Congratulations to the 2021 UC Council Medal winners

The awards will be presented at the Celebrating Excellence Pō Whakamānawa event on Wednesday 24 November. Look out for more information and video interviews with the successful academics on UC News next week.

2021 UC Research Medal – Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Alex James and Professor Michael Plank

Associate Professor James and Professor Plank are recognised for their ground-breaking work developing a series of mathematical models that have informed the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in New Zealand.

As key members of the national team of scientists at award-winning research centre Te Pūnaha Matatini, their modelling expertise has been used to understand the potential impact of the virus on Aotearoa’s most at-risk communities.

Associate Professor James and Professor Plank’s clear communication with the Government has had significant health and social impacts and they have also shared their knowledge with the public through articles and media interviews. 

2021 UC Research Medal – Professor of Business Markus Milne

Professor Milne has been researching ways to count the social and environmental cost of business for 30 years. He is known as a pioneer of social and environmental accounting, a field that is gaining international recognition as awareness of climate change grows.

He has spoken out about the need for businesses to be more transparent and accountable in measuring their carbon emissions, resource use and other environmental consequences.

The Research Medal is UC’s highest award for excellence in research over a sustained career and Professor Milne is placed first in Aotearoa for academic citation across all areas of accounting.

2021 UC Teaching Medal – Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Rua Murray

Associate Professor Murray has been awarded this prestigious medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to teaching and teaching leadership at UC and in the wider community.

He consistently receives positive feedback from students for his enthusiasm, clarity and organisation, with one describing him as “the Ashley Bloomfield of math lecturers”.

Associate Professor Murray has led Academic Board discussions on Teaching Quality and this year has been involved in a Royal Society Te Apārangi expert panel advising the Ministry of Education on maths literacy for New Zealand schools.

He has previously won a UC Teaching Award (2009) and an Ako Aotearoa Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching Award (2013), and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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