The Chemmat Knit – Newsletter

December 2020

 

This is our fourth and final Quarterly Chemmat Knit issue for the year. There’s quite a lot to report and update and I encourage you to please get in touch with us to find out more about any of the items of interest. Please also forward this newsletter to your fellow alumni friends. As you will see in this issue, the 1985 group got together and went on a tour of the new laboratory facilities. We welcome all alumni to let us know if you would like us to organise one for your group. There is also a call for partnership research projects with industry folks, so please do get in touch with us if you have any interest in engaging us with a 4th Year research project idea.

Finally, 2020 draws to a close! I want to use this opportunity to send accolades to staff and students who managed to keep teaching and learning going throughout the year. The Chemmat degree has not been affected or compromised in any way in terms of timeline and current students’ journeys. Also, bravo to the researchers who were able to work around lab closures and restricted access. Despite the restrictions we have still maintained our research outputs and income at usual non-Covid rates. 

As the university shuts its doors for the Christmas – New Year break, it goes without saying that we all deserve a good respite from the unpleasantness and drama that was 2020.

While there is no guarantee that 2021 is going to be any easier, we are hopeful that we will be tougher and recharged to take it on.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone – stay safe and healthy.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Ashvin Thambyah

Associate Professor & Head of Department

Chemical & Materials Engineering

 

 

Checkout the Chemmat Gold Fund – The fund has been established to help create an inspirational learning and research environment designed to prepare our engineers of the future, for the future.

Chemmat PhD candidate wins award

Chemmat PhD candidate wins award

The Academic Career Advancement Programme (ACAP) gives mid-phase doctoral candidates a head-start in their academic future. The ACAP (formally DALI) presents a series of regular seminars over two semesters, with a focus on careers in academia, teaching, and research....

read more
Chemmat’s Postgraduate Symposium

Chemmat’s Postgraduate Symposium

Each year the department holds a Research Showcase where PhD students have the opportunity to disseminate their research, and showcase the breadth of research across all areas of chemical and materials engineering.  The showcase is a mixture of oral and poster...

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Chemmat scores two top teacher awards

Chemmat scores two top teacher awards

From Left: Chemmat’s Dr Steve Matthews, Dr Amar Auckaili   Congratulations to Chemmat’s Dr Steve Matthews and Dr Amar Auckaili who both won a Students’ Choice Top Teacher Award each this year. These were announced by our Acting Dean, Prof Gerard Rowe...

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Chemmat Postgraduate Dinner

Chemmat Postgraduate Dinner

About 70 students and staff gathered for dinner at the Bodrum Newmarket restaurant on the evening of Thursday, 9 December. It was a fun and relaxing night, and it was a nice treat for our Postgraduate students who have, like everyone, found 2020 very challenging. We...

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CMESA’s AGM

CMESA’s AGM

CMESA (Chemical & Materials Engineering Students’ Association) recently held its Annual General Meeting. The incumbent Matthew Oei (on the far right of the picture) was voted to remain as President for 2021. The other nominees, who all competed strongly and...

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Chemmat’s Graduation

Chemmat’s Graduation

We were lucky to have an in-person graduation ceremony on the 4th of November, held at the Spark Arena. Feedback from students and family was that they were highly appreciative of the university organising this event during this tricky year of lockdowns and high...

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Ideas wanted for industry-related projects

Ideas wanted for industry-related projects

At our recent Chemmat Industry Advisory Board meeting, one of the items discussed was the idea of exploring the possibility of having some Part IV projects done collaboratively with our industry friends. Our board members were keen to explore how industry folk could...

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The Class of ’85

The Class of ’85

It was a real pleasure to host the Chemmat class of ’85 on 16 October when we gave them a lab tour of our new facilities. We were truly impressed by how this group has been able to stay in touch and motivated to meet up after all these years. Such an alumni...

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2020 4th Year undergraduates’ – Annual Dinner

2020 4th Year undergraduates’ – Annual Dinner

We were fortunate to be able to go ahead with the annual 4th year or final year undegrad dinner. This event is a popular one that everyone looks forward to every year,  giving the opportunity to the students to celebrate the end of their undergrad studies. Guest...

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October message – Head of Department

October message   In these troubled times the challenges the world faces require, more than ever, the solutions from chemical and materials engineers. Whether it is about discovering novel ways to detect quickly the presence of a virus, developing technology...

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IChemE Safety Centre – Lessons from Regulators

IChemE Safety Centre – Lessons from Regulators

IChemE’s Safety Centre Director Trish Kerin discusses key lessons with two former regulators. Dame Judith Hackitt was the Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive and is also involved in advising Governments in UK and in Australia on reform of Building Safety...

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Way to go, Wei!

Way to go, Wei!

In June 2020 it was announced that Chemmat’s Professor Wei Gao had been awarded  The Vice-Chancellor’s Commercialisation Medal as part of the University of Auckland 2020 Research Excellence Awards. From the UoA website: Professor Wei Gao from Chemical and...

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Innovative solutions in response to COVID-19

Innovative solutions in response to COVID-19

In May 2020, $25M for innovative solutions in response to COVID-19 was announced by the government. $110K was awarded to Chemmat’s Associate Professor Ashton Partridge’s company Digital Sensing Ltd. The name of their project for testing for COVID-19,  is...

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April message – Head of Department

April 2020   On Monday 30 March 2020, the University began full online teaching to provide some sense of business continuity amidst the nationwide Alert Level 4 lockdown. As staff scrambled to prepare, students were understandably anxious on how the following...

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Chemmat alumni James Woolner

Chemmat alumni James Woolner

An interview with Chemmat alumni James Woolner who is presently living in The Netherlands:   In 2018 I decided to do what every Kiwi seems to do in their career, move to Europe. Being a UK national and therefore having EU citizenship, I thought it would be more...

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CMESA news

CMESA news

Update from Matthew Oei, President, CMESA:   Despite the challenges of lockdown, we put together two events, as well as a wellness post for the University’s Mental Health Day on 5 May 2020. We had a Kahoot quiz that had a $50 prize pack and a TikTok...

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MBIE funding update – Prof Mohammed Farid

MBIE funding update – Prof Mohammed Farid

    Chemmat’s Professor Mohammed Farid has three MBIE-funded projects. Listed below, the first two have already been contracted, and the third one should be contracted very soon.   Title: Quality and safety assurance for high value cold-smoked or...

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New biosector careers profiles launched

New biosector careers profiles launched

A new collection of chemical engineering career profiles has been launched by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) to inspire the next generation into a prosperous career in the bioeconomy. Showcasing how chemical engineers in this emerging sector are...

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Chemmat Careers Evening

Chemmat Careers Evening

Chemmat’s Careers Evening was held on the evening of Thursday, 30 July at the Sir Owen Glenn building where past Chemmat graduates shared their rich experiences from their own journeys in their respective fields and presented on their career development after...

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Prof Brent Young – “My graduation story”

Prof Brent Young – “My graduation story”

1985 BE student   My graduation story.  A career that began with graduation during a recession.  Brent Young I graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in the mid 1980’s from University, after years of depression, recession, and extremely high (double digit)...

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Steve Strover

With sadness we received the news on 9 April 2020 that a long-serving technician in our department, Steve Strover, passed away following a prolonged illness.  Steve began his career with our department way back in 1986, bringing his skills in metallography, microscopy...

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Life on Zoom

Staff-Student Consultative Committee Meeting – 3 April 2020       Friday drinks with the...

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February message – Head of Department

February 2020   A brand new year, a brand new building – a brand new virus! Yikes! It’s been a start to 2020 with mixed feelings. The move to the new Engineering Building is complete, staff and students have been reinvigorated.  Everyone’s...

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AAEE summer school

AAEE summer school

Photo: Facilitators and participants in the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) 2020 summer school at Waikato Institute of Technology in Hamilton. From left to right: Amar Auckaili (UoA), Andrea Kolb (UoA), Pablo German (UoA), Lorenzo Garcia...

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CMESA on Instagram

CMESA on Instagram

CMESA (Chemical & Materials Engineering Students Association) has a new Instagram page for announcing their social events, including “Isolation Challenges.” Follow them or check out their page: https://www.instagram.com/cmesa.uoa/    ...

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The Roof of the Future

The Roof of the Future

F-Wave LLC has introduced its REVIA Hybrid solar roof tiles. F-Wave’s new tiles harvest both photovoltaic and thermal energy. The company’s Hybrid tiles are up to 40% efficient, doubling the efficiency of traditional glass solar panels. The energy generated mirrors...

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Prof Wei Gao’s Recent Achievements

Prof Wei Gao’s Recent Achievements

Chemmat congratulates Professor Wei Gao for receiving the award of “Innovation for a Better World” from the University of Auckland and Auckland UniServices, November 2019 in Hangzhou. Wei was also awarded a Standard Marsden 2020 project “Controlled magnetic...

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Resource Recovery Workshop

Resource Recovery Workshop

The 2nd International Workshop on ‘Resource Recovery from Biobased Production Processes’ was held in the Newmarket Campus on 12 November 2019. The workshop was jointly organised by Dr Saeid Baroutian, Prof Brent Young and together with the Technical...

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Chemmat Beer Tasting

Chemmat Beer Tasting

Chemmat staff and students gathered late last year for our Annual Beer Tasting for Students vs Staff. The competition was won by Chemmat Staff. Congratulations to our Senior Technicians Ray Hoffman and Peter Martin, whose names have been added to the “Chemmat...

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Dr Saeid Baroutian’s Trip To China

Dr Saeid Baroutian’s Trip To China

Photo (from left): Drs Kiri Dell (Ngāti Porou) – Faculty of Business & Economics, Chemmat’s Saeid Baroutian   Chemmat’s Dr Saeid Baroutian was invited to present his research on “Hydrothermal Deconstruction: Busting Waste with...

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Finalist For Callaghan C-Prize

Finalist For Callaghan C-Prize

Photo: Team members (from the left): Chemmat’s Professor Mohammed Farid, PhD Candidates – Gohar Gholami, Misagh Ebrahimpour Over 140 teams participated in the Callaghan C-Prize competition and our team (SES: Smart Energy Storage) was amongst the 10...

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Young Executive Of The Year Finalist

Young Executive Of The Year Finalist

Congratulations Amelia Rentzios, Chemmat alumni of 2005, who was one of the three finalists for the Young Executive of the Year award at the Deloitte Business Awards, announced in December 2019. She was the only finalist from Taranaki and one of a handful from...

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Chemmat student attends Student Energy Summit in London

Chemmat student attends Student Energy Summit in London

Photo: Claire West and Axel Sinhuber, also from UoA (Engineering Dept, MEnergy)   The following is a report from Claire West, who won a bursary to attend the Student Energy Summit (SES) at the Imperial College in London. The Student Energy Summit (SES) is a...

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Chemmat Final Year Presentation

Chemmat Final Year Presentation

Another memorable Final Year presentations were held in the City Campus on Wednesday 30th October. Over 80 students and staff took part in the event and 28 departmental and 6 cross-departmental interesting presentations were held. There was an amazing diversity of...

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Factory tour to O-I Glass NZ

Factory tour to O-I Glass NZ

As mentioned at the beginning of the semester, I was keen on planning a factory tour to O-I Glass New Zealand with the students. This visit took place on Monday, 30 September, 1-3pm with 3 lecturers (myself, Dr Shanghai Wei, and Amanda DiIenno), and 10 students from...

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Congratulations Sesha!

Congratulations Sesha!

Congratulations to Chemmat PhD candidate Sesha Manuguri for successfully defending his PhD thesis, “Proteins, Polymers and Nanoparticles: Self-assembly Towards Functional Nanostructures”. Sesha’s supervisors were Dr Jenny Malmstrom (Chemmat) and Prof David...

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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

Chemmat was fortunate to have psychiatrist Dr Jane Casey accept our invitation to give a seminar to our students and staff on Thursday, 10 October to coincide with World Mental Health Day. Jane’s talk was targeted towards PhD students and gave strategies about...

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Extracting a powerful antioxidant from crayfish

Extracting a powerful antioxidant from crayfish

This year the Chemeca conference was held in Sydney, Australia from 29 September-2 October. At Chemeca, Chemmat’s Dr Kaveh Shahbaz presented slides from his recent study with Prof Mohammed Farid and Angela Yan, Chemmat Part III student. Kaveh’s...

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CMESA Pub Quiz

CMESA Pub Quiz

The Chemical and Materials Engineering Student Association (CMESA) hosted a Pub Quiz at Shadows on Thursday 19th September at 6.30pm. There was a range of questions from pop culture and sports to materials and processing. They also had a bonus “Guess the...

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CHEMECA 2019

CHEMECA 2019

The 48th Chemeca was held in Sydney NSW, Australia from 29 September – 2 October 2019. This annual meeting brings together chemical engineers from Australia, New Zealand and other countries to share their insights and innovations relevant to chemical engineers across...

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The C&M Class of 1989:  30-Year Reunion

The C&M Class of 1989: 30-Year Reunion

Class of ’89!   On 5th September, the department hosted a gathering and tour for some keen alumni of the 1989 cohort.  The afternoon started with tea and nibbles where alumni, staff and students had a chance to catch-up, be introduced and re-introduced, and...

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Chemmat PhD candidate wins award

Chemmat PhD candidate wins award

The Academic Career Advancement Programme (ACAP) gives mid-phase doctoral candidates a head-start in their academic future. The ACAP (formally DALI) presents a series of regular seminars over two semesters, with a focus on careers in academia, teaching, and research....

read more
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