Category Archives: Research & Innovation

UC alumna Brianne West and Ethique win Exporter of the Year award

Kiwi brand Ethique has won  Exporter of the Year to the USA (medium business) at the recent 2019 AmCham-DHL Success & Innovation Awards.

Ethique, founded by UC Science alumna Brianne West, is an award-winning international beauty brand. They create environment-friendly shampoo and conditioner bars and have been saving millions of plastic bottles from heading to landfill.

The awards are run by the American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand and celebrate success and innovation for companies doing business with the USA.

Ethique is also a finalist at the upcoming 2019 Westpac Champion Business Awards. 

Brianne West, founder of Ethique

South Africa National Science Foundation CEO visits UC

Dr Molapo Qhobela (Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa National Science Foundation) visited UC this week to discuss possible research collaborations between South African universities and New Zealand. Dr Qhobela has vast experience in the South African university sector and the national research sector, including being Vice-Principal at the University of South Africa, Deputy Director-General at the Department of Science and Technology, and Acting Director-General at the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Dr Molapo Qhobela presented a lecture on Monday this week, hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de La Rey, entitled “The Role of Science for the Sustainable Development Goals, and Opportunity for Africa – NZ Collaboration”, which was followed by a group discussion on potential synergies between Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa.

Dr Molapo Qhobela (Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa National Science Foundation) with UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ian Wright. 

Discussion points for follow-up included the collaborative use of research infrastructure, exchange programmes for research fellows, greater awareness of researchers and research funders around the impact of research (and how impact is assessed), and potential for both countries to work together to promote internationally a process of indigenous knowledge systems being weaved and connected with Western society science understanding.

Dr Qhobela has regular contact with the Royal Society Te Apārangi and MBIE as part of the Global Research Alliance to undertake international research to better support policy and societal choices around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Celebrating Fresh Thinking – Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Mathieu Sellier and Professor Greg O’Beirne in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date :    Thursday, 5 September, from 4.30 – 6.30pm

Venue: E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

‘Moving the boundaries of fluid mechanics’  – Presented by Professor Mathieu Sellier

Abstract: Many flows encountered in our daily lives involve a moving boundary. The shape of a raindrop, for example, evolves as it falls through the air. Likewise, the free surface of a river deforms as it encounters obstacles. While the mathematical ingredients required to describe such flows have been known since the late 19th century and are encapsulated in the infamous Navier-Stokes equations, solving complex flows with a moving boundary or interface still poses significant challenges and provides stimulating cross-disciplinary research opportunities. The question at the centre of the research I will present is “if information about the evolution of a moving interface is available, can we indirectly infer unknown properties of the flow?” Such a question falls in the realm of inverse problems for which one knows the effect but is looking for the cause. Specifically, I will talk about how it is possible to estimate the fluid properties of lava just by looking at how it flows or what is the best way to rotate a pan to cook the perfect crêpe.

‘Speech, noise, and the Matrix’ – Presented by Professor Greg A. O’Beirne

People with hearing impairment or auditory processing problems find it harder than most to understand speech in background noise, or when parts of the speech signal are missing or distorted. Despite this, most hearing tests still present either pure tones or single words in quiet, and usually use expensive equipment to do it. 

To overcome these shortcomings and better assess the ability to communicate in challenging acoustic environments, my lab has produced a number of innovative adaptive tests of speech intelligibility and auditory processing. These include i) the UCAST-FW – a filtered word test for the diagnosis of auditory processing disorder; ii) internet-based Digit Triplet Tests to screen for sensorineural hearing loss in New Zealand English, Te Reo Māori, and Malay; and iii) the University of Canterbury Auditory-Visual Matrix Sentence Test – a speech-in-noise test in New Zealand English and Malay that allows rapid testing of adults and school-age children, including their ability to use visual cues to supplement the auditory signal.

I’ll discuss how permanent hearing impairment reduces speech clarity even when sounds are audible, and how the testing platform we’ve developed provides an integrated set of tools for improving hearing screening and speech testing in New Zealand, Australia, and south-east Asia.

 

Research Futures Symposium

The UC Research Futures Symposium is on August 29-30.  The symposium includes a range of presentations on the changing nature of research and the tools available to support research.

Researchers are invited to discuss their changing research support needs during the “salon” sessions.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr Daniel Hook, CEO Digital Science, co-founder of Symplectic and a theoretical physicist
  • Professor Ginny Barbour, QUT, Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group,
  • Sarah Townsend, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

There will also be presentations from UC researchers and research support staff as well as speakers from industry and other organisations.

See https://canterbury.libguides.com/research-futures for more information about the symposium, including the programme.

We welcome you to participate however spaces are limited, so please register for the event to save your seat.

This event is being organised by Research & Innovation, the Library, and IT Services, with the support of our sponsors: Dell, Digital Science, Clarivate, Dropbox, Figshare, Altmetric, Research Professional and Catalyst.

Innovation Jumpstart submissions open – enter now

Innovation Jumpstart 2019 is now open! Are you a UC academic staff member with an innovative idea or invention that you want to turn into a reality? Then Innovation Jumpstart is for you. The competition is open to all UC academic staff from every college. Simply fill in the application form here and email it to innovation-jumpstart@canterbury.ac.nz

The top five competition projects will each receive $20,000 funding to help with experimentation, proof-of-concept and/or technology/service development.

The Research and Innovation (R&I) team are on hand to give advice and support during the submission process. The R&I team also provide a number of workshops in the lead up to the submission date to help you think about the different aspects of commercialising your idea or invention. Workshop details will be shared on Intercom.

Applications close Friday 18 October 2019, at 6pm.

Find more information here>