UC takes third place in Aotearoa Bike Challenge

The UC team received third place in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge for the 500-1999 staff category in Christchurch.

Two of the staff who participated shared their experience:

Why I joined – Diana Hinterleitner

I signed up with Love to Ride Christchurch for the 2017 Aotearoa bike challenge and noted that UC did not have a registered team.  As I was wanting to make sure that my logged rides would count for something I set up UC and became the “Challenge Champion”, it was then up to me to encourage members of the UC staff to join up as well. 

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge ran from 1 – 28 February 2018, we currently have 115 out of 1764 staff registered within 35 different departments, we were still able to reach 3rd place for Christchurch.

It’s great to 

see progress when logging rides, for the challenge and also on an every day basis using automatic uploads via the Ride Report app.  Having recently purchased an E-bike (and not paying for car parking) I am now committed to commuting to work (20km round trip) by bike as much as possible. 

Grab life with both hands – Meg Twist

I am new to Christchurch, new to UC and new to cycling to work.  I made the decision to capture the freedom of my youth and attempt to cycle the 10km journey to and from work.

Encouraged by the wonderful Connie of Go Cycle Christchurch, and  a very bike-friendly work colleague, Dawn, the next logical step was to take part in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge. In such a large organisation like UC, it has given me contacts with other cyclists across campus.

Achieving small  goals like exceeding my previous weeks kilometres became ridiculously fun and addictive! I have saved money on petrol and increased my overall fitness. The website was user friendly and a great way  to check in to see how UC was faring against our competitors across the city. 

I am proud that UC came third in the competition, and encourage other UC staff to join next year.  It’s free and there are seriously good prizes on offer!

Angela Curl, Leigh Davidson,Johann Kissick, Sam Garmonsway,Lisa Beardsley,Diana Hinterleitner,Megan Twist,Margaret Ingram,Romy Forrer,Elizabeth Zou,Leonie Partridge, Felicity Watson, Alan Palmer


Another Treasure Trove of Technology Tips and Learning

Did you know that UC Skills have a load of great technology tips and instructional notes and videos on their skills website, including Excel, Word and PowerPoint? (As well as lots of other great content around Numbers, Writing and Study, and Library Research.)

UC Skills is an online collaboration between the Library, the Mathematics & Statistics Department, the Learning Skills Centre, and Careers. They offer self-guided learning and workshops in Technology, as well as Numeracy, Writing & Study, and Library Research.

Access UC Skills here.

Check out our Archive of Tech Tips. Click the link, then hit the ‘End’ key on your keyboard to jump to the end of the Archive list where the most recent Tips are.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

UC Academic Staff Survey: Impact of electronic information resources in your research and teaching

In early May the UC Library, in partnership with Ithaka S+R will invite UC academic staff to participate in a research study – an online survey – about the impact of digital technologies on their research, teaching, and publishing.

The survey’s answers will inform strategic decision-making with respect to research and teaching resources by helping the library gain insight into how our academic staff currently work with information resources in an environment increasingly shaped by digital technology.

The survey’s answers will be shared for analysis, in non-identifiable aggregated form, with the UC Library, other New Zealand university libraries, and Ithaka S+R, who are administering the survey on behalf of the New Zealand university libraries. Ithaka use standard questions that will also allow us to compare responses internationally.

Outstanding international students make a difference

International students really do make a difference, including contributing to the future of our city when they visit UC.

Students from three elite international universities – Oxford, Peking and Beihang – have visited UC in recent months to develop and present ideas on the future of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

The University’s International Relationships Office is working to further strengthen connections between the city and these prestigious learning centres. Re-imagining the City of Christchurch was the challenge put to 18 students from Oxford University and 27 students from Beijing’s Peking and Beihang Universities during respective UC-hosted visits here in September 2017 and January/February 2018.

Supported through lectures, discussions and field trips, the students were encouraged to develop ideas on the city’s future. Their final presentations, attended by representatives of city agencies including Christchurch City Council, were well-received.

International Partnerships Coordinator William Shannon says the students used every minute of their short time in Ōtautahi Christchurch to engage with the city and the content of their respective courses.

“Without exception, their final proposals were outstanding.”

Emeritus Professor Eric Pawson, who helped design the students’ programmes, says their research projects were of real value, producing valuable ideas across a range of disciplines.

“One of the Oxford groups created a wonderful portfolio for a cultural trail through the residential red zone, which was subsequently incorporated into a report for Regenerate Christchurch. These things do have an impact and all the students involved benefit enormously from the experience.”

This September, the University will again host students from Oxford, reflecting the deepening bonds between the two universities. After the 2011 earthquakes, Oxford offered dozens of places to our senior scholars to spend a term studying there.

Our University has also sent groups of students to Peking University, most recently in November/December 2017. While there, students conducted research on behalf of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum and ChristchurchNZ to examine how to boost migration to Canterbury for study and work. Their final reports were well received, paving the way for future research and collaboration.

IUTAM developments – from climate change to unmanned aircraft vehicles

Exciting developments – ranging from climate change to unmanned aircraft vehicles – have emerged from the highly successful International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics (IUTAM) symposium.

Symposium chairs Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt and Associate Professor Mathieu Sellier, of UC’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, are delighted at how well the symposium– which UC hosted earlier this year– served as a vehicle for sharing new ideas and expanding the reach of UC by showcasing its expertise in engineering and applied mathematics.

Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt is pictured here with Prof Pankaj Wahi from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur – India.

One of many exciting outcomes is a new collaboration between UC and Florida State University that could help unlock new perspectives on ice melt and climate change.

Following the symposium, Dr James Hewett, symposium secretary, and  Associate Professor Sellier have initiated a collaboration with Professor Nick Moore, a mathematician at Florida State University, to better understand pattern formation during the melting of ice.

“This is particularly important as a way to better quantify ice mass balance in polar regions and to inform climate change models,” says Associate Professor Sellier.

Other fascinating topics covered at the symposium, the first international meeting hosted in UC’s new Engineering Core, included:

  • using ocean waves to predict and identify passing ships
  • how the flapping of birds’ wings generates forward motion
  • using numerical simulations to better understand insect flight for biomimetic unmanned aircraft vehicles.

The symposium was supported by the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, UC and Comsol Multiphysics.