Category Archives: Student Success

Opportunities and advice for making the most of your time at UC, as well as stories featuring students who are excelling in their field.

#StudentSuccess Turning flax and cabbage tree leaves into skis

After experimenting in the garages of their student flats, Ben Scales and William Murrell have found a way to develop New Zealand ti kōuka (cabbage tree) and harakeke (flax) into new natural composite materials. Their plan is to use these to create high-performance sports gear like skis, snowboards, kayaks and skateboards. 

There’s growing demand for using recycled, sustainable materials, and Ben and William are tapping into the market – they’ve set up their own company, KiwiFibre, and have already had interest in their products from international corps. 

Ben says: “We’ve called ourselves KiwiFibre because we are looking into every natural fibre in New Zealand in terms of its engineering potential. We plan to be the world’s leading supplier of New Zealand natural fibre composites.”

Find out more here> 

#StudentSuccess ‘Simple’ medical device could prove a life saver

Engineering PhD student Francis Pooke used his design skills and engineering know-how to reinvent the standard tracheostomy kit, making it simpler to use and ultimately save lives. Francis won Engineering New Zealand’s 2021 Student Engineer of the Year Award for his awesome mahi!

#UCScienceRadio Developing language for learning

Catherine Sivertsen wants to get the world excited about language, and is encouraging parents and educators to give the gift of words. She’s studying a Master’s in Speech and Language Therapy here at UC, and she’s passionate about improving child language development. Find out more about Catherine and her research in the latest episode of the UC Science Radio Podcast here>