Tag Archives: buildings

RRSIC Stage 2 is named for UC Alumna Beatrice Tinsley

Beatrice Tinsley is one of the most creative and significant theoreticians in modern astronomy.

Known as “Queen of the Cosmos” Beatrice Tinsley’s work has had a profound influence on what scientists know about stars, the galaxy and the Universe itself.

Deciding by the age of 14 that she wanted to be an astrophysicist, she graduated from UC with an MSc in Physics with First Class Honours in 1961. She then completed her PhD on the evolution of universes at the University of Texas in just two years, receiving marks of 99% and 100%.

In 1974, she left Texas for a one year fellowship at the Lick Observatory of the University of California, before gaining an assistant professorship at Yale University. She became Professor of Astronomy at Yale in 1978, the same year she was diagnosed with melanoma.

She continued to publish until shortly before her death in 1981, producing over 100 scientific papers in her short 14 year academic career. She received a number of honours and accolades for her work. In 1986 the American Astronomical Society established the Beatrice M Tinsley Prize for outstanding creative contributions to astronomy or astrophysics and the University of Texas created a visiting professorship in astronomy in her honour.

The immense importance of her work was finally recognised in New Zealand in 2001 when the New Zealand Geographic Board named a mountain in her honour. Mt Tinsley stands at a proud 1,537 metres in the Kepler Mountains of Fiordland, 15 kilometres west of Te Anau.

Stage 2 of the Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre (RRISC), the building that will replace von Haast (currently being demolished), will be named for Beatrice Tinsley.

Learn more about Beatrice Tinsley’s life and work.

Ernest Rutherford Blessed

The Blessing of the new Ernest Rutherford Building, Stage 1 of the Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre, took place at 9am on Wednesday 22 November 2017. This is a prelude to the College of Science beginning their relocation into the new building, an exciting event that is just around the corner.

Present from the College of Science were Charmaine Atherfold, Professor Mike Reid and Professor Matthew Turnball, from the Office of the DVC Maori – Ripeka Tamanui-Hurunui and Liz Brown, and from Capital Works – Mark Homewood and Mary Watson. The Blessing was conducted by Reverend Spanky Moore.

Photo: from left – Charmaine Atherfold, Reverend Spanky Moore, Professor Mike Reid and Professor Matthew Turnbull

Award for Structural Engineering Laboratory

Dominion Constructors Limited has received a Gold Award in the Education category of the 2017 NZ Commercial Project Awards.

170601_Engineering bldg

The award is for its work on UC’s Structural Engineering Laboratory – a high-end seismic testing facility that will enable researchers to test the impact of seismic loadings on structures and soils in real time and at a realistic scale. This asset places the University on the world stage for earthquake engineering research.

Congratulations to all the project partners involved in this construction: The Project Office (Consultant Project Manager), Aurecon Structural Engineers (Engineer), Dominion Constructors (Construction Company).

At the Awards ceremony, from left to right are: Rob Steel, Dominion Constructors Ltd – Project Manager; Alistair Pearse, Inovo – External PM; Ian Southen, Project Manager, UC Capital Works; Stuart Montgomery, Dominion Constructors Ltd – Site Manager; Nathan Lewis, Dominion Constructors Ltd – Site Engineer.

See more about the awards here

The Post Settlement Review process is formally closing

Memorandum from Dr Rod Carr

It is with pleasure that I advise you that the Post Settlement Review (PSR) process is now formally closing. Last week Council noted the financial allocation of the initiatives SMT has prioritised for 2016.

Over the past nine months, SMT has undertaken a rigorous process in order to identify and prioritise a number of initiatives for the remainder of our current 10 Year Programme (ends 2022). This started with all Colleges and Service Areas being invited to submit their “top three” requests.

Now that the 2016 capital budget has been approved and a financial envelope created, SMT has endorsed some initiatives it would now like to progress to the next stage; i.e. development of a detailed business case.  It will be during the development of these business cases that costings, timeline and whether the project is achievable will be refined.  This will enable SMT, and for larger projects Council, to approve the commencement of a project.

During the Post Settlement Review our focus has been on endeavouring to select investments that will directly increase student numbers, improve student experience, and support research opportunities by 2018.

I appreciate that some Colleges, Service Areas and individuals may be disappointed that a particular initiative is not able to go forward, however the reality is that UC simply cannot do everything within our current budget and resourcing levels. This has become particularly evident when SMT has considered the achievability of doing many projects at the same time, and what the cumulative impact of change looks like for the University as a whole. For this reason achievability will continue to be a primary focus of SMT in 2016.

Next Steps

  1. SMT will inform appropriate external and internal groups of the PSR outcomes.
  2. The group working on the PSR will complete close-out activities, including lessons learned and recommendations to SMT.
  3. Refinement of achievability of the proposed projects, including investigating the ability for lessening or completely mitigating the impact on staff and students.
  4. Capital Works and ITS will continue to refine their 2016 Programmes of Works.
  5. The SMT’s Capital Asset Management Group, a sub-committee of SMT, (Keith Longden, Alex Hanlon, Jan Evans-Freeman, Hamish Cochrane, Lynn McClelland, Brian Phillips and Andy Keiller) who have been responsible for the PSR, will provide quarterly updates to SMT, FPRC and Council.


On a personal note I would like to commend everyone who has provided input during the PSR process.  This is the first time UC has undertaken such a significant piece of work in order to prioritise our 10 Year Programme. As with any organisation, the University will not stand still, the 10 Year Programme will continue to evolve as we refine and reprioritise when new or changes to existing projects arise.

Below is the list of initiatives that UC would like to progress to a business case. Scheduling of these is still subject to achievability and the refinement of the Capital Works and ITS Programmes of Work. If you have any questions relating to the outcomes of the Post Settlement Review please discuss these with your PVC or Director.

New initiatives for 2016

Arts Precinct – Locke & Logie Refresh
Colocation Communications Disorders with Psychology
Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) – Phase 1 Recruitment
eLearning Programme Development
Modernise Learning Environments Programme – space upgrades
New Teaching Spaces (mid-level 50-150)
Online Experience Phase 3
Recreation Sports Centre
Research Information Management System (Symplectic)
Residential Accommodation Programme
Retail – Undercroft reconfiguration
Te Ao Mārama Refurbishment
UC Enhance and Humanise Campus – Minor Capital Works
UC Reporting, Analysis/Data Warehousing