Wednesday, 16 February: 1931 Earthquake Commemorative Lecture: Liquefaction – What is it, why it matters and what we can do about it

Rick Wentz: Geotechnical Engineer

Date: 5.30pm Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Venue: The National Aquarium of New Zealand – 546 Marine Parade, Napier

This lecture has been advertised as part of Napier’s Art Deco Festival and is therefore likely to be popular. Our venue, the Aquarium, has applied a capacity limit of 50 attendees under red traffic light. Please come early to ensure a seat.

Admission: Gold coin donation

This is the commemorative lecture for 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake, also known as the Napier earthquake, which occurred at 10:47am on 3 February 1931, killing 256, injuring thousands and devastating the Hawke’s Bay region.

This year Rick Wentz is invited to give a lecture on liquefaction. The focus of this lecture will be to define liquefaction, describe the cause and the conditions under which it typically occurs, and to highlight its potential impacts on the built environment. Also discussed will be some things that individuals and communities can consider doing to reduce the impacts of liquefaction on homes and infrastructure.

Mr Wentz grew up in Northern California and completed his MS in Civil Engineering at the University of California – Berkeley where he got to experience the 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake first hand. He has been a practising geotechnical engineer for 30 years and has worked on a range of projects from residential subdivisions to nuclear power plants in the U.S., South America and New Zealand. He spent several years working in the corporate world before starting his own consultancy in Northern California in 2005. His career focus has been geotechnical earthquake engineering including design, forensic investigation of post-event ground and foundation performance, project / peer review, and applied research. Mr. Wentz came to New Zealand “for 1 year” in 2011 to work in the Christchurch Rebuild and recently celebrated his 10th anniversary of living and working here. Notable NZ projects include serving as an expert on the Government-appointed panel that investigated the performance of the Wellington Statistics House during the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and helping to develop the MBIE document Planning and engineering guidance for potentially liquefaction-prone land. When not pondering liquefaction and other geotechnical issues, Mr Wentz enjoys flyfishing, cycling and tramping with the family.

Sunday, 27 February: 2022 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecture (RASNZ) A deadly dance: When black holes and neutron stars collide

Dr Heloise Stevence: Research Fellow of the University of Auckland

Date: 2.00pm Sunday, 27 February 2022

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale, Napier

Admission: Gold coin donation

The venue, EIT Lecture Theatre, has a limit of 70 attendees under the red traffic light, and masks are required for attending the lecture.

An artist’s impression of a wayward star being shredded by the intense gravitational pull of a black hole. © Reuters / NASA-ESA
Source: https://www.rt.com/news/492754-space-time-ripples-black-holes/

What happens when the densest objects in the universe collide at half the speed of light? It starts with a stretch of a wobble in the fabric of spacetime, and sometime sends in cosmic explosions that create some of the rarest and shiniest elements in the Universe. Together we’ll learn how some of the most massive stars in the cosmos live and die with bang, to create the black hole and neutron star mergers we can “hear” colliding a hundred million light years away. This 45 minute “lecture” will combine cutting edge science and wacky humour to make the mysteries of merging black holes and neutron stars accessible to all ages and backgrounds.

Dr Heloise Stevence.
Source: https://www.rasnz.org.nz/rasnz/beatrice-hill-tinsley-lectures

Dr Heloise Stevence is an energetic, enthusiastic, educational and entertaining speaker well able to reach out to audiences of all ages and levels. Heloise, born and raised in France, moved to the UK to study Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield. After working as a support astronomer at the Isaac Newton Group in La Palma for a year, she obtained her Masters of Physics in 2015 and subsequently started a PhD studying the 3D shape of Core Collapse Supernovae. She completed her PhD in 2019 and joined the University of Auckland as a Research Fellow to research the evolution of massive stars to better understand how they die and produce Supernovae and Kilonovae.

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand

Cancelled: Thursday, 3 February: The Future of Regenerative Farming – practical experiences at Mangarara, Hawke’s Bay

Greg Hart, owner of Mangarara Farm and Eco Lodge

Date: cancelled

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale, Napier

Admission: Gold coin donation

Regenerative Agriculture (RA) is an ecological model that aims to correct perceived failings in our current systems of agriculture. The RA movement acknowledges that farmers can mitigate or reverse the negative impacts of the way that animals and plants are currently raised and grown for food production but suggests that they can benefit themselves at the same time. RA is touted as a part of the solution to reverse climate change, biodiversity loss and declining water quality, whilst improving the wellbeing of rural and farming communities and the quality of the food produced.

source: Mangarara, The Family Farm & Eco Lodge

However, there is a lack of clarity about what RA actually is, scepticism about its claimed benefits, and uncertainty whether or not it is relevant to New Zealand farmers and agricultural production.

In this lecture, Greg Hart will talk about his practical experience of applying regenerative agriculture at Mangarara, how to provide a stable financial platform for the continued restoration of the ecosystem, and innovating regenerative farming practices.

Greg Hart has made the switch from a traditional sheep station with typically 3,000 ewes to a diverse stock of approximately 1000 ewes, 500-1,500 lambs, 20-40 dairy cows, 60-100 Berkshire pigs, 150 Angus heifers and 100-200 other cattle. Meat is sold both locally and in Auckland. Over 100,000 trees have been planted and the quality of the soil is actively monitored and managed.

At the end of this lecture, you will have an idea about how a diverse and integrated farm can maintain the balance between ecosystem restoration and the production of healthy, nutritious food.

Monday, 15 November: Looking Forward: Zero Carbon, Zero Waste, Low Energy Computing and Sustainable Resource Use

Dr Jenny Malmström: Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute and Lecturer at the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland.

Dr Kim McKelvey: Associate Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute and Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.

Assoc Prof Mark Waterland: Associate Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute and Associate Professor in the Institute of Fundamental Sciences at Massey University.

Date: 6.00pm Monday 15 November 2021

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

Tuesday, 2 November: The science behind fruit storage – why tomatoes or bananas should not be stored in the fridge once at home

Dr Jason Johnston: the Science Team Leader for Quality and Storage Insights at Plant & Food Research

Date: 6.00pm Tuesday 2 November 2021

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

New Zealand’s (NZ) long distance to export markets means it has one of the most sophisticated supply chain systems in the world. The meat industry in NZ pioneered the use of refrigeration for exports, and since then refrigeration has enabled the export of several other perishable items, including fruit. At first this sounds easy, but unlike processed products, fruit is still metabolically active and respiring (breathing) after harvest. Every piece of fruit (even those from the same tree or vine) is metabolically different and changing at different rates when exposed to the same supply chain conditions.

In this lecture, Jason will highlight some of the biological processes taking place after harvest, and the tools used to manage those processes. He will also cover current research areas such as conservation of energy in coolstores; reduced reliance on plastic packaging; technologies and sensors for maintaining quality and reducing waste; and potential for digital technologies including robotics to automate horticulture. By the end of the lecture it should also be clear why tomatoes or bananas should not be stored in the fridge once at home!

Dr Jason Johnston is the Science Team Leader for Quality and Storage Insights at Plant & Food Research. He has 20 years’ research experience, and aims to develop new systems, technologies and knowledge that enhance the quality and supply chain resilience of fresh produce from NZ. His passion for horticulture started at a young age whilst growing up in a market garden in Bay of Plenty, and then merged with an interest in science whilst at Massey University. Jason’s research mainly focuses on apples and pears, but is increasingly working on other fruit and berry crops such as kiwifruit, blueberries, apricots and cherries. He enjoys the challenge of problem-based research for the benefit of NZ’s fruit industries.

Tuesday 12 October: Biofortifying Vegetables – Prospects and problems for improving the mineral nutrient contents of vegetables grown for humans and animals

Jeff Reid, Honorary Research Fellow, Plant & Food research

Date: 6.00pm Tuesday 12 October 2021

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

Many believe – and with some scientific support – that the mineral nutrient content of our vegetables has declined in Western societies. How could that happen? Does it affect our health? There appears to be a viable business opportunity to grow and market vegetables with enhanced concentrations of some mineral nutrients for humans. Domestically, seasonal imbalances of mineral nutrients like magnesium and calcium can have serious health consequences for dairy cows in particular. In some of our non-traditional export markets there may be worthwhile opportunities to help overcome human dietary deficiencies in nutrients like iron and zinc.

Biofortification is the posh name given to attempts to increase the concentrations of mineral nutrients in plants grown for food. It turns out to be surprisingly difficult – plants are not just hapless sponges that we can fill up as we want by spreading manure, compost, and fertilisers around. They show surprising selectivity in their own composition through time. Soils themselves can be similarly fussy about what they do and don’t make easily available to plants. So if we want a particular outcome, often we will have to be cunning…. This talk will look at the general principles involved in this, and give specific examples of our team’s work to improve the magnesium content of vegetables. This will include up to the minute snapshots of work in progress.

Jeff Reid is an Honorary Research Fellow at Plant & Food Research, Havelock North. Before retiring last year he had been a Principal Scientist for New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, a past President of Hawke’s Bay Branch of The Royal Society of New Zealand, Chief Judge for the Future Scientist category of the NZ Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, and a member of the Zespri Innovation Board. He is an Honorary Fellow of the NZ Society for Horticultural Science, and with Jeff Morton authored the book “Nutrient management for vegetable crops in New Zealand” (Nutrient management for vegetable crops in New Zealand | Zenodo).

Monday, 16 August 2021: Professions and Researchers – in Ethical Decline?

Dr Andrew Cleland

Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand and Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi

Date: 6.00pm Monday 16 August 2021

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

This is a joint meeting with the HB Branch of Engineering New Zealand.

Andrew will examine the way in which self-regulating professions have evolved, with a focus on how the engineering profession in New Zealand has responded to challenges over the last thirty years. Maintaining standards – both technical and professional – in the face of mounting commercial pressure has proven increasingly difficult. Notable failures, such as the CTV building in Christchurch, have led to regulatory intervention by Government.

He will then turn to the research sector and talk about the changing nature of peer review, ethics and what respecting the public interest means in practice. In seeking to answer the rhetorical question of the title, Andrew brings together his experience in both fields and identifies opportunities for engineers and researchers to learn from one another.

This presentation was first delivered in April 2021 to the Manawatū branches of Engineering New Zealand and the Royal Society Te Apārangi, as the 2021 Earle Lecture, a two-yearly recognition of the work of Professors Dick and Mary Earle, and their contribution to engineering and technology in New Zealand.

Andrew came to Palmerston North to study technology in 1972, majoring in Professor Dick Earle’s department. After completing his PhD study, he worked for 18 months with Professor Mary Earle on a contract to survey energy use in the food industry. Then he worked 15 years as an academic, before he joined the Food Technology Department for six years. Andrew joined what is now Engineering New Zealand in the early 1980s, and became a Fellow in 1995, and the Chief Executive in 2000. Andrew was appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2014.

Tuesday, 20 July: AGM and lecture on New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge Progress after seven years and prospects for the next three

The Branch will hold its 2021 Annual General Meeting at 5.30pm, followed by:

Dr James Buwalda
Chair, Governance Group for the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage NSC

Date: 6.00pm Tuesday 20 July 2021

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

National Science Challenges (NSCs) were established in 2014, to enable collaboration across New Zealand research organisations to focus on issues of national importance. The New Zealand’s Biological Heritage NSC, focusing on biodiversity, biosecurity and ecosystem resilience, involves researchers from every university and CRI, as well as MPI, DOC and the Cawthron Institute.

Over the first 5 years, the focus has been on establishing a ‘right teams’ approach, targeting new knowledge and solutions spanning our knowledge of our biodiversity, technologies for eradicating pests and diseases, and designing landscape-scale approaches to strengthening ecosystem resilience. Now part way into the second 5 years period, the emphasis is on a Treaty-led approach, supporting communities to develop and apply new knowledge and tools, to achieve material gains for New Zealand’s biological heritage. A targeted investment addressing myrtle rust (Left, image of rust symptom is from NSCs) and kauri die-back (Right, image of kauri is from NSCs) is also implemented.

image from NSCs

While this NSC is due to conclude in 2024 (after 10 years), how to lock-in new ways of working, especially the community-based approaches to designing and implementing innovative solutions for our biological heritage are considered in the project.

Dr James Buwalda has been Chair of the Governance Group for the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage NSC since its inception in 2014. He is also involved in governance of research collaborations for biosecurity (Better Border Biosecurity) and artificial intelligence for horticulture (PlantTech), and chairs the OSPRI Stakeholders’ Council. Previously, James was Chief Executive of the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, following an earlier career as a research scientist. James lives near Haumoana in Hawke’s Bay.

Thursday 1 July: Fermented foods – what’s brewing?

Professor Steve Flint
Professor of Food Safety and Microbiology, School of Food and Advanced Technology, Massey University.

Date: 6.00pm Thursday 1 July 2021

Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT Taradale

Admission: Gold coin donation

Steve will start by discussing the different microbes that are used to ferment food – yeasts, moulds and bacteria. He’ll explain the differences in fermentation results with wild microbes and those that are commercially available.

Fermentation has a long history in the food industry as a method to preserve natural sources of food. Foods such as cheeses, yoghurts, wines and beers are examples of traditional foods that are widely consumed today. However, there are changes towards a new range of fermented foods, driven by the potential effects on our health and the search for novel sensory experiences.

The latest Institute of Food Technology journal identifies some of the most recent trends in fermented foods in the USA. For example, sales of yoghurt fell by 6% in 2019, while sales of skyr Icelandic-style yoghurt jumped 23%. High protein fermented plant-based foods, such as tempeh and seitan, are attracting interest from consumers. Products such as Gochujang, a fermented Korean red pepper paste, is becoming a trendy condiment in the US. Fermented flavours such as miso, kohi and yuzu kosho are of growing interest. In the US, sales of kombucha grew 43% in 2018 and we are seeing a similar trend in NZ, with kombucha filling supermarket shelves. We appear to be entering a new era of consumer interest in fermented foods, providing new opportunities for the food industry.

Steve Flint teaches food safety and microbiology at Massey University in Palmerston North. He has a background in the dairy industry, having worked for the Fonterra Research Centre for 20 years before joining Massey University in 2008. Steve has a team of 10 research students working on various aspects of food microbiology.

Matariki – Stories of the Stars

Using all the facilities of the Holt Planetarium, join Planetarium Director Gary Sparks on an exploration of the science, the cultural significance and the international celebration that is Matariki.

Session times: Friday 02 July at 7pm, Saturday 03 July at 7pm and Sunday 04 July at 2pm.

Venue: Hawke’s Bay Holt Planetarium, Chambers Street (on the grounds of Napier Boys High School).

Admission: $20 per person, payable on the night. Cash only, no EFTPOS facilities.

Advanced booking is required. To book, contact the Planetarium 06 834 4345 or gary@holtplanetarium.org.nz