Haere-roa update

Haere-roa, the new UCSA building is starting to take shape – the structural frame has been completed, and roof and cladding works are almost complete with the building due to be weather tight early in the New Year. Internally the work continues at pace with good progress being made on pipework, ducts, cables and walls.

While work on Haere-roa is progressing, there have been some challenges along the way that have resulted in a delay to the construction programme. This means Haere-roa is now scheduled to open in Semester 2 2019.

UCSA’s offices and the Events Centre/Foundry will remain in their current locations during Semester 1 next year.

Find out more about the new UCSA building and the meaning behind its name, Haere-roa.

Weddell Sea Expedition underway

Associate Professor Wolfgang Rack (expedition remote sensing coordinator) and drone pilot Paul Bealing (Gateway Antarctica / Geography) were farewelled by a large crowd of Antarcticans, students, staff, and stakeholders who congregated at the Biological Science Building, Atrium earlier this week.

The two are departing to undertake in the Weddell Sea Expedition, a privately funded expedition to the most remote marine area of the world to conduct cutting edge science and marine archaeology.

One of the expedition highlights is to locate the ship wreck Endurance of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition, which is expected to be in 3000m depth after it sank in 1915.

A large team of UC and Christchurch based people are involved in this undertaking:

  • Greg Hatley (summer scholarship student), Usama Farooq and Shanelle Dyer (postgraduate students) will support the ship from Christchurch with high resolution satellite images.
  • Campbell McDiarmid (MSc student of the Wireless Research Centre) developed a sea ice experiment using a drone.
  • Adrian Tan from Lincoln Agritech provided a radar antenna for drone measurements.
  • Neil Gilbert (Constantia Consulting, Gateway Antarctica adjunct fellow) is the designated point of contact ashore, and provided the assessment for the environmental impact and the expedition’s risk management.

The UC contingency, which is responsible for sea ice measurements and remote sensing on the ship, will leave Cape Town on 30 December and is expected back on 19 February.

For more on UC’s involvement in the Weddell Sea Expedition, click here>

Photo: the UC expedition gear is loaded on the South African icebreaker Agulhas II (November 2018)

Remembering Professor Robin Clark 1935-2018

Professor Robin Clark, an enthusiastic and passionate UC alumni and supporter, passed away recently.

Born in Rangiora in 1935, Robin earned a BSc (1955) and MSc with first-class honours (1957) at UC, then known as the Canterbury University College, before becoming a national and senior national Fellow.

Robin went on to the University of Otago in 1958, where he was a research and teaching fellow before moving to University College London that year to undertake a PhD in Chemistry.  He remained at UCL throughout his academic career starting as an assistant lecturer in 1962, before gaining his DSc in 1969.

By 1988 Robin was the Dean of Science and the following year was named Head of the Chemistry Department. Robin had been the Sir William Ramsay Professor since that time.

From 1965 Robin held many visiting professorships, giving five named lectures throughout the world. He authored or co-authored around 520 publications, gave 138 lectures at conferences, co-authored around 80 posters, attended more than 300 academic conferences and seminars, and lectured in 36 countries.

He received 13 honours from the scientific and academic communities, including honours from the Royal Society of London (elected Fellow in 1990), Royal Society of Chemistry, Academia Europaea, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Czech Spectroscopy Society.

Robin’s chief appointments included Chairman of the XI International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy (1988) and Chairman of XI International’s International Steering Committee (1992 – 1994). He was deeply involved with the Royal Society, the Royal Institution, the University of London, and University College London. He was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2004.

In 2001, UC recognised Robin’s contributions to his field, awarding him an Honorary Doctorate (honoris causa) of Science.

In his oration at the April 2001 ceremony, Professor Jim Coxon (Chemistry) presented Robin as a “man of eminence and creativity in the scientific and chemical community.”

Pictured: Robin receiving his Honorary Doctorate from UC Chancellor, Dame Phyllis Guthardt.

Robin was named Chairman of the New Zealand University of Canterbury Trust, UK in 2004, a position he held for 12 years. In his 2016 farewell address Robin shared that while he had spent the majority of his adult life in the UK, his heart firmly remained in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“My children both still have New Zealand passports. All four grandchildren have visited New Zealand at least twice already. I remain a New Zealander at heart, and I have always been keen to help UC.”

A service of thanksgiving will be held for Robin next Wednesday and Alene Wilton, Chair of the UC New Zealand Trust/Alumni Group, will attend on behalf of the University.

Wednesday 19 December from 12.30pm
Christ Church & St Johns
Watling Street
Radlett
WD7 7JJ

Call Santa!

So…. first they tell us Santa is real, then they tell us he is not, and now here he is answering the phone! What next??

If you’re still trying to decide on that one for yourself, give Santa a call and leave a wish – you can reach him on 0800 222 222.

Have a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday!

And remember to switch on your Automatic Replies (Out of Office) – you can even do that now.

If you have a shared mailbox you will like this Tech Tip on configuring Automatic Replies (Out of Office) for a shared mailbox.


When you’re not calling Santa, look up the Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website for great time-saving tips.

Future students, UC Bound

UC hosted 74 new-to-UC students from across Canterbury last week, for UC Bound 2018.

UC Bound is an annual event that gives our future students the opportunity to meet new friends, help them become familiar with campus and provide them with the best tips and tricks to prepare for Semester one.

This year we introduced UCGo, a specially designed scavenger hunt that took students the length and breadth of the Ilam campus. The game helped students get to know the area, and work with information that would be especially helpful for their first year of tertiary education such as where to find the heath centre, the services available from Puaka-James Hight and more.

The spot prizes given out during the day including UC merchandise, UCSA O-week event tickets and more, only sweetened the deal.

When it came to lunch, our events team decided to lean into the dietary challenges you would normally expect with an event this size, working with the team at Bacon Bros to offer an entirely plant-based menu.

And they delivered, with The Roxy (featuring Jackfruit ‘pulled pork’) and Sweet Sweet Clo (coconut bacon) burgers going down a treat.

Departing UCSA President Josh Proctor led our guests in a Uni101 session, and while he had our guests in fits of laughter at times, it was clear they picked up some really helpful uni survival tips. 

Liaison lead and event MC, Sia Evalu could see the students getting the most out of the event.

“There were some anxious faces at the start, but by lunchtime you could definitely see new friendships and connections being made,” he said.

“They left happy with the day, and how UC Bound made them feel at ease about starting their UC journey in 2019.”

If you were involved on the day and would like to provide feedback, please complete the staff survey here, before 7 January 2019.