Tag Archives: research

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.

CELEBRATING FRESH THINKING: PROFESSORIAL LECTURE SERIES

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Richard Watt and Professor Jędrzej Białkowski in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date:               Thursday 1 August from 4.30 – 6.00pm

Location:        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.

“The Economics of Music and the Music of Economics” – Presented by Professor Richard Watt, Department of Economics & Finance

Economics, in one way or another, is concerned with decision making – choosing the optimal course of action from among those available. As such, one of the principal applications of economics is to study decision making along the value chain of goods and services in an economy, or more generally, decision making in “markets”. A study of a market begins with the entrepreneurial actions of bringing together inputs (raw materials, labour, capital, etc.) to create something useful, then the resulting goods and services must be made available to the consuming public (decisions around transportation, and retailing), and finally the consumers themselves decide which of them to consume (depending on their income, their preferences, and the prices of the goods and services that are available). Of all of the goods and services that circulate in an economy, “music” is one of the most fascinating, with a series of particular circumstances that have tested standard economic theory in many ways. In this talk, Professor Watt will outline the economics of the “music market”, touching on its special characteristics and the economic institutions that have evolved, and that continue to evolve, to contribute to the music market being functional, profitable, and welfare enhancing.

“Greener than a Greenback: Might the idea of socially responsible investing change the finance industry?” – Presented by Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski, Department of Economics and Finance. 

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the idea of socially responsible (or sustainable and responsible) investing (SRI) has become increasingly popular, attracting a substantial amount of investors’ money and moving from a niche investing strategy to a mainstream one. SRI market participants typically seek to achieve financial returns combined with consideration of some aspect of firms’ environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) profiles. Given the rapid proliferation of green financial products, the increasing assets under management and the differences across the products, it is important to understand this growth and the investor demand behind it.

Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski will discuss the past, current trends and the challenges faced by so-called green finance. In particular, he will focus on the behaviour of SRI investors and the performance of different types of assets in terms of risk/return profile and exposure to ESG values. Light will be shed on the importance of regulations for the development of socially responsible investing.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

 

 

Celebrating Fresh Thinking: Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Pavel Castka and Professor Tom Cochrane in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date:               Thursday, 6 June, from 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.

Location:        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.

Presentation details:

 “Universal Language of the Future? Addressing business challenges through international standards” – Presented by Professor Pavel Castka, Department of Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

 How can businesses address social and environmental issues – such as climate change, social responsibility, poverty or child labour – in a vastly diverse world with different opinions on these issues?  Is there a common platform or universal language that can facilitate the interaction between businesses across the world – enabling addressing of these challenges as well as challenges of everyday cooperation of firms in global supply chains?

In this inaugural professorial lecture, I will build on research at UC as well as my involvement with international standard setting NGOs – including International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – and discuss the status quo as well as future challenges of standards setting, adoption and control mechanisms that ensure consistency of international standards across the globe. The lecture is designed for a diverse audience that is interested in social and environmental issues as well as in the generic matters of cooperation in international business – inclusive of non-academic audience such as business leaders or social activists. The lecture provides an insight into the exciting world of international standards, potentially the universal language of the future.

 

Food–energy–water nexus in the Mekong” – Presented by Professor Tom Cochrane, Department of Civil & Natural Resources Engineering

 The Mekong basin in Southeast Asia is undergoing rapid development.  Basin wide water infrastructure development (hydropower/irrigation), climate change and land-use change are causes for concern due to potential impacts on highly valued fisheries, agriculture, and natural ecosystems. Extensive water, sediment and nutrient modelling and analyses were thus conducted to understand the food-energy-water nexus in the basin and assess future threats and evaluate alternative pathways. Results show that recent development of flood protection dykes, as well as sea level rise and land subsidence pose a major threat to the long term sustainability of the Mekong Delta. Future adaptation and mitigation strategies should include optimal operation of water infrastructure (hydropower, dykes, and irrigation systems) to reduce hydrological and sediment changes, reduction in groundwater pumping, water storage management, sea level rise protection infrastructure, land reclamation, enhancement of coastal and in-stream habitats, and others.  A single solution is not sufficient for this complex basin; multiple mitigation initiatives are necessary through transboundary communication and coordination. The analysis and methods, as well as the lessons learnt in this research can be translated to other river systems around the world undergoing rapid development and climatic threats.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua