By now, we hope you’ve heard the exciting news that UC is a member of The Conversation, which has the primary and lofty goal of “democratizing knowledge.”
The Conversation is an independent, non-profit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. These pieces are syndicated by media outlets across the world.
In addition to the measurable visibility through readership of The Conversation and its network of re-publishers (national and international journalists and media outlets), authors report significant increases in requests for further academic collaborations, support for current or future grants or funding support, citations for scholarly articles, influence on policy by decision-makers and requests for media interviews (radio, print and TV).
Some recent UC articles include:
- Polly knows probability: this parrot can predict the chances of something happening. Ximena Nelson, UC Science. Published 3 March 2020
- A ‘herd immunity’ approach to fighting coronavirus is unethical and can be dangerous. Arindam Basu, UC Education, Health and Human Development. Published 17 March 2020
- Five principles to follow if your job is to lead your staff through the coronavirus crisis. Tracy Hatton and Bernard Walker, UC Business and Law. Published 25 March 2020
- Why New Zealand’s coronavirus cases will keep rising for weeks, even in level 4 lockdown. Arindam Basu, UC Education, Health and Human Development. Published 27 March 2020
- Gaming fosters social connection at a time of physical distance. Andrew Phelps, UC Engineering. Published 14 April 2020
- Abuse and abandonment: why pets are at risk during this pandemic. Nik Taylor, UC Arts and Damien Riggs, Flinders Uni and Heather Fraser, QUT. Published 15 April 2020
- Delight, relief and caution: five experts on New Zealand’s move to ease its coronavirus lockdown. Arindam Basu, UC Education, Health and Human Development, Malcolm Campbell UC Science, Richard Shaw, Massey, Martin Berka, Massey and Dougal Sutherland, Victoria University of Wellington. Published 20 April 2020
If you want to know more or need support to submit an article contact your dedicated communications advisor or Margaret Agnew:
How it works
- Academic staff submit brief “pitches” for possible stories to The Conversation editors, in response to topic-specific requests, or proactively to share research, scholarship or creative work of interest to the public. Pitches can be made directly to editors through a simple online form, or with facilitation from their dedicated Communications Advisor*.
- The UC Communications team also receives an expert callout email each day from The Conversation and will follow up directly with relevant academics to see if they can write an article.
- Once a pitch is accepted, academics collaborate directly with editors from The Conversation to develop the article. Once complete, the piece is published in the online edition of The Conversation, included in the outlet’s outbound emails and made available to a network of potential re-publishers. UC Communications also shares content by its authors through appropriate UC channels, including UC News, e-newsletters and social media.
- As with other news media, “pitches” need to be topical and timely. Once accepted the articles need to be quickly written and approved for publication, otherwise the moment is lost.
- Authors have access to an analytics dashboard and can see the number of reads the article has received, the geographic location of readers and where the piece has been republished. Dashboards also monitor all engagement on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as comments on the site, which authors can respond to, providing an opportunity to network with other academics.
Questions? Feel free to reach out to Jayne Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Margaret Agnew at email@example.com, Communications and Events: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/communications/
From the maths behind the lockdown, to a prototype face shield for health workers – UC staff and students are providing a range of important contributions in the fight against COVID-19.
Below is a snapshot of just some of the incredible research and work our community is currently involved in. Tangata Tū, Tangata Ora – Engaged, Empowered, Making a Difference.
- Associate Professor Don Clucas, Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase and Technical Officer David Read from the College of Engineering, and Don’s medical student daughter Emma Clucas have designed a prototype face shield for health workers to wear during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more about their work in the Stuff article here.
- UC Law Professor John Hopkins is an expert in Disaster Law and advised the Select Committee, chaired by Simon Bridges on 2 April on the unique situation the level 4 lockdown in New Zealand has brought about. Read more here
- Mathematicians Associate Professor Alex James and Professor Michael Plank from the College of Engineering, and UC BSc Hons graduate Nic Steyn are part of a research team that has been working on building SEIR-type models for COVID-19 for several weeks; one of several groups providing statistical modelling of the spread of COVID-19 for the government. Read the Spinoff article here, the Otago Daily Times interview with Professor Plank here, and a detailed summary of the team’s work here
- Associate Professor Malcolm Campbell, Professor Simon Kingham and Lecturer Lindsey Conrow from the College of Science along with staff in the GeoHealth Laboratory, are using spatial intelligence expertise to assist the Ministry of Health with mapping and modelling for COVID-19. The team is on standby to respond as needed. Earlier this week Associate Professor Campbell spoke to The Herald about using national mobile phone data to understand contact tracing. Read more
- Associate Professor Arindam Basu from the College of Education, Health and Human Development has published two new articles on The Conversation. In Why New Zealand’s coronavirus cases will keep rising for weeks, even in level 4 lockdown Associate Professor Basu explores how long it will take before we see numbers of COVID-19 cases going down again. And he also looks at whether ‘herd immunity’ can protect us from the coronavirus, and if countries should adopt it here
- College of Science psychology lecturers Associate Professor Gini McIntosh and Professor Julia Rucklidge who specialises in mental health and nutrition, gave a livestreamed talk as part of the Te Hāpai Ō | UC Live Speaker Series 2020, providing advice on how to staying on track during a time of uncertainty and stress. Find out more here
- In a new article published on The Conversation, College of Business and Law academics Associate Professor Bernard Walker and Adjunct Fellow Tracy Hatton explore five principles leaders should follow if their role is to lead staff through the coronavirus crisis. The principles are based on research into previous disasters and offer guidance to leaders for the weeks ahead. Read the full article here
- There are two projects relating to ventilators on the go in the College of Engineering:
- Shayne Gooch and other staff are collaborating with Professor Alexander Slocum from MIT to evolve a new design for a low-cost ventilator based on a Bag Valve Mask (BVM) type, which is commonly used to provide positive pressure ventilation in emergency care situations.
- Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase is working with his former PhD student Dr Yeong Shiong Chiew (now based at Monash University, Malaysia) and his EU H2020 research consortia partner Dr Thomas Desaive (University of Liege, Belgium) along with their ICU partners at CHU de Liege, to develop a way to safely ventilate two patients on one ventilator.
There is strong interest in ventilating multiple patients on a single ventilator due to the overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients – especially in areas like Italy and New York City. They have developed a low-cost, simple design that removes the risks associated with current proposals for ventilating multiple patients, and creates a safe, effective way to put two patients on a single ventilator. Professor Merryn Tawhai (University of Auckland and Director of the MedTech CoRE) has joined the team, which brings together world leaders in lung modelling and intensive care research, and has strong clinical links in Europe and locally with Christchurch Hospital Senior ICU Specialist and University of Otago School of Medicine Professor Geoff Shaw. They are now applying for funding to prototype and prove their ideas, translating them to low-cost, easily used hardware, and intend to share their design worldwide for everyone’s benefit.
We know there is a lot more great work like this happening at UC. If you’d like to share your work, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past seven months, the University of Canterbury (UC) has been undergoing an extensive Intelligent Automation programme that has seen 11 process improvements through building software robots that complete manual, repetitive, high volume tasks. UC has been building an internal team to identify and improve business processes from various departments including Finance, HR, Student Services and Academic Colleges.
UC’s approach to intelligent automation has been exemplary, PwC Director Matthew Whitaker says. “The culture UC has grown to support this programme has led to innovative uses of automation from a technology solution application perspective but more importantly UC has cultivated the human led thinking to drive the opportunity identification and solutioning that is not constrained by a single technology to achieve the outcome.”
The programme is part of achieving a key theme in UC’s 10 year strategy, organisational efficacy. By building robots to complete the manual, repetitive tasks, it empowers staff to complete more value-added work. Already approximately 7,000 hours are to be saved per annum through automation and process improvement.
UC CFO Keith Longden is impressed with the programme and believes the programme will bring a wide range of benefits to the university.
“There’s been a realisation on how beneficial RPA can be, and how it can apply to part of a process and not the whole process. Because of the success, it’s made it easier to open doors in other areas of the university. Teams have seen that their own process has been looked at by the university, so they’ve felt more valued.”
The robot squad so far:
- BUCK: Validates differences in pay for staff
- Reubot: Reconciling the daily bank statement
- Manwell: Registers students to the recreation centre
- Murray: Transfers data from various systems into Dynamics 365 (CRM Tool)
- RoboMatt: Calculating and processing agent commission payments
- HireMe: Onboards new staff administration through Peoplesoft
- PayMe: Invigilator timesheets entry
- AutoBnB: Processes applications for student accommodation to send to students’ hall of first preference
- Unicorn: Contract Management
More information on each process completed so far can be found on the UC Intranet https://intranet.canterbury.ac.nz/rpa/
If you know of any processes you think would be great to automate, please get in touch with the automation team at: IntelligentAutomation@canterbury.ac.nz
Join us on 27 March to hear from Steve Abley and Chris Morris from Abley Limited talk about the “MegaMaps” tool – Saving your life, without you even knowing it.
New Zealand now has a tool especially developed to identify high risk locations for safety interventions: The Safer Journeys Risk Assessment Tool or “MegaMaps”. This tool, will help to reduce the horrific financial and emotional cost of road fatalities.
“MegaMaps”, has been developed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency with the assistance of Abley Limited. Steve and Chris, will explain The Safer Journeys Risk Assessment Tool or “MegaMaps”, how it came to exist and why it is unique nationally and globally.
This seminar will be of interest to students, academics, practitioners involved in data analytics as well as road safety practitioners.
Come for a networking free lunch at 12:30 pm, followed by our guest talk at 1:00 pm.
Haere mai! All are welcome!
Location: University of Canterbury, Ernest Rutherford building, room 263
Please sign up (free) via the Eventbrite link so that we can accommodate for catering:
The UC Business School Research Committee has recently supported the creation of a ‘Social Impact Group’. The group exists to support multi-disciplinary research that focuses on social well-being, welfare and external impact.
This seminar will be an opportunity to share the kaupapa and vision for this group. We will also share some early ideas of growing the group’s ability to generate external funding and support for research that has a well-being focus.
We encourage anyone working in a similar area to come to the hui to see what is happening so far and learn how they can be a part of the group’s ongoing passion for this type of research. We have no methodological boundaries or specific focus on unit of analysis at this stage. Micro, meso or macro level research is all welcome.
The group is co-directed by Prof. Ekant Veer and Dr. Ann-Marie Kennedy and is open to new members of any level who wish to be part of this type of research and engagement community on campus.
The seminar will include morning tea. Please RSVP to email@example.com for catering purposes. Please note, this is a UC Business School venture and not aligned with any other research group processes.
Day: Wednesday 18 March 2020
Venue: Meremere 236, 2nd floor, College of Business and Law
RSVP: Please rsvp to this email invitation by 9 March to firstname.lastname@example.org