University of Canterbury

Transparency

Gazing out from the fifth floor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering building on the Canterbury campus, it seems fitting that one of Martin Allen’s research areas is transparent devices for smart windows. “There’s so much glass involved in modern construction that actually being able to make fully transparent devices, that can go onto that glass and harvest their own energy from the sun, is […]

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Making Patterns

These days, the sound of drilling at the University of Canterbury is usually associated with the huge amount of construction going on after the earthquakes, but sitting in Maan Alkaisi’s office on the fifth floor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering building, the drilling outside his office signifies something far more auspicious. “So you’re witnessing the sign with my name being changed. I got promoted to […]

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Alumni: Ojas Mahapatra – Photonic Innovations

Ojas Mahapatra is one of those enviable people who gets paid to do what he loves. In 2013, he became the CEO of Photonic Innovations, a spin-out company from the University of Otago which is commercialising gas detectors for industries where levels of potentially toxic gases need to be monitored. The technology was developed by Professor Andrew Wilson and uses […]

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From trash to treasure

There are thousands of different types of proteins— probably millions—collectively capable of carrying out a huge number of complex processes, and yet they are all made out of just 20 building blocks.    ANTONY said it of Cleopatra—but the same could be said of proteins—‘custom cannot stale their infinite variety’. There are thousands of different […]

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Thinking Outside the Box

  Paul Kruger has bucked the trend, and gone the other way across the Tasman. “I’m originally from Melbourne,” he says. “But it’s not like I came from Australia directly to here, I came via Ireland and collected a family along the way.” He moved to Christchurch with his wife and two young children about […]

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Alison Downard – Taking a Circuitous Route

  An electrochemist, with a particular interest in surface science with a nanotechnology focus, Alison Downard’s first couple of years of undergrad were in the Department of Home Science at the University of Otago. This was in the 1970s, when a home science qualification was compulsory for those interested in becoming a dietician, as she […]

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Looking in to the Middle Ground

When someone says they are studying soft materials, you may think of cuddly toys or velvet cushions, but to MacDiarmid researchers it means the long chains of molecules that make up cellulose fibres, dairy-based casein micelles and protein filaments in hair or food. These biomaterials form an intermediary hierarchy between the atomic and single molecule […]

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The Inside Story of the MacDiarmid Institute

    Not long before he passed away, Sir Paul Callaghan shared his memories of how the MacDiarmid Institute came to be. It all began in 2001 when Paul met the great Kiwi chemist Alan MacDiarmid. At age 53, Paul Callaghan was a world-renowned experimental physicist having pioneered a new field in NMR Spectroscopy at […]

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Portals into Other Worlds

  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Hidden in six locations around New Zealand are over twenty portals into other worlds. Unlike Narnia or Middle Earth, these worlds are real, although you would have to shrink around a hundred million times to enter them. At this scale, an orange would loom the size of a […]

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The MacDiarmid Impact

Figure 1: The figure compares the citation impact of the MacDiarmid Institute with that of other prominent international institutions that work in advanced materials and nanotechnology.  The MacDiarmid Institute’s impact has grown considerably and is now closing in on that of MIT.  Sometime this year, the MacDiarmid Institute’s 1000th paper will be indexed by the […]

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From Competition to Collaboration

  In the mind of former MacDiarmid Institute Director, Richard Blaikie, the beginnings of the MacDiarmid Institute will always be framed in time by a world-changing event that took place on the other side of the globe. When the call came ten years ago for expressions of interest to set up Centres of Research Excellence […]

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Leading the Blind

For his third career, MacDiarmid graduate David Garrett is aiming to restore sight to the blind. It may sound improbable, but not much more so than the path he has taken to get there. You’d be hard-pressed to invent a more original CV. At age forty, he has secured his first academic post, working to prototype […]

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Research Amidst the Rumbles

  What do you do when your laboratory starts to shake around you? Assume it´s just another aftershock and try to ignore it? Dive under your desk and ride it out? Make a dash for the precious samples vital for your PhD research? On February 22nd, those sorts of choices confronted staff and students alike […]

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Obituary: Maysoon Mahdi Abbas

This obituary was written by Maysoon’s husband Maan Alkaisi (Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch); and daughters Sarah Alkaisi (Consultant Software Engineer), Marwa Alkaisi (Associate Project Engineer) and Mariam Alkaisi (University of Canterbury student, Environmental Science).  Maan is a Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute.  It was published in the New […]

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Hot off the Press

  Physics World May 2011. An article on “Artificial Retinas” by Richard Taylor was featured on the cover of the May issue of Physics World.  The article is based on joint work with Simon Brown at University of Canterbury, and a joint patent application that was recently filed.         Angewandte Chemie International […]

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