All posts by Corrina

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

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.

UC Web Room Booking page for 2019 now open

The UC Web Room Bookings Page 2019 is now open & available.

The links below became live at 5pm 12 Dec 2018. Any spaces on Campus with a 60 capacity or less can be booked by all UC Staff member using the (WRB) Web Room Bookings page Link here> 

Please check the availability of any spaces on specific specific dates & times on campus before submitting the larger room request by using the WRB reports link here>

The security team will be required to manually place requests on your behalf, for all spaces larger than 60 capacity.

Spaces not showing on the WRB, like new rooms located in buildings that have not been completed, will be added once they have been handed back to UC.

Please ensure you have checked the date, time and location and availability of the space before submitting your requested booking via email to, attn: Adam or Daniel

Please note that the bookings office will be closed between 21 Dec 2018 -7 Jan 2019.

UC Mailroom/Warehouse Update

The mailroom will stop receiving items at midday on Friday 21 December 2018 and will be closed from 2pm on that day.

We will reopen at 10am on Monday 07 January 2019.

For urgent matters  during this time, call 027 809 7109. 

Please be advised that courier companies will not be delivering on site during these dates. Retrievals from depots can only be made in exceptional circumstances, and are not guaranteed.  

If you are expecting anything perishable or time sensitive during this period, please contact us before 12pm Friday 21 December on 03 369 2442 or by emailing

Thank you for your assistance. 

Merry Christmas from the UC Logistics team, we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.