Annual Report 2017

2 Into the marketplace – Annual Report 2017

Commercialisation and industry engagement. The MacDiarmid Institute aims to transform New Zealand’s economy by catalysing the growth of new export industries. The Institute has a proud record of spinning out new high-tech companies. MacDiarmid investigators spun out three new companies in 2017, SpotCheck, Sapvax and Silventum, while recent spinouts continued their successful trajectories – gaining […]

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3 Into the Communtiy – Annual Report 2017

The MacDiarmid Institute has a long history of supporting sustained community engagement activities by our investigators, from the DiscoveryCamp programme for Māori and Pasifika high school students that has been running since the Institute was founded, to the physics teachers’ workshops developed by Professor Michele Governale and Associate Professor Ben Ruck over the last three […]

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Annual Report 2017

This is the MacDiarmid 2017 annual report. The report as a whole can be accessed here (pdf).   0 Introduction 0.1 Director’s report 0.2 Chair’s report   1 Out of the lab 1.1 Water quality testing and medical diagnostics 1.2 Taking the heat off 1.3 Painting semiconductors 1.4 The solar panel revolution 1.5 Science is […]

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4.3 Recipients of business scholarships – Annual Report 2017

In 2017 for the first time we offered competitive MBA scholarships to our alumni, and awarded the following: Nihan Aydemir, PhD 2016: Final course for Masters of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship, University of Auckland Nihan will use this scholarship for the completion of a Masters of Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. She hopes to take what she learns […]

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4.2 Future Leaders Programme – Annual Report 2017

Our 2017 Future Leaders Programme – an annual two-day workshop for our emerging scientists – was themed commercialisation and industry career development. Students took a plunge into the world of a science entrepreneur and reflected on how to pitch themselves for industry careers, culminating in the opportunity to network with many of our industry partners […]

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4.1 Into the future – Annual Report 2017

With 624 PhD students and 190 Postdoctoral Fellows having graduated and found their way in the wider world after their time with the MacDiarmid Institute, it’s not surprising to see some real success stories. Here are three recent examples. MacDiarmid alumnus Dr Andrew Preston’s start-up company Publons was acquired by international data analysis company Clarivate […]

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3.11 The three-minute video challenge – Annual Report 2017

This year MESA again challenged MacDiarmid students and researchers to produce a three- minute video clip presenting their research to the general public (on a level that could be enjoyed and understood by a curious teenager). The panel of judges were Toby Manhire (The Spinoff); Dacia Herbulock (Science Media Centre); and MacDiarmid Principal Investigator and […]

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3.10 Nanocamp and DiscoveryCamp

The 2017 NanoCamp and DiscoveryCamp again saw high numbers of applications from Year 12 and 13 secondary school students. The five-day, all-expenses-paid residential programmes give students an opportunity to learn about nanoscience through lectures and lab experience with MacDiarmid investigators. This year the programmes were run by Principal Investigators Dr Natalie Plank (Wellington, Discovery), Dr […]

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3.9 Cluster hui – Annual Report 2017

The MacDiarmid Institute’s 15th annual cluster hui on nanoclusters was held in Glenorchy in November. 29 MacDiarmid scientists from four universities presented a huge range of work within the cluster umbrella. Presentation topics included optimisation of gas dynamic virtual nozzles for bioimaging applications, the use of evolutionary algorithms for nanocluster morphology determination, and the development […]

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3.8 Bootcamp – Annual Report 2017

Twenty MacDiarmid students and postdocs attended the annual MacDiarmid Emerging Students Association (MESA) Bootcamp in Kaiteriteri in November, spending the first day presenting and hearing about each other’s research. It was an opportunity to hear what others in the MacDiarmid Institute do and to open up collaboration possibilities. They spent the second day hearing MacDiarmid […]

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3.7 Partnering with The Spinoff – Annual Report 2017

As Science Page Partner for The Spinoff online magazine, we’ve provided a platform for over 100 articles on science, in areas ranging from climate change to women in science, to nanotechnology. Our partnership has created a place where all science and articles on materials science in particular can reach the general public. This included a […]

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3.6 Social media – Annual Report 2017

We used social media to engage our followers about the Women In Nanoscience lecture series, on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Tweets linking to articles about Dr Carla Meledrandi and Professor Cather Simpson, for example, had a potential reach of 9.3 thousand which shows many were interested in the work and lives of our scientists. Through […]

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3.5 Physics teachers workshops – Annual Report 2017

Physics Teachers Workshops Principal Investigators and Victoria University of Wellington researchers Professor Michele Governale and Associate Professor Ben Ruck continued their popular hands-on programme for high- school physics teachers. The programme, which has been running since 2015, took the workshops to physics teachers in Palmerston North and Dunedin, in collaboration with the Dodd- Walls CoRE. […]

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3.4 Kōrero – Annual Report 2017

The 2017 Kōrero programme was again led by MacDiarmid Principal Investigators Associate Professor Duncan Macgillivray (University of Auckland), Professor Eric Le Ru (Victoria University of Wellington) and Professor Paul Kruger (University of Canterbury). The programme, where MacDiarmid scientsts teach nanoscience directly to teachers, reached 139 primary and early childhood teachers in Auckland, Wellington, Porirua and […]

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3.3 Women in Mathematical Sciences – Annual Report 2017

The MacDiarmid co-sponsored the first Mirzahkani Hui for Lower North Island Women in Mathematical Sciences Conference was in December. The meeting brought together 20 women involved in mathematics, physics, physical chemistry, statistics, and computer science in the Palmerton North and Wellington regions. These women were researchers and teachers from universities and industry, from a variety […]

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3.2 Women in nanoscience – Annual Report 2017

This year 19 women from the MacDiarmid Institute travelled to seven regional centres to tell their personal stories of life in science. They gave their own perspectives on what it is like being a woman in the physical sciences (physics, chemistry or engineering) – an area of science largely populated by men. Dr Carla Meledandri, […]

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3.1 Extending our engagement – Annual Report 2017

House of Science By partnering with House of Science, we enabled the Tauranga- based charity to begin their nation-wide roll-out of their science box scheme. House of Science provides science resource kits and professional development to schools and teachers. The new MacDiarmid Nano-Chem boxes are based on our longstanding Kōrero programme (and include experiments with […]

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2.3 Spinouts formed in 2017 – Annual Report 2017

Sapvax Margaret Brimble – Co-Founder Silventum Limited Carla Meledandri SpotCheck Technologies Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, David Williams

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2.2 Patents – Annual Report 2017

Margaret Brimble “Quinoline Sulfonamide Compounds and their use as Antibacterial Agents” US Provisional Patent Application 62/608,141, 2017 “Peptide Conjugate CGRP Receptor Antagonists and Methods of Preparation and Uses Thereof” NZ Patent Application 736960, 2017 “Peptide Conjugates, Conjugation Process and Uses Thereof” NZ Patent Application 735008, 2017 “Tumour-targeting Peptide Variants” GB Patent Application 1706472.6, 2017 “Amino […]

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2.1 The business science interface – Annual Report 2017

The science end of business meets the business end of science New Zealand companies have finite resources to develop innovative technology for global markets. Yet right down the road from some of these local companies are scientists from the MacDiarmid Institute, leading the world in some of these very same areas. While the main research […]

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1.5 Science is beautiful – Annual Report 2017

Scientists don’t often call the focus of their work gorgeous, but this is the exact term that Principal Investigator Professor Shane Telfer uses to describe the metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) he is creating in the lab. “Under a microscope they look quite beautiful,” says Professor Telfer. “Out of the gloop we use to produce MOFs, emerge […]

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1.10 AMN8 – 8th international conference on advanced materials and nanotechnology – Annual Report 2017

The biennial AMN conferences are becoming increasingly international, with 69 percent of the more than 500 delegates to AMN8 coming from overseas and including some of the best researchers in Materials Science. AMN8 Outreach The event was much more than a typical Materials Science conference: Manchester University Professor David Leigh spoke to 680 Christchurch students […]

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1.9 New associate investigators – Annual Report 2017

Dr Philip Brydon, University of Otago Superconductivity is a low-temperature quantum state of matter where electricity can flow without resistance. Despite intense study, we still have a poor understanding of the many unconventional superconductors. Philip’s research aims to develop a microscopic description of these enigmatic, but technologically important, superconductors that relates to their observable properties. […]

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1.6 Using physics to boost New Zealand’s milk powder export industry – Annual Report 2017

Unlike most of us, when physicist Dr Geoff Willmott thinks about milk, he thinks about droplets, surfaces and heat. And he’s eager to use surface interactions to solve problems in the dairy industry. “I’m pretty big on this type of thing – supporting New Zealand industry with our research – and often we, as university […]

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1.4 The solar panel revolution – Annual Report 2017

When we imagine solar panels, we think of hard rectangular frames sitting on roofs, or spread out across expanses of deserts. But imagine flexible, bendy solar panels, supple enough to skim a curved roof, pliable enough to be rolled up and transported easily, lightweight enough to be a thin film for the roof of a […]

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1.3 Painting semiconductors – Annual Report 2017

Painting semiconductor surfaces to create sensors Imagine a point-of-care electronic blood test that can provide an immediate result in a doctor’s surgery, instead of the current tests that have to be sent away to a lab. The blood test device would plug into a mobile phone to provide a reading, and would be cheap and […]

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1.2 Taking the heat off – Annual Report 2017

Each time you type into Google and hit ‘search’, somewhere in the world a data centre responds. This data centre – a repository for masses of information – will be one of many worldwide (there are even four in New Zealand). Globally, data centres use almost ten times as much electricity per year as the […]

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1.1 Water quality testing and medical diagnostics – Annual Report 2017

With nearly all cancer deaths caused by metastasis – cells breaking away from the primary cancer and spreading through blood and lymph nodes to other parts of the body – hunting for metastatic cells is a priority in cancer diagnosis. Finding metastatic cancer cells in blood is a bit like looking for a needle in […]

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0.2 Chair’s report – Annual Report 2017

One of the main achievements in 2017 was the hosting of the Interface challenge where MacDiarmid investigators were paired up with a variety of industry challenges. Feedback from the industry participants was unbelievably positive, highlighting to me that what goes on inside our “University ivory towers” is not usually seen as very accessible by the […]

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0.1 Director’s report – Annual Report 2017

2017 has been another exceptional year for the MacDiarmid Institute; from our AMN8 international conference in February, and our expanding industry collaborations, through to our growing engagement with schools and communities. Excellent science has always been the bedrock of everything we do. This is continually endorsed externally, for example by the Nature Science Index 2016, […]

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