiwi childhood has led to an international career at the vanguard of superconductor research, […]

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May
24

Come on New Zealand – Size really does matter!

As scientists we build our careers on our ability to ask the right questions, at the right times, find the answers and then provide solutions or if not solutions a higher level of understanding of something.  To do this successfully we have to understand the system that is under scrutiny well enough in order to […]

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May
10

The National Science Challenges: exactly what does $134 m get these days?

Nearly $135 m over four years of new investment in the New Zealand research sector is tagged for this research investment vehicle ($75 m of this was only announced with the release of the 10 Challenges). This amount over four years equates pa to the level of investment in the CoREs and approaches that of […]

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May
01

Professor Pablo Etchegoin 1964-2013

The Board and all the members of the MacDiarmid Institute were greatly saddened at the passing of Pablo Etchegoin on Monday 29 April. Pablo had battled against cancer for three years before finally succumbing. Our thoughts are with his family particularly Sofía and Julián, Pablo’s children. Pablo joined Victoria University of Wellington and became a […]

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Biology on-the-Fly

Ultra-sensitive spectroscopy – with special emphasis on single molecule Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering – will continue to grow from the recent successes in the application of the technique to reveal new aspects of the physics of isolated molecules (especially those of biological interest) on surfaces. Among recent developments, our group has demonstrated the possibility of […]

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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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Apr
26

What will CoREs look like in the future? How prescribed should this be?

These responses along with the discussions that have been going on with the Ministry of Education will form the basis of the policy framework.  This framework and the associated criteria will essentially outline what CoREs will look like in the future and the benefit they will deliver to New Zealand.  Or will they?  Is it […]

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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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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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Apr
12

Capturing a Vision – but which one?

And then thinking, from both an individual and institutional perspective, how you will deliver on any of that let alone all of it!  Who will have the courage and capability, the vision to lead it, make it happen and get all of us to not just poke our heads above the parapet but actually full […]

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Mar
19

Control at the Nanoscale

Quantum Mechanics Enables Control at the Nanoscale Self-assembly is vital in order to enable industrial scale manufacturing on the atomic scale, because existing technologies usually rely on processes that involve manipulation of tiny individual building blocks. Those processes are time consuming and therefore expensive. The experimental work was done by Postdoctoral researcher Pawel Kowalczyk and […]

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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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Mar
01

From Deputy Director Simon Brown

Many lives were changed for ever and many people are still living with a whole range of impacts, on their families, homes and workplaces. But I’m constantly amazed at how courageous people are in making the best of their situations, and how normal life can still be, much of the time. Living west of the […]

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Feb
15

New Zealand Science Shines!

But more than this we show how strong our science and scientists are, how much we contribute to the advancement of the international community and knowledge base, how our science leaders are the world’s science leaders. The conference is a celebration of science and the vibe as you walk around is palpable.  Vice Chancellors McCutcheon […]

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Feb
15

Callaghan Symposium – Day 2: Beyond the Science

The Inspiration of Paul Callaghan Day 2 sees a range of speakers come together to address who Professor Sir Paul Callaghan was outside his science, and the impact he had on the world around him. What progress is being made in these areas? What plans are there for the future following on from the work […]

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Feb
14

Callaghan Symposium, Day 1: Paul’s Science

The Inspiration of Paul Callaghan Sir Paul Callaghan’s colleagues, collaborators and friends talk about Paul, his science, and his career.  From his PhD supervisor, to those involved in his more recent work.  “Oxford 1970-74 – the Formative Years” Emeritus Professor Nick Stone (Oxford) – Paul’s PhD supervisor Nick Stone, Professor of Physics, Oxford University and […]

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Feb
01

Callaghan Innovation open for business

Last week the new Board was announced. Sue Suckling is the Chair and Murray Nash (previously at MED) is the acting CE.  Richard Templer will lead Callaghan Innovation Research Limited. Transition times are always difficult particularly when the transition includes merging, expansion and evolution and of course people. This is the situation currently being faced […]

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Jan
18

Time for Reflection?

Happy New Year! Welcome back to all of you, I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Year and managed to find some glorious sunshine, golden beaches, a fantastic book and the company of great friends and family.  The Christmas/New Year break gives us the chance to relax, the volume of email traffic subsides, […]

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Jan
08

Bionano/Nanobio and Soft Matter

The disciplines of bionanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, and soft matter coalesce within this Research Theme. Biological systems can act as an inspiration, elegantly harnessing the special physics of the nano-world to perform ‘bottom-up’ processing with aplomb, generating smart, functional, viscoelastic matrices: from molecules to materials. Biology can also be the end-goal, with multidisciplinary teams driving towards applications […]

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Nov
30

Partnership, Excellence, Collaboration

These three words and what they mean to people and to the institute were strong points of focus at the MacDiarmid Institute Board and Investigator meetings held at the University of Canterbury last week.  Their real meaning was clearly evident in the myriad of discussions that took place over the three days and the vibe […]

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Nov
25

Implant project proves winner

Scientist and chemistry professor Kate McGrath has been awarded $50,000 from economic development agency Grow Wellington to further her research into creating lighter and more durable joint replacements. Source: The Dominion Post 

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Nov
22

MacDiarmid Investigators success with 2012 Rutherford Discovery Fellowships

Congratulations to MacDiarmid Principal Investigators, Dr Geoff Willmott (IRL) and Dr Martin Allen (CU), who have been awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships, two of only ten this year.  The Fellowships are designed to help develop their research careers in New Zealand and will provide financial support of $160,000 per annum to them over a five-year period.  […]

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Nov
16

CallaghanInnovation

Attached are Sue Suckling’s speech and the CallaghanInnovation weekly newsletter for your information. Tomorrow the call will go out for the CEO of CallaghanInnovation with the appointment planned for January and the new organisation to be in effect on 1 February 2013.  Needless to say getting the right person into this position will be the […]

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Nov
05

Bright Ideas Funding

Background A freshly formed “bright idea” is often very delicate and it needs time to develop before it enters a rigorous selection process. MacDiarmid Institute Bright Ideas funding is designed to responsively support early stage ideas with a maximum of flexibility and a minimum of bureaucracy. We want to support “bright ideas” to the stage […]

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Nov
05

Lead Innovation Award

Wellington’s strength in biomedical innovation has been recognised through the recent Innovating for Health Challenge.  The Challenge was conceived by Grow Wellington to showcase and support the breadth of reseach and commercial activity in the Wellington region in the biomedical sector. Submissions were received across a broad suite of health-research related topics and development levels, […]

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Nov
02

Shaun Hendy steps down as Deputy Director

Shaun was appointed as a Principal Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute towards the end of 2002.  He is a computational and simulations physicist exploring a variety of phenomena that are unique to the nanometre length scale.  He works closely with many experimental researchers, both leading and aiding interpretation of experimental data.  Shaun is a Professor […]

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Oct
24

Marsden Success

The Royal Society of New Zealand today announced the successfull Marsden Fund grants.  Amongst the 86 research projects were two significant projects belonging to MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigators Professor Richard Blaikie (University of Otago), and Dr Geoff Willmott (Industrial Research Limited), and another led by Associate Investigator Dr Aaron Marshall (University of Canterbury). Engineering optical […]

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Oct
19

Stability and Freedom; all you need!?

A place where talent wants to live.This seemingly simple catch phrase became a major driving force for Sir Paul Callaghan as he worked to open people to the possibilities of what could be, here in New Zealand; to get them thinking and ultimately believing and actively pursuing a better future for all of us.  From […]

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Oct
17

3 Investigators Made RSNZ Fellows

The three Principal Investigators, with ties to four of our seven partner institutes, are currently or have previously been members of our Science Executive, and all make a significant contribution to the leadership and direction of the MacDiarmid Institute. Professor Shaun Hendy – Industrial Research Limited, Victoria University of Wellington Professor Juliet Gerrard – University […]

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Oct
16

Director Finalist in 2012 Wellys

These awards, affectionately called “the Wellys”, celebrate the contributions of outstanding Wellingtonians. There are 35 finalists in 9 categories: Arts, Business, Community Service, Education, Environment, Government, Science & Technology, Sport and Youth. The winner from each category, and the supreme winner, will be announced at the awards dinner on Thursday, 22 November. Links: 2012 Wellys – […]

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Oct
16

Science Learning Hub

Content is quite interactive and eye-catching, and is developed to support the needs of the current science curriculum.  Resources are directed at covering: contexts science stories nature of science and thinking tools In addition to written material, there are videos, images and interactive media, and it also considers teaching and learning approaches etc. Science Learning […]

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Oct
09

MacDiarmid Institute in the Media 2012

Our researchers and their research are recognised as being the best.  They are often asked to contribute to television and radio programmes, and to comment where a scientific perspective is required. Radio Programmes and Interviews Professor Ken MacKenzie Radio New Zealand – Our Changing World – 11 October 2012 Magic-angle spinning NMR allows chemists to […]

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Oct
05

With change comes return – as long as you grab it and sustain it!

There’s a lot going on at the moment! All of this creates a lot of uncertainty and it often gets difficult to see the potential benefits of all or any of changes currently being introduced or mooted, or to remember why any of this is important when there are so many possible personal costs to […]

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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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Sep
21

Achieving in spite of adversity and because of opportunities

Whether as an individual, a team or an organisation creating a vision or reaching for opportunities seems to always come with obstacles, barriers, opponents, self-selected gate keepers and the naysayers.  At times it seems like everything is stacked up against you and that you are stumbling through a mine field in the dark with size […]

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Sep
20

Surviving the Dragons Den!

The MacDiarmid Institute is full of great ideas but……… how do you take the next step to making them a commercial realty? Yiwen, Ben and Alec were fortunate to be able to do this in a MacDiarmid sponsored initiative.  Each of them took an Institute idea along to a University of Canterbury MEM (Master of […]

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Sep
07

Minister Joyce visits the MacDiarmid Institute in Wellington

This week we hosted Minister Joyce for the first time.  During his visit we introduced him to the range of activities that we undertake. In particular we provided the Minister with evidenced of our significant nation-wide collaboration network that has grown significantly over the 10 years since our establishment.  Our connectivity extends across all our […]

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Aug
24

Science is finally on the agenda, but do they actually get it?

Last night I attended a function marking the official release of a report (Science and New Zealand’s Future: Reflections from the Transit of Venus Forum) from Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, on the recent Transit of Venus Forum.  At the event both Sir Peter and the Prime Minister, The Rt […]

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Aug
23

Battling bacteria – a meaty issue

A short story of a MacDiarmid Institute graduate The objective of my research was to optically characterise very thin superlattices of CaF2-CdF2. In particular we have doped Eu ions into CaF2 layers as an optical probe to the crystal environment. Then we looked at optical transitions of Eu centres using laser spectroscopy. Crucial information on […]

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Aug
10

When Does Greatness Begin?

All of us can think of individuals, groupings, businesses and institutions that we consider to be in the category of greatness. How did they get to be like that? Rationally we concede that a great person doesn’t emerge at birth, that a business isn’t from its first day leading and defining the competitive edge. But […]

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Aug
02

Four New AIs

Penny Brothers was appointed an AI in February 2012.  She was born and grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, and completed BSc and MSc(Hons) degrees in chemistry at the University of Auckland. In 1979 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and set off for Stanford University to begin a PhD in chemistry under the supervision of […]

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Jul
27

New steps forward: the establishment of the Advanced Technology Institute

The yet-to-be announced Establishment Board will be responsible for meeting this deadline and effectively defining the full framework of the ATI. The goal of the ATI is to provide a strong support system for our current and future manufacturing and services sectors.  The premise and realisation of the ATI will be defined and driven by […]

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Jul
13

Criticality and collaboration, what’s best for NZ?

The Government is currently considering how to best achieve critical mass in research and as part of this how to ensure strong, real collaboration and use of resources and infrastructure, while maintaining a competitive environment.  A focus of this is a review of the Centres of Research Excellence initiative. In particular the question being asked […]

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Jul
13

Te Rōpū Āwhina

The MacDiarmid Institute sponsors Te Rōpū Āwhina whānau in the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Architecture and Design at Victoria University of Wellington, which was established in 1999. The kaupapa of Āwhina is to produce Māori and Pacific scientists, technologists, engineers, architects and designers to contribute to Māori and Pacific community development and leadership. Te Rōpū […]

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Jul
13

Physics Teachers’ Resource Bank

New Zealand Physics Teachers’ Resource Bank is where you will find lots of ideas for physics classroom demonstrations and activities specifically designed for the New Zealand physics and science curriculum from secondary school to university. Our History The New Zealand Physics Teachers’ Resource Bank has been supporting New Zealand physics and science teachers since 2004. […]

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Jul
12

Opening Young Eyes to a New Perspective on Colour

Like these kids, I was taught in art class that the primary colours are red, blue, and yellow and we can mix them to come up with any colour of the rainbow. So the kids were surprised to discover that mixing full-strength blue and yellow light produces bright white.  It isn’t easy for the little […]

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Jul
12

Nature of Science – Scientist Profiles

  Chemist – Alan MacDiarmid The best mistake ever: Alan MacDiarmid is a big part of the reason your cell phone screen works. He is also the second New Zealander to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry – the first, of course, was Ernest Rutherford who is on the $100 note. “The real creative scientist […]

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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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Jun
22

Not everything is simple!

Indeed sometimes complexity is what generates a seemingly simple and succinct outcome from a system. There are many examples within science that speak to complex systems working to produce a single outcome, or multiple complex components working in synchronicity with each other to produce multiple and/or variable outcomes. Discovering how these systems function and capturing […]

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Jun
18

Commercialisation of protein science

The goal of the programme is to set up an integrated research programme across BIC and IRL that is connected to Industry. Juliet’s Fellowship resources include a postdoctoral fellow and two PhD students, all based at the IRL campus in Lower Hutt. She spends 50% of her time at each institution. The new Protein Science […]

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Jun
15

Capturing the Inspiration and making it Reality

How do I create tangible outcomes, both for my own personal gratification but more importantly to activate the environment and people around me to spread the inspiration, whereby they create further and more impactful tangible outcomes? It seems too easy to be immersed for a few days at a conference, have the initial grains of […]

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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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Jun
08

Our Future Horizons

This week several members of the MacDiarmid Institute have been in Gisborne District region, firstly participating in and viewing the Transit of Venus and then attending the Transit of Venus Forum: Lifting Our Horizons.  This Forum and the partnership with Te Aitanga a Hauiti and the Uawa community was initiated by the late Professor Sir […]

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Jun
01

Are we everything that we could be?

In July last year the Principal Investigators of the MacDiarmid Institute collectively agreed upon the high level vision and mission of the institute and the four key strategic areas. Our Vision: SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE, LEADERSHIP, INSPIRATION: ADVANCEMENT OF NEW ZEALAND Our Mission: To deliver excellent scientific research and education Creative, ambitious, innovative research in advanced materials […]

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May
25

Sparking a Passion for Science in the Young

At the launch of Chiasma (Wellington, 29 March 2012), I had met Susan Weekes from Future In Tech which is an initiative of IPENZ Engineers New Zealand to address the serious shortage of scientifically educated people in New Zealand. Susan’s job links students, teachers and career advisors with scientists and engineers. At the school, I spoke to […]

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May
25

Current Understandings of Electrostatics Challenged

For more information, on these revelations read “Like attracts like?” (Nature News, 23 May 2012) Lekner, J.Proc. R. Soc. A http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2012.0133 (2012). Abstract We prove that two charged conducting spheres will almost always attract each other at close approach, even when they have like charges. The one exception is when the two spheres have the […]

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