The Chemmat Knit – Newsletter

August 2019

 

This August issue reports on several items but importantly features a brief write up on the retirement event for Professor John Chen. John has been as much Chemmat as Chemmat has been John Chen. I am always amazed at how well known he is among the alumni, and with the current students he is so popular that this year the 4th Year students with their annual chemmat t-shirt design wanted it to simply feature John’s face. We’ll see whether that actually happens, but I think it’s a great idea! We wish John all the best in his retirement years.

The other thing to note is an upcoming reunion of Chemmat grads from 30 years ago. The Class of 1989 (Final year 1988, about 30 of them) are planning a 30-Year Reunion in September 2019 in Auckland with Philip Dingle as the Co-ordinator. Please email John Chen (j.chen@auckland.ac.nz) if you would like more details or wish to contact Philip.

It’s the last quarter of the year before summer and the Chemmat team wishes all a fruitful and productive time.

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.

June message – Head of Department

June message – Head of Department

The Chemmat Knit – Newsletter June 2019   Dear Colleagues The June 2019 issue has been an interesting one to put together. For me, it helped capture the natural diversity, of the many attributes, that the Chemmat family and spirit embodies. From world-class...

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Chemmat PhD Candidate wins award

Chemmat PhD Candidate wins award

Photo From Left: Chemmat’s Dr Saeid Baroutian, PhD Candidate Subhasree Bhasker, Des Mataga and Alan Routley from AUEA, Head of Chemmat, Associate Professor Ashvin Thambyah   About the Awardee: Subhasree Bhaskar is a Doctoral Candidate at Chemmat. Subhasree...

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Velocity Innovation Challenge winner

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Photo: Chemmat PhD Candidate, Misagh Ebrahimpour   Each year, the Velocity Innovation Challenge is held to encourage the University’s staff and students to share venture ideas to solve problems. The Faculty of Engineering is well represented in 2019’s...

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3D food printer at Chemmat

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‘Food’ of action in Christchurch

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Beer brewing at Chemmat

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NZPA celebrates successful win

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Chemmat’s ‘Paper of the Month’

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Chemmat at Enginuity Day

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  Enginuity day is an annual event organised by the Women in Engineering, University of Auckland to inspire young women to consider careers in engineering and to discover what it is like to study engineering at the University of Auckland. This year, the event was...

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  The health care sector may be as bad as the aviation industry when it comes to greenhouse gases and pollution. The anaesthetic gases released every year by one New Zealand hospital have the carbon footprint of 500 return flights between New Zealand and London,...

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Science: Cold pasteurisation works

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  What happens when high pressure is applied to food and drink? If a domestic pressure cooker is used, the result might be a classic pot roast or a trendy smokey beef brisket. Both are good eating and achieved with about two atmospheric pressure, or roughly the...

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A clean solution for gases

A clean solution for gases

Photo: Chemmat’s Dr Saeid Baroutian   Researchers at the University of Auckland have estimated that the anaesthetic gases released by one hospital annually in New Zealand have the carbon footprint of 500 return plane journeys between New Zealand and London....

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Making food safe using pressure instead of heat

Making food safe using pressure instead of heat

Photo: Chemmat’s Professor Mohammed Farid   Professor Farid often depicts the pressure exerted in high pressure processing visually, as two elephants standing on a coin. The Ministry for Primary Industries recently approved the use of high pressure...

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Celebrating the career of Professor John Chen

Celebrating the career of Professor John Chen

On 15 July 2019, staff members and friends came together to celebrate the career of Professor John Chen, and wish him all the best for his retirement years commencing 1 Aug 2019. Current Head of Department Associate Professor Ashvin Thambyah welcomed guests and gave a...

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Chemmat – well presented at Cambridge

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In May we had a visit from Chemmat graduate Reece Oosterbeek, who is in the midst of an exciting PhD program at Cambridge University. Reece received a prestigious Woolf Fisher scholarship to undertake doctoral studies at the Department of Materials Science and...

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A great outcome from MIT

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Congratulations to Dr Geran Zhang – Chemmat grad who completed a PhD at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Geran visited the department in May with the good news that he has not only completed his PhD at MIT, where he was on a full scholarship...

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Chemmat Mixer 2019 – Shadows

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Each year the department ‘facilitates’ a mixer, organised by the Year Three students, that brings both staff and students of the department for an evening of casual mixing. The aim of this annual event is to foster a sense of collegiality and camaraderie amongst all...

Urbanaut Brewery Tour

Urbanaut Brewery Tour

By Thomas Chong, CHEMMAT student On the 10/5/2019, the groovy crew of CMESA visited the Urbanauts Brewery for a day of “educational” sampling and exposure to what a chemical and materials engineering degree can offer. After the overwhelmingly positive response from...

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Goals of Chemmat’s Teaching & Learning Committee

Goals of Chemmat’s Teaching & Learning Committee

Chemmat’s Teaching and Learning Committee, chaired by A/P Peng Cao,  is working to achieve Chemmat’s strategic goals relating to teaching and learning.

  • In order to reduce the number of red-flagged courses, the Committee is working closely with Chemmat’s Staff/Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) to ensure all issues in relation to teaching are addressed timely.
  • The Committee has proposed to introduce a new 180-point Master of Engineering Studies in Food Engineering in 2020. The proposal has gone through to the Academic Programme Committee for approval.
  • The Committee is working to organise departmental teaching workshops.  The first workshop will be focused on developing good learning outcomes for each course.
  • As part of teaching transformation, we are implementing two champion courses to make better use of the MDLS space. These two pilot courses will provide more feedback to other courses at a later stage.
  • We have implemented a robust mechanism to minimise (ideally completely eliminate) errors in the exam papers. In doing so, we set up a number of quality control steps before the exam papers are submitted.
Autumn Graduation – 6 May 2019

Autumn Graduation – 6 May 2019

The department enjoyed celebrating the success of our graduates, both undergrad and postgrad, as they marched onto stage at the Aotea Center to collect their hard-won certificates. All the best to all graduates!

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Students visit Methanex

Students visit Methanex

On Thursday, 21 and Friday, 22 March a group of 56 students and three staff from the University of Auckland visited Methanex NZ Ltd to provide practical experience on a live plant.  This visit is organised every year by Robert Kirkpatrick and Harvey Weake who are both...

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Chemmat Careers Evening

Chemmat Careers Evening

Every year, the department invites industry, to send some representatives over to speak to our department undergraduates. On 16th May we had our Careers Evening where we had the following set of speakers: “Driving sustainability through Food & Innovation at...

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Chemmat Techs nominated for Health & Safety award

Chemmat Techs nominated for Health & Safety award

Earlier this year Chemmat lent a hand to the Civil & Environmental Department to help clean up a significant chemical spill incident in their laboratory. Although this was a team response, it met the threshold to be nominated for an award in the Health, Safety...

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Seminar on Virtual Bioprocess Plants

Seminar on Virtual Bioprocess Plants

Dr Mansouri being introduced by Prof Brent Young at the seminar.   On 7th March 2019, the department held a seminar where invited academic Dr Seyed Soheil Mansouri, from the Technical University of Denmark, gave a talk on his work Towards Development of Virtual...

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Postgraduate News

Postgraduate News

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Chemmat’s ‘Research Impact Day’

Chemmat’s ‘Research Impact Day’

On the 26th of February 2019, the department held a workshop among academic staff members to generate and capture group discussions on (1) Traditional forms of research impact, and (2) Non-traditional forms of research impact. This whole-day workshop was held at the...

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TMS Conference

TMS Conference

Peng Cao attended the 148th TMS Annual Meeting held in San Antonio, USA, from March 10 – 14, 2019. He presented an invited talk in the “Solidification Processing of Light Metals and Alloys: An MPMD Symposium in Honor of David St John”. During the four-day conference,...

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Chemmat alumni sworn in as National MP

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Congratulations to 1990’s Chemmat alumni Agnes Loheni for having been sworn in as a National list MP. Click here to read Agnes’s Wikipedia page and here to read her parliamentary...

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PacSurf – Waikoloa, Hawaii

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Chemmat’s Senior Lecturer, Dr Jenny Malmström was invited to speak in the biomaterial surfaces and interfaces session at the Pacific Rim Symposium of Surfaces, Coatings and Interfaces. The conference was held at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa,...

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Conference on Micro & Nanotechnology in Medicine

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The IEEE EMBS fourth biennial Conference on Micro and Nanotechnology in Medicine was held in Kauai, Hawaii from 10-14 December 2018. Chemmat’s Head of Department, Assoc Prof Ashvin Thambyah attended the meeting at which the “biomedical grand challenges facing our...

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End-of-year Part IV presentations (2018)

End-of-year Part IV presentations (2018)

Chemmat students and staffEach year the department offers approximately 70 research projects to our Part IV students. Each student conducts his/her independent research under the supervision of a staff member. Some of the projects are part of large research...

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Dr Jenny Malmström features in top journal

Dr Jenny Malmström features in top journal

International journal Biointerphases has released a special issue highlighting women in Biointerface Science. Chemmat’s Senior Lecturer, Dr Jenny Malström features on the cover with other international researchers. The editorial showcases the careers of these women...

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Chemmat’s funding successes

Chemmat’s funding successes

Engineering research at the University of Auckland attracted more than $2M in funding from 2018’s Marsden Fund, a significant increase over 2017. Congratulations Assoc Prof Peng Cao, Dr Shanghai Wei and Prof Mark Taylor for their research grant wins: –         ...

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PhD student Andy Zhang wins best poster

PhD student Andy Zhang wins best poster

Congratulations Chemmat PhD student, Hongzhou (Andy) Zhang (supervised by Assoc Prof Peng Cao) for winning best poster prize at the 2018 World Congress on Powder Metallurgy. The conference was held in Beijing, China from 16-20 September, 2018. When asked about the...

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Prof Brent Young chairs discussion at the business school

Prof Brent Young chairs discussion at the business school

The Food and Health Programme and University of Auckland Business School’s Graduate School of Management co-hosted a visiting group of 25 MBA students from Stanford University, USA in December 2018. The visiting students were in New Zealand to understand how...

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FOMA

FOMA

The Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) held its 31st annual conference in Gisborne, from 2-3 November, 2018. FOMA is an organisation that was established in 1987 and provides the voice of Māori businesses to government and other authorities. Each year FOMA gathers...

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The Part IV leavers’ dinner (2018)

The Part IV leavers’ dinner (2018)

On 25 October 2018, Part IV students and staff gathered at Old Government House to celebrate the culmination of four years of hard work and the end of their undergraduate degree. It was an extremely happy evening, kicked off with a hilariously true-to-form speech by...

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Alumni news & weblinks

Alumni news & weblinks

The above photo was taken in the Chemmat Year 1 Microscope Laboratory in 2009 of some of the participants during a tour of the School of Engineering for their 20-Year Reunion. The Class of 1989 (Final year 1988, about 30 of them) are planning a 30-Year Reunion in...

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Prof Naz Karim visits from Texas A&M University

Prof Naz Karim visits from Texas A&M University

On 7 January 2019, the department welcomed a visit by Dr Nazmul Karim, Professor and Head of the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering Texas A&M University, and Holder of the Michael O’Connor Chair II. We were delighted that Prof Karim (Naz) found some...

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Something’s been brewing at Chemmat!

Something’s been brewing at Chemmat!

During Semester II 2018, a group of Part IV students, spearheaded by Adam Cameron and Ellie McBurney, began brewing beers in the Park Ave food lab. The project was designed as a hands-on learning experience, to support theoretical process knowledge learnt during Part...

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