Category Archives: Staff Success

Celebrate Fresh Thinking: Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Annick Masselot and Professor Lynne Taylor as part of the Professorial Lecture Series in 2018.

  • Date:               Thursday, 25 October 2018, from 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.
  • Location:        F3 – Forestry

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.

Presentation details:

“Raising pigs and children: Comparative approaches to work-life balance policies”
Presented by Professor Annick Masselot, School of Law

Rising female employment rate, fluid family formation and falling fertility rates are amongst factors contributing to work-family conflicts. In the quest for work and family reconciliation, many post-industrial societies continue to face a plethora of challenges linked to the tensions between the demands of capitalist employment and the requirement for care.

Countries have adopted different approaches to develop work-life balance policies.  For example, work-family reconciliation is a fully-fledged principle of the EU gender equality framework. New Zealand’s approach to work-life balance by contrast claims to neither be about women, nor about families. In Singapore, effort related to work-life balance are about raising fertility rates. Regardless of the approach chosen, the results are similar: There are large gaps between the letter of the law and its practice. Pregnant women and new parents (especially mothers) continue to experience high levels of systemic discrimination based on prejudice and the exclusion of reproduction from costs/benefits in traditional accounting.

How can we move forwards? What strategies could be put forward to value productive and reproductive activities more equally in our societies?


“The duties of directors of insolvent companies: A case study”
Presented by Professor Lynne Taylor, School of Law

Our law as to bankruptcy is archaic, antiquated, abstruse. I have always shied absolutely clear of it, and I think that most lawyers have, too… You [only] have to look at the statute; and then you do not understand it.” Lord Denning, perhaps the most famous common law judge of the twentieth century, uttered these words in 1985. Yet, despite the antipathy expressed by Lord Denning and others, bankruptcy (or insolvency) law is something that touches us all. Very few of us are likely to avoid being a creditor of an insolvent company. Even if we are so fortunate, we will almost certainly be indirectly and adversely affected by the flow-on effects of company failures, large and small, on the wider community.

Unlike Lord Denning, the presenter has not flinched from exploring the mysteries of insolvency law. Drawing on 20 years of research in this area, she offers her view on the adequacy of New Zealand’s company insolvency framework using the duties of directors of insolvent companies as a case study.

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

Vice-Chancellor & Health, Safety and Wellbeing Award Winners 2018

2018 Vice-Chancellor General Staff Development Awards

Alongside Paul O’Flaherty, Executive Director HR | Kaihautū Matua Pūmanawa Tangata, Dr Rod Carr, Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae  presented awards to the following recipients at the ceremony on 30 August 2018:

  • Rebecca Hurrell
  • Rebecca Warr and Pamela Glover
  • Naomi Wilde
  • Catherine Woods
  • Jace Carson (who was unable to attend)

Held annually, the awards are a chance for our General Staff to be recognised and rewarded for seeking out exceptional professional development opportunities, such as: visits to other higher educational institutions, staff exchanges, specialised training, conferences and more.

Health, Safety & Wellbeing Awards 2018

Dr Rod Carr, Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae, presented alongside Steve Hunter, Health and Safety Manager, awards to the following recipients at the awards on 30 August 2018:

  • Mary Watson
  • Library H&S Group (Mushtak Dawood accepted on behalf)
  • Michael Sandridge
  • Charmaine Atherfold, Julie Stafford and Dave MacPherson

The Awards are designed to reward and encourage staff members to initiate innovative Health & Safety practices within their Department/Unit/College.

Congratulations to all of our winners 

The Jumpstart 2018 winners have been announced

An innovative biological treatment to overcome antibiotic resistance, a pioneering technique to create environmentally friendly, near-zero waste processes in the galvanising industry, and a diagnostic test to save mother and baby from life-threatening pre-eclampsia are among the winners in this year’s University of Canterbury (UC) Innovation Jumpstart competition.

Five prizes of $20,000 were awarded funding from KiwiNet. Additionally, technology incubators WNT Ventures and Astrolab chose two projects to receive $35,000 worth of practical services.

Innovation Jumpstart gives UC researchers from all disciplines, including arts, science, education, engineering, business and law, the opportunity to transform their ideas and research into commercial reality.

The Jumpstart competition is in its ninth year with researchers from across the university encouraged to consider how their ideas and research may hold the potential to transform into a commercial reality.

The competition was judged by a panel of entrepreneurs and industry leaders, including representatives from Callaghan Innovation, technology incubators WNT Ventures and Astrolab, UC alumni and staff.

The judges included award-winning entrepreneur and UC alumnus Dennis Chapman, entrepreneur Paul Davis, Ara Deputy Chair Elizabeth Hopkins, tech investor Greg Sitters who is a Managing Partner of Matū, a venture fund specialising in early stage science and technology startups. 

Innovation Jumpstart winners:

WNT Ventures prize:

Recovery of feedstock chemicals from dilute solution

Dr Matthew Cowan (Chemical and Process Engineering)

A novel technology for recovering unused materials from machine or industrial processes. Dr Matthew Cowan proposes creating a technology which will make producing speciality plastics and chemicals more efficient and create less waste. The recycling of waste products from these chemical reactions will create economic benefits for an international market with potential for engineering and operational jobs.

Astrolab prize:

Enzymes for controlling Gram-negative pathogenic microbes in food, medicine, and veterinary industries

Associate Professor Renwick Dobson (Biomolecular Interactions Centre, School of Biological Sciences), doctoral candidate Michael Love and Dr Craig Billington (ESR)

Innovative resistance-proof bacteria-killing enzymes that are safe to treat both humans and animals. This treatment will save lives, reduce healthcare costs and be an alternative to antibiotics as a safer and cheaper option. The application of this research will have many implications across multiple industries, creating new treatment options for infections in the medical industry, becoming a low-cost solution to untreatable on-farm bacterial disease, and being a biosecurity treatment for cross-contamination for food that is vulnerable to microbial pathogens.

New diagnostic test for life-threatening condition in pregnancy for mother and child

Dr Jennifer Crowther (Biomolecular Interactions Centre, School of Biological Sciences), Professor Mark Hampton (University of Otago), Dr Neil Pattinson (ChristchurchNZ), Associate Professor Renwick Dobson

Pre-eclampsia is a life-threatening condition for both mother and child that occurs in around 5% of all pregnancies. This diagnostic test uses a biomarker of patients presenting with altered levels of a particular protein to diagnose early in order to closely monitor symptoms and prolong the duration of the pregnancy. This illness currently has no consistent predictive testing method to identify the presence of the illness at an early-stage.

Innovative spin coating to create environmentally friendly materials

Associate Professor Mathieu Sellier (Mechanical Engineering), Dr Volker Nock and Associate Professor Shayne Gooch

A pioneering technology using a new multi-axis spin to coat items in the micro-electronics and optic industry. Associate Professor Sellier proposes a reliable and easy to use process to thin coating of curved surfaces with thin filament creating consistent results every time. This unique technology could disrupt multiple industries.

An eco-friendly solution to reuse acid waste from galvanising plants

Dr Aaron Marshall (Chemical and Process Engineering)

This innovative method recycles iron and zinc from the process of galvanising steel to protect it from corrosion, in order to save resources and recycle waste. Developed from an industry problem, this tech promises to save the industry by up to 70% of its pre-galvanising cleaning costs which could save companies hundreds of thousands each year.

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


Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Linda Jean Kenix as part of the Professorial Lecture Series in 2018.

  • Date:               Thursday, 11 October 2018, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Location:        A5 Lecture Theatre, Arts

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.

Presentation details:

“’Alternative’ Media: Does That Mean Anything Now and What’s Next? The Power of Framing and Ideology”
Presented by Professor Linda Jean Kenix, School of Language, Social & Political Science

Alternative media, which have historically existed in explicit opposition to the mainstream, are now difficult to discern in an increasingly crowded media market with no obvious boundaries in ideology, ownership or journalistic intention. The previous, mainly dichotomous, media landscape is now a collective institution, which is made up of largely hyper-partisan perspectives.

This presentation explores two decades of personal research that has examined this shift in an environment that generally views the collective press as an untrustworthy entity that is at war with competing institutions. This presentation argues that this war is principally about objectivity, which is much better understood in the context of media frames, and is largely lost in the current hyper-partisan mediated landscape. Through a review of personal research, this presentation suggests that the power of those media frames sits in the explicitly embedded but latent sociological, political, and cultural forces that surround contemporary society.

Media frames have come to define the ideologies at war and yet the public craves the reinforcement of these ideologies in their media consumption. This circuitous process has led to an echoing of information across the mediated landscape. This presentation ends with precautions and suggestions for the future of media.

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua