All posts by fmc64

Staff of the Year awards – winners revealed

The annual Staff of the Year awards were held recently  at the UCSA Event Centre. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners.

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The winners are:

Lecturer of the Year: College of Arts – Dr Masayoshi Ogino

Lecturer of the Year: Business & Law – Dr Steve Agnew

Lecturer of the Year: College of Education – Dr Valerie Sotardi

Lecturer of the Year: College of Engineering – Associate Professor Alan Wood

Lecturer of the Year: College of Science – Dr Pieter Pelser

Superstar of the Year – Simon Dorset

Great Character – Dr Steve Agnew

Technical Staff of the Year – Julian Murphy

Administrator of the Year – Heather Couch

Supervisor of the Year – Professor Ian Shaw

 

Student Make your own awards:

Lecturer with the Best Hand Gestures Award – Professor Angus McIntosh

Summoner of the Most Stimulating Sojourners Award: Dr Ann Brower

One Hit Wonder Award – Liz Waugh

Lecturer Most Able To Sympathise With Utterly Lost Students While Somehow Continuing To Baffle And Confuse Them With Basic Algebra Award – Dr Philip Gunby

Que Veneno (The Shady Award) – Sergio Redondo

Best Technology Tantrum Award – Dr Steve Agnew

 

And the main Lecturer of the Year Award 2018 winner is Dr Steve Agnew!

UC’s Professor Pickles presents on Women’s Suffrage – A Cultural Journey

UC’s Professor Katie Pickles will be speaking as part of the Suffrage Series at the Arts Centre on Tuesday 16 October, 7.00-9.00pm.

She will be joined by Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla (University of Otago) and the evening, ‘Women’s Suffrage – A cultural journey’ will give Katie and Angela a chance to explore the suffrage journey from Pākehā and Ngāi Tahu perspectives.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga are partnering in presenting the event.

Katie Pickles is Professor of History at UC and current Te Aparangi Royal Society of New Zealand James Cook Research Fellow. After postgraduate studies at UBC and McGill, Katie has worked teaching New Zealand women’s/feminist history at UC for 23 years. She has supervised over 30 postgraduate theses and served as the UC Associate Dean of Postgraduate Studies. Katie is the author of three books and the editor of six collections. She has published over 50 essays, journal articles and opinion editorials on a variety of topics that tend to coalesce around gender, empire, heroines, hegemony, landscape and commemoration. She is currently at work on a broad sweep of women’s status in society over the past 200 years through an examination of global heroines in history.  

Angela Wanhalla is an associate professor and Te Apārangi Royal Society of New Zealand Rutherford Discovery Fellow in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago. Her research focuses on the complex histories and politics of cross-cultural intimacy in colonial societies, particularly for Indigenous communities in New Zealand and the Pacific. Her most recent publications include the award-winning Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand (2013), Mothers’ Darlings of the South Pacific: The children of US servicemen and Indigenous women, World War II (2016) co-edited with Judith A. Bennett; and He Reo Wāhine: Māori Women’s Voices from the Nineteenth Century (2017) with Lachy Paterson. She is also a judge for the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards General Non-Fiction Prize.

Book your free ticket to the event on Eventbrite

Mental Health Awareness Week – get involved

Student and staff wellbeing is a priority for our UC community and Mental Health Awareness Week from 8 – 14 October encourages us to focus on looking after ourselves.

World Mental Health Day is Wednesday 10 October, and we encourage you to head outdoors and get active. Walking is a great way to improve your mental health and you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. The Breeze Walking Festival has a number of walks to choose from including our own UC run, All Right? Amble 2018 

Take the time to visit our Wellbeing Partnership web page. Three UC courses to consider if you have not had the chance are: Growing Personal Resilience 2018, Mental Health & Wellbeing – Awareness for Heads & Managers and Supporting Students in Crisis.

If you are concerned about a friend, colleague or student, ask how they are doing and listen – you don’t need to be an expert. If you are still concerned, suggest they contact a professional service such as their family doctor or the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). EAP is a confidential counselling service, paid for by the university, designed for short-term intervention.

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand has excellent advice at www.mentalhealth.org.nz.

Students can attend the UC Health Centre or contact Student Care at any time. If you refer a student, check in with them soon afterwards to see how they got on. These sorts of actions show you care, encourages others to get help when needed and helps remove the stigma around mental health.

 

Paul O’Flaherty 
Executive Director Human Resources
Kaihautū Matua Pūmanawa Tangata 

Lynn McClelland
Executive Director Student Services and Communications 
Kaihautū Matua Ākonga me te Whakapā

                                                                                                              

 

New Zealand Geotechnical Society Geomechanics Award

Congratulations to Chris McGann for recently being awarded the New Zealand Geotechnical Society Geomechanics Award. He led a paper “Development of an empirical correlation for predicting shear wave velocity of Christchurch soils from cone penetration test data,” (published in Soil Dynamics & Earthquake Engineering, 75, 66-75, 2015) . The paper was authored with Brendon A. Bradley (University of Canterbury); Merrick L. Taylor (Arup); Liam M. Wotherspoon (University of Auckland); and Misko Cubrinovski (University of Canterbury).

We decided to dig deeper and while we felt we had experienced a fair amount of soil looseness since 2011, decided  to start with a more scientific understanding the importance of ‘soil stiffness’. 

Why is understanding ‘soil stiffness’ important when it comes to understanding how the earth shakes and moves.

The magnitude and distribution of stiffness in the soil profile below a site plays a critical role in how earthquake ground motions coming from the underlying bedrock are amplified or de-amplified at the ground surface. In terms of magnitude, softer soils will tend to amplify lower frequency parts of the motion, while stiffer soils will amplify higher frequencies. In terms of distribution, the presence of large abrupt changes in stiffness between layers will also strongly influence the site effects. The shear wave velocity profile of a site provides the information necessary to account for these site specific effects in engineering analysis as shear wave velocity is directly proportional to small strain shear stiffness.

There’s an unprecedented dataset in the Christchurch region and this is a low-cost experimental method – in what way is this important globally? Who would be interested in this, and in what parts of the world?

The correlation between cone penetration test (CPT) data and shear wave velocity developed in this work combined with the unprecedentedly large and spatially dense CPT data set made available through the New Zealand Geotechnical Database project enables an assessment of the spatial variability of shear wave velocity across the region that hasn’t ever been possible before at this scale and resolution anywhere in the world. Establishing a sensible way to account for the inherent variability of soils in engineering analysis is an important topic of research, and researchers all over the world are interested in the insights that the Christchurch dataset can provide.

Can you describe a place/context out in the field in the Christchurch region which demonstrates your work in a practical way?

The two strong motion stations in Lyttelton provide a textbook example of the importance of local site effects. One station is sited on rock, while the other is sited on soft soils. The ground motions from the February 2011 earthquake recorded at these sites are dramatically different, with the softer site showing a large amplification at lower frequencies relative to the rock site. Because the position and distance of these stations relative to the earthquake source are essentially identical, any differences in the recorded ground motions can be attributed to site effects and the dramatic differences observed for the February event highlight the importance of the soil stiffness in the surficial ground motions.

Mental Health Awareness Week Colouring Competition

Are you looking for activities for your children over the school holidays? Encourage your tamariki to get crafty in nature during MHAW and help them experience the joy and wonder of being in nature.

What to do:

  1. Download and print copies of the Mental Health Awareness Week colouring competition to give your tamariki during term 4 or the school holidays.
  2. Head outside into nature and show how you connect with it, what you see, smell and hear. Draw and colour-in what you see. 
  3. Post your entry so it is received before 5pm Friday, 26 October 2018 to: Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 10051, Dominion Rd, Auckland 1446.

Or scan and email entries with the subject line “Colouring Competition Entry”.