Breadcrumbs

June 2012  

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Queen's Honours for Waikato Alumni

The University of Waikato is extremely proud to congratulate a number of alumni who featured in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith (pictured) received a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit  for services to rugby.  Wayne was assistant coach of the All Blacks during their successful Rugby World Cup campaign in 2011.

Other alumni who received awards included Dr Ronald George Gibson, (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to veterinary science; Brian Mansel Diver, (Queen's Service Medal) for services to youth sport; and Ariana Simpson, (Queen's Service Medal) for services to Māori and the community.

A special note of congratulations to University of Waikato Ambassador and international opera star Dame Malvina Major who was awarded one of the top honours in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, becoming an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand. Only 22 people hold the title.

We also congratulate Dame Kiri Te Kanawa on being named the Iconic New Zealander of the Year at the 2012 Kea World Class New Zealand Awards in May. Dame Kiri received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato in 1995.

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Waikato leads million dollar Rena research

The University of Waikato is part of a high-level team that’s been set up to look at the long-term impacts of the Rena grounding. The group – called Te Mauri Moana – is a collaborative tertiary group that will provide a detailed assessment of the impact the Rena incident has had on the Bay of Plenty’s coastal environment.

Director of Waikato University's Environmental Research Institute and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering Professor Bruce Clarkson says the research will greatly assist our understanding of how to speed up environmental recovery and give students practical hands-on training.

Rena Recovery Manager Catherine Taylor says a New Zealand coastline has never been through this level of pollution before so what researchers discover will be ground-breaking for understanding the resilience of New Zealand environments.

Read more

Image credit: Maritime New Zealand

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National Agricultural Fieldays 2012

13-16 June

The University of Waikato is once again proud to be associated with the 2012 National Agricultural Fieldays as Strategic Partner for the sixth year running. Our presence at Fieldays reinforces the University of Waikato’s commitment to innovative and sustainable development.

This year's theme is The Changing Face of Farming. As the key tertiary institute in the Waikato region - New Zealand's agricultural heartland - the University of Waikato is heavily involved in research impacting on land-based industry.

Click for more information about our sites

Click to see what else is on at Fieldays

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Follow us online

Keep up with the University of Waikato's activites at Fieldays as they unfold.

Twitter: Follow us on Twitter - (@waikato) for the latest updates from Fieldays. We will be using the Twitter hash-tags #fieldays and #waitalk for our updates - make sure to also use them for your tweets!

Facebook: Join us on Facebook to check out news and photos from Fieldays and contribute your own.

YouTube: Check out our official University of Waikato YouTube Channel for video interviews and much more.

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Seminars tackle the big questions

Experts from the University of Waikato and key primary sector organisations will be on hand at Fieldays to discuss the latest thinking on some of the big questions facing New Zealand’s agriculture sector.

Powered by the University of Waikato, the Fieldays Seminar Series features talks and panel discussions each weekday morning and afternoon; topics include the changing structure of land ownership models, the right to farm, and the competing demands for land from urban growth, recreation and agriculture.

 

Facilitating all three panel discussions is the University’s new Professor of Agriculture, Jacqueline Rowarth. A leading agriculture researcher and commentator, Professor Rowarth will be taking the pulse of New Zealand’s land-based industries, and inviting experts in their field to contribute their thoughts on where agriculture is heading. 

She’ll also be presenting seminars on the impact of rising regulatory costs on farming, and getting the balance right between efficient food production and sustainable land management.

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Student helps sort the cows

A summer studying cows has given a University of Waikato student an unparalleled insight into bovine behaviour. Now he's something of an expert.

Dushyant Parmar’s (pictured) farming experience was pretty limited before he started working with farmer cooperative Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), in the Protrack department over summer.

Parmar, a mechanical engineering student, was involved with the development and testing of LIC’s new Protrack Drafter product that uses an automated drafting gate, on show at this year's Fieldays.

The gate works like an extra pair of hands for farmers. Cows are fitted with an electronic identification tag, and a farmer pre-programmes which animals need drafting - during milking the automatic gate takes care of the rest.

Read more

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Nurturing one wetland at a time

Rebecca Eivers (pictured) has a soft spot for Waikato’s ailing peat lakes. The University of Waikato doctorate student wants to nurse them back to health one floating wetland at a time, and her work is on show at the University of Waikato’s Fieldays stand this year.

Waikato peat lakes are shallow and often surrounded by intensive farming. That makes them more susceptible to sediment build-up and exacerbates problems like algal blooms caused by excessive nutrients.

So part of Eivers’ research, which is partly funded by Waikato Regional Council and the Department of Conservation, involves trialling floating wetlands that sit on top of an existing water source.

Read more

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Turning feathers to fibre

Feathers to fibre – or how chickens will make your boat go faster. That’s the aim of University of Waikato scientists who are taking chicken feathers and turning them into fibres that, when added to plastic, could be strong enough to be used in the marine industry.

For University of Waikato scientist Dr Johan Verbeek (pictured front) that’s a business opportunity. He and his team are taking those feathers and turning them into a biodegradable fibre.

The group is working with co-product company Wallace Corporation aiming to take a low value product and convert it into a product worth three or four times more that can sustain a profitable business.

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Predicting weather to help farmers

Farmers know a change in the weather when they see one, and a University of Waikato doctorate student can now give them an indication of how their farm production might be affected by climate change.

Electra Kalaugher (pictured) has used advanced computer modelling to assess how five farms from the far north to the deep south will fare as the climate changes.

The aim of the research is to understand the impact climate change might have on real dairy farms in the future and which practical strategies allow farmers to effectively adapt to change while at the same time improving their efficiency and productivity. It also gives farmers an opportunity to think about how they might manage their farms in the future.

Read more

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From the Vice-Chancellor

Professor Roy Crawford

As the strategic partner at the National Agricultural Fieldays, we welcome the opportunity to showcase how our teaching and research benefit the community, the region and the nation.

I believe our location in the heart of rural New Zealand makes us especially attuned to the issues facing farming today. We have expertise in land ownership, environmental impacts, soil remediation, water as a valuable resource - the list goes on.

Earlier this year, we welcomed respected agricultural commentator and researcher Jacqueline Rowarth who has joined us as Professor of Agribusiness. Professor Rowarth has already begun to strengthen our links with the wider agriculture sector in the Waikato region and beyond.

I hope you enjoy reading about how our researchers and students are adding value to land-based industries, and we look forward to welcoming you at our Fieldays stand in the Premier Feature area.

Fieldays quick links

Purchase Fieldays tickets here

Map

Find out where everything is and where you need to go by viewing the Fieldays 2012 interactive map. Our Premier Feature site is located at PF19 and our recruitment and innovation stand is outside the Innovation Centre on M Road.

University of Waikato Seminar Series DOWNLOAD PROGRAMME

University of Waikato Fieldays Supplement DOWNLOAD SUPPLEMENT

Support your University

What's on

UoW in Northland

Join Vice-Chancellor Prof Roy Crawford, Pro Vice-Chancellor Maori Prof Linda Smith and Associate Prof Margie Hohepa to catch up on the latest developments in teaching and research at Waikato.

19 June Whangarei, VIE Restaurant & Bar 5.30pm. RSVP by 15 June.

20 June Kaitaia, Atrium, Te Ahu Centre 5.30pm. RSVP by 15 June.

21 June Kerikeri, Food at Wharepuke 6.00pm. RSVP by 15 June.

University of Waikato Information Expo Sunday 24 June A chance for prospective students and their families to come to the university and talk to faculty staff about study options, programme planning and life on campus.

Inaugural Professorial Lectures

The University of Waikato invites you to take part in one of our most significant traditions - the Inaugural Professorial Lectures. The 2012 series showcases research from our newest professors.

26 June: Prof Charl de Villiers, Accounting, WMS discussing sustainable accounting.

17 July: Prof John Oetzel, Management Communication, WMS

Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts June features include 2012 Fuel Festival theatre performances and recitals by Russian-born violinist Sergey Malov.

'Remix' at Calder & Lawson Gallery through 22 June

Re:think

The first issue of the University of Waikato's twice-yearly publication is now available online, highlighting Waikato's innovation and latest research.

Alumni links

Waikato's global Alumni Representatives

Tell us your stories! Email alumni@waikato.ac.nz and let us know what you have been up to since graduating from Waikato.

Keep up to date with alumni info, news and events here