In August 2017, the Branch hosted a lecture by three nanoscientists from the MacDiarmid Institute, two of whom were available to visit a school in the afternoon before their lecture. Dr Catherine Whitby, a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Massey University, spoke to Year 11 and 13 students at Karamu High. Dr Gemma Cotton, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Otago, spoke to Year 9 and 10 students at Napier Girls High. They outlined what inspired them to be a scientist, what influenced their journey through university, how they chose their area of expertise, the research they are currently doing and its potential benefits. One of the teachers commented: “I think one of the greatest benefits to students is it brings real science to life for them.” Several teachers and students also attended the evening lecture at the National Aquarium, where the audience exceeded 60.
Little materials, big stories
Hawke’s Bay: 6pm Tuesday 29 August
The National Aquarium of NZ, Marine Parade, Napier
Come hear nanoscientists discuss their lives and work
These are personal stories, told by women scientists from the MacDiarmid Institute.
Each talk will take you on a tour of the realities of life as a scientist and the exciting
research in the MacDiarmid Institute – from Chemistry to Physics to Engineering to
Biology and beyond. These talks are suitable for all levels and ages.
Dr CATHERINE WHITBY
Dr Catherine Whitby is an Associate Investigator with the MacDiarmid Institute and Senior
Lecturer in Chemistry at Massey University. She uses nanomaterials to modify the chemistry of drop and bubble surfaces. Her findings have been applied in food and pharmaceutical products and in drilling fluids.
Prof MARGARET BRIMBLE
Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble is an Associate Investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute and Professor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Auckland. Margaret’s research interests are in the area of new materials for vaccines and therapeutic agents.
Dr GEMMA COTTON
Dr Gemma Cotton is a post-doctoral researcher with the MacDiarmid Institute at the University of Otago. Her research interests include nanomaterials, biomimetic materials and the design of new dental materials.
The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence. www.macdiarmid.ac.nz
Dr Kamini Singha
Associate Director of the Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program,
Colorado School of Mines
Date: 6.00pm Thursday 31 August 2017
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, EIT, Gloucester Street, Taradale
Admission: Gold coin donation
Earth’s ‘critical zone’ is everything from the treetops to the bottom of aquifers. This zone provides water for human consumption and food production.
Human impacts and climate change affect water in the critical zone. The deep parts of the critical zone are hard to study.
Dr Singha explores some of these critical zone unknowns in this presentation, shedding light on key underground processes that affect water movement and availability. The links between evapotranspiration and underground water stores are examined, as well as 3D water movement over large areas, and the potential control of slope aspect on underground permeability.
The role of trees in the critical zone, and their connection to soil moisture, groundwater and stream flow, is explored through innovative imaging.
Dr Kamini Singha is on a 12 lecture tour of Australia and NZ, presenting The National Groundwater Association’s prestigious 2017 Charles Darcy Lecture in Groundwater Sciences.
Dr Singha is a professor in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering and the Associate Director of the Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines. She worked at the U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Geophysics from 1997 to 2000, and was a member of the faculty at The Pennsylvania State University from 2005 to 2012. She earned her B.Sc. in geophysics from the University of Connecticut in 1999 and her Ph.D. in hydrogeology from Stanford University in 2005.
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