Category Archives: Staff Success

UC awarded New Zealand Institute of Chemistry’s premiere prize

Professor Antony Fairbanks and his research group have been awarded the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry’s (NZIC) Maurice Wilkins Centre Prize for Chemical Research.  

Professor Fairbanks accepted the award from current NZIC President, Assistant Professor James Crowley, on behalf of his research group at the NZIC AGM, which took place on 6 December.

This is the premier prize of the NZIC and is awarded to a candidate based on the excellence and impact of their chemistry. This is only the second occasion in its history that the award has been made to a member of staff at UC.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Fairbanks and team.

Appointment to the Library and Information Advisory Commission

Te Paea Paringatai (Manager Customer Services, UC Puna o Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha – UC Library) has been appointed as a Commissioner on Ngā Kaiwhakamārama i ngā Kohikohinga Kōrero – Library and Information Advisory Commission (LIAC) for a three year term.  

This is a significant appointment on a body that reports to the Minister of Internal Affairs on matters relating to library and information services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Te Paea is actively involved with international library networks, having served in the IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section, as a Standing Committee member, and in her current role as Chair for the Indigenous Matters Section.  IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users’ and is the global voice of the library and information profession.

Te Paea is professionally registered and an Associate of LIANZA (the Library and Information Association of New Zealand). She is also the first and only person to have served as President of LIANZA 2016-2017, and before this as President of Te Rōpū Whakahau (National Māori Association for Libraries, Culture, Knowledge, Technology and Information) 2012-2016.  

In recognition of her leadership and influence, Te Paea was awarded the Te Rōpū Whakahau Meri Mygind Wahine Toa Award in 2016.

Te Paea’s strengths are in culturally responsive leadership and management experience, applied mātauranga Māori praxis, local government, and working knowledge of the library and information management sector.  She is passionate about the intergenerational transfer of wealth and knowledge, and sees the role of libraries as essential for empowering citizenship, evolving thought leadership, and community convergence.

Ra Steer
Team Leader, Customer Services| Poutoko Ratonga Kiritaki

New CUP book offers insight into New Zealand’s greatest 20th-century philosopher

Canterbury University Press (CUP) is pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Associate Professor Mike Grimshaw, Arthur Prior – ‘A Young Progressive’: Letters to Ursula Bethell and to Hugh Teague 1936–1941.

Arthur Prior studied theology at Otago, but he lectured in philosophy at Canterbury University College. He invented ‘tense logic’ while he was at Canterbury during the years 1949–54 and is regarded as New Zealand’s greatest 20th-century philosopher.

Author Mike Grimshaw has previously published on unknown Prior notebooks and on Prior’s work on James Joyce. For this volume he took on the considerable challenge of transcribing, annotating and editing Prior’s letters to Ursula Bethell (who called him one of her ‘young progressives’) and to his cousin, Hugh Teague. Along with Mike, CUP would like to acknowledge and thank the staff at Macmillan Brown Library archives, where the letters to Ursula Bethell are held, for all their support and assistance.

Providing context to the annotated letters in this volume, Mike covers Prior’s journey from theology to philosophy, and his marriage with ‘the versatile Clare Hunter’ (an epithet earned through her debating society skills) with whom he travelled to Europe in 1937. Jack Copeland, Distinguished Professor and Head of Philosophy, provides the Introduction in which he concludes:

‘Arthur’s bohemian interlude in Europe and its aftermath in New Zealand … was a critical period in his development, the crucible in which the mature thinker was formed. His letters in this volume … chronicle a substantial part of that fascinating period’.

Copies are available from UBS on campus or from CUP’s online catalogue.


Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academia made by Professor Janet Carter and Professor Pedro Lee as part of the Professorial Lecture Series in 2018.

  • Date: Thursday 15 November, from 4.30 – 6pm
  • Location: E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture series to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university you may be less familiar with. You’ll find further information on each presentation, below.

Ngā mihi

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua


Presentation details:

Psychotherapy for depression; what works?
Presented by Professor Janet Carter, Department of Psychology and Dean of Science

Depression is a leading cause of disability and disease burden in society and has a huge impact on the quality of life and functioning of individuals affected. It is well established that psychotherapies are effective in the treatment of depression. Although therapy is effective there is much room for improvement.

Many people with depression only partially respond to treatment and relapse rates for depression are high. Several studies comparing different types of psychotherapy have also shown there are no or only minimal differences in the effectiveness of different therapies.  Currently we know very little about which type of therapy is likely to be the most effective for a particular individual and we have limited understanding about which elements of therapy are fundamental to a response. 

These questions have and continue to be the drivers of my work as an academic clinical psychologist. Understanding how we might better tailor therapy to an individual is a significant challenge, however, it is also one of the major ways we can improve mental health outcomes. 

In this Professorial lecture I will summarise my research findings examining predictors of response to psychotherapy in adults with depression and also highlight some of the common elements of therapy that are thought to contribute to a positive outcome.


Can pipelines be used for communication?
Presented by Professor Pedro Lee, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

For decades, civil pipeline engineers have been focused on the destructive properties of surge events in their system and have dedicated their efforts into suppressing these pressure waves. In electrical systems, similar destructive surge events occur but electrical engineers have long realised that small, customised surge waves can be used to transmit coded information across large distances. This idea forms the basis for communication through conductors and is central to many technologies we see around us today.

On a fundamental level, pressure surges in water pipes are nearly identical to voltage surges in electrical systems. We can take inspiration from established technologies in the electrical field to evolve our extensive water supply networks so that they are capable of transmitting and receiving information through the water within the pipe. Our essential water infrastructure can be more than just buried tubes for transporting water. 

This presentation will cover the development of this idea and the technical challenges with creating coded, high controlled pressure pulse sequences in pressurised pipelines. The results of an international pilot testing programme of a pipe condition assessment technology will be presented as a case study to demonstrate the real-world potential of this field of research.