All posts by fho28

Geospatial Research Institute – Free Seminar

Reaching the Stratosphere and beyond 
A free seminar with Philipp Sueltrop – Chief Technology Officer, Kea Aerospace





When: 26th November, 1 – 2pm
and Light Refreshments from 12:30 pm onwards
Where: Beatrice Tinsley 111 
Book: here for in-person registration or register for the online Zoom here>

About the speaker

Philipp Sueltrop is the Chief Technology Officer of the Christchurch-based company Kea Aerospace. Besides leading the technical development team of the unmanned solar-powered aircraft Kea Atmos, he considers himself as a technology explorer combining his passion for aerospace engineering that can provide the means for advantageous scientific, civil and commercial contributions.


In late 2014 Philipp moved to New Zealand from Germany, and finished his PhD in rocket flight mechanics and control at the University of Canterbury in 2019. He has designed and launched a wide variety of unmanned aerospace systems from high-altitude balloons, sounding rockets to different types of unmanned aircraft.

About Kea Aerospace

Our world is changing fast. Thus, data and derived intelligence have become the world’s most valuable resource.

Kea Aerospace is developing the Kea Atmos, the largest unmanned aircraft in the Southern Hemisphere in order to harvest aerial data from the Stratosphere flying at around 20km altitude. With a wingspan of over 30m and fully covered in solar panels the Kea Atmos will be able to operate for weeks without landing – purely on clean energy.

A fleet of Kea Atmos will be continuously operating and carrying different payloads from high-resolution multi-spectral cameras to synthetic aperture radars and atmospheric sensors. Flying in the Stratosphere Kea Aerospace will operate in a sweet spot for data collection. Kea’s remote sensing data will have much better image resolutions than satellites, while Kea Atmos aircraft can further operate extremely flexibly. This will allow Kea Aerospace to fill significant data gaps and enable better decision-making in areas like environmental monitoring, maritime surveillance, precision agriculture, smart city projects and disaster management.

The Geospatial Research Institute
University of Canterbury



Call for PhD Project Proposals to UC Academics

Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau PhD Scholarship

(Total $35,000 scholarship plus fees plus $4,000 other expenses)

Call for PhD Project Proposals to UC academics

The Geospatial Research Institute (GRI) aims to collaborate with other UC departments by offering a GRI scholarship. This scholarship consists of a UC PhD scholarship ($28,000 per annum) plus a GRI top-up scholarship[1] (currently $7,000 per annum) plus an additional $4,000 from GRI for travel or other research related expenses.

The funding will be awarded to one PhD candidate under the following conditions:

  • The candidate meets all UC criteria for enrolment in the PhD programme.
  • The candidate applies for the GRI PhD scholarship and the UC PhD scholarship. The GRI PhD project topics and GRI funding information will be available on the GRI website (
  • The candidate has been approved by a Senior Supervisor at UC.

UC academics are invited to submit a project idea to the GRI, where the selection process will start. One scholarship will be awarded to the best applicant for one of the shortlisted project proposals.

Procedure, Submission & Project Selection

Attached to this document is the section “PhD Project Proposal”. Please add your information and submit your project proposal and all relevant data via email to the GRI manager (, no later than Friday, 3 December 2021. The proposals will be reviewed and shortlisted by the GRI Leadership Team the week after submission. Members from the GRI Leadership Team are not excluded to submit a PhD Project Proposal, but they will not be involved in evaluation of their own submission.

After the evaluation process, the GRI will communicate if your proposal is on the list of possible PhD topics to be advertised on the GRI website. The advertisement will include the Senior Supervisor’s name and contact details. Any student interested in one of the advertised projects is encouraged to contact the Senior Supervisor to discuss the topic, and their suitability. The Senior Supervisor can then advise the student to apply or not, based on the student’s suitability.  The closing deadline for students to apply is Thursday, 31 March 2022, 5 pm NZ Time

Project Proposal selection criteria

The GRI leadership team will shortlist projects based on the following criteria:

  • Novelty in the geospatial field
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Link with organisations outside UC, e.g. industry, community groups or government. This is not required, but an advantage.
  • Vision Mātauranga partners or/and component is not required, but an advantage
  • One supervisor should have some experience with geospatial analysis. The GRI can support this process. If required, please get in touch with the GRI Manager (see details below).


If you have any questions, then please get in touch with Dr Melanie Tomintz, Manager GRI. Email:; Phone-ext.: 93824

[1] The three year scholarship stipend and grants are pro rated if the recipient is enrolled for fewer than 120 points in any year.

PhD Project Proposal

 Title of Project

<The title should have a maximum of 30 words>

 UC Senior Supervisor (Project Leader), Department/School

<Title and name of principle supervisor / person who proposes this project according to UC guidelines>

 Other members of the supervision team (if applicable), Department/School

<Insert text here>

 Links with organisations outside UC (if applicable)

<Insert text here>

 Outline Vision Mātauranga (if applicable)

<Insert text here>

 Project outline (around 300 words)

<Describe the proposed scope of the PhD research project – (it is expected that the exact nature of the research project will develop through discussion between the student and supervisors). Make sure to highlight the GIS component, novelty and transdisciplinary of the proposed research.>

GRISS: Geospatial Research Institute Seminar Series – Free Seminar

HUMANISM IN A TECHNOLOGY CENTRIC WORLD: Enabling a Digital Twin for Industry 5.0

Speaker: Keri Niven, Digital Practice Leader, Aurecon

Keri is a passionate Digital Technologist, with a strong background in Geospatial technologies, and over 20 years international experience in designing enterprise collaboration platforms. She is the New Zealand Digital Practice Leader and is focussed on identifying digital possibilities and creating opportunities to embed new technologies into our organisational way of working. Keri represents Aurecon on the ANZ Smart Cities Council and on the ANZ Digital Twin Taskforce.

As engineers and designers, we have a responsibility to create sustainable and responsible human-centric physical and digital legacy. Our decisions, particularly regarding how we use technology to solve problems, will profoundly shape our future. 

This obligation has been recognised by the shift towards industry 5.0.  This latest revolution represents the return of human-centric activities that are enabled by technology – and a refocus of technology towards supporting the collaboration and creativity that we as humans crave. 

This is wonderful news for an organisation like Aurecon who for the last 6 years has been teaching 6000 people to think like designers. Working and thinking like designers is how we approach all our work. It’s a considered way of combining our creativity and expertise to move from existing situations to preferred ones by putting people at the centre of the solution.

When:  Friday 24th September 1 PM – 2 PM
Light Refreshments from 12.30 PM

Where: Beatrice Tinsley 111


  • Register at Eventbrite if you’re planning to attend in person.
    In-person Registration Link: here
  • If you prefer to join us online, then please register via zoom only. Zoom Registration Link: here

All Welcome

Geospatial Research Institute
University of Canterbury


Geospatial Research Institute Seminar: From Data to Insight

Free Geospatial Research Institute Seminar – 30th July 2021

In this time of rapid global change, we need new ways to identify, monitor and understand the impact of change on environments and human dynamics such as economy, health and sociopolitical stability.

In this seminar, Rafael Kargren – Director of Oceania and Pacifica, presents Maxar Earth Intelligence capabilities. Book your free tickets here or join in on Zoom

When: 30th July, 1-2 PM and light refreshments from 12.30PM
Location: Ernest Rutherford 263 or online via Zoom

Maxar Earth Intelligence capabilities help customers map, detect, address and predict change at unprecedented speed and scale. Fueled largely by Maxar’s own constellation of high-resolution imaging satellites and combining multi-source data and applied artificial intelligence, machine learning and rich domain knowledge is able to deliver insight as a service.

Rafael is heading Maxar in Oceania and Pacific and has long background in remote sensing and earth observation. He has been involved in implementation of national earth observation data centers and information management systems in collaboration with Geoscience Australia, CSIRO and Australian state governments for initiatives such as Open Data Cube, Copernicus Data Hub, Digital Earth Australia and New Zealand’s Centre for Space and Science. He has been involved in many international initiatives to improve humanitarian actions and disaster response for Pacific Islands.

Rafael is also a lecturer at International Space University (ISU), board member at Pacific Islands GIS and Remote Sensing Council (PGRSC), Space Ops Committee, Asia and Oceania Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and Christchurch Aerospace. He provides active mentoring, coaching and support to several space start-ups and students in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

Rafael Kargren - Director Oceania and Pacifica
Rafael Kargren – Director Oceania and Pacifica




Geospatial Research Institute
University of Canterbury



GRISS – Geospatial Research Institute Seminar
Speaker: Mike Taitoko – CEO, Takiwā
Democratising GIS Data to Solve Aotearoa’s Freshwater Challenge

25th June 2021  1-2 PM

Light Refreshments from 12.30 PM onwards

Location: Beatrice Tinsely 111

FREE Registration

Please see our website for registration details. 

In this talk Takiwā CEO Mike Taitoko will introduce the Takiwā platform and illustrate how it can help to empower organisations, iwi and communities to build their own data capability and capacity to solve complex freshwater challenges.  The only way we can address these complex issues is to create a shared understanding of the issues, impacts and solutions though a multi-stakeholder, multi-perspective view of the issues.

Takiwā is an award winning data management and analytics platform that allows end-users to upload, analyse and present multiple types of data and information within a spatial context in order to solve complex problems. A critical design feature of Takiwā has been the ability to draw together cultural and maatauranga Māori data and information alongside Western scientific data while managing cultural and commercial sensitivities of any datasets.

Mike Taitoko – CEO, Takiwā

Mike is of Maniapoto descent and is a leading specialist in the field of Māori and indigenous economic development. He previously founded Tuia Consulting, a leading Māori economic development advisory firm in New Zealand and the Pacific. During that time Mike built a cloud-based analytical processing platform to democratise data from government agencies, regional councils and industries out to iwi and Māori organisations, science projects, community groups and others. The idea was to use data to drive better visibility across the policy space and improve policy outcomes in areas that need it most. From there Mike formed Takiwā to build the tools and technologies that drive transformational change in areas that most impact Māori and Aotearoa generally, with a particular focus on land-use and impacts on freshwater.

Mike is a co-founder of Toha, an impact investment platform and it’s first venture Calm The Farm, as well as director of other family-owned companies and an independent director of Mercury Energy.

Please see our website for registration details.