The Contribution of the MacDiarmid Institute to New Zealand
Mid Term Review - September 2010
demonstrate: quality of research, collaboration, networking, outreach,
dissemination and uptake of research, organisational development (People and
systems) strengths, where will we will be in 3 yrs time, what are the areas for
improvement and how are we addressing these.
1. Quality of Research:
• The Discovery Awards programme
directed at Maori and Pacific year 12 and
13 pupils was held in 2009 and 2010. Five
pupils took part in the first programme and
12 in the second. Three pupils are now
enrolled at Victoria University in the
Science Faculty, [Nikita Hunia, PJ
Campbell and Buddy Nuku] one pupil won
a University of Otago Maori and Pacific
Islands Entrance Scholarship for 2010
• The Nanocamp for senior high school
pupils was held in Massey in 2009 and Canterbury
in 2010. In 2011 the event will again be held at
Massey. For both programmes large number of
applications were received for the twelve available
• The Institute takes part Awhina outreach at public events focusing on Maori and Pacific
pupils. Examples of these are Atamira Maori in the City in Auckland in 2009, Awhina
Cybrospace Porirua Community Outreach in August 2010.
• Howard Lukefahr was active in the following projects:
The Physics Teacher's Resource Bank
The Physics Travelling classroom — Marae and schools from Wellington
Te Reo Maori Physics Project
School teacher support - various activities
"Earthworks" 6-part radio series for Radio New Zealand - proposed for re-
broadcast in Australia and United Kingdom
• The VIP Physics class in association with RSNZ is attended by artists, writers,
broadcasters and publishers:
Climate Change March 2006
Disasters Oct 2006
Land Use June 2007
Mathematics June 2008
Nanotechnology Nov 2008
Astronomy March 2010
• Every June the Institute hosts 15 US PhD students visiting under the East Asia and
Pacific Summer Institutes New Zealand Orientation arranged by the RSNZ (Eddie
• Café Scientifique talks —
Shaun Hendy, Hamilton ―Nanotechnology, opportunity or threat?‖
Richard Tilley nanotechnology at Te Papa
Ben Ruck, Reka Café, Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt ―Nanotechnology,
what harm can there be?‖
• Our Changing World, RadioNZ National —
Andy Edgar, ―Glass for Radiation Imaging― 13 May 2010
Richard Tilley, ―Nanotechnology - the tiny way towards a bigger future‖
Richard Tilley and Ashton Prtridge, 10 September 2009 on quantum dot
• RadioNZ National —
Richard Tilley, 9.30 am Live Interview 16 December 2009 on our research
on silicon quantum dots for cancer imaging
Shaun Hendy, Radio New Zealand Nights, 20 minute slot on physics with
Bryan Crump, once every six weeks for all of 2010, Simon Shepherd (TV3
News, Jan 19)
• Television —
Richard Tilley, TV 1 News and TV 3 News 5 minute interview on our
research on silicon quantum dots for cancer imaging 16 December 2009.
• Print media —
Richard Tilley, article on the front page of the Dominion Post, 16 December 2009
on research paper on silicon quantum dots for cancer imaging published in the
Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Simon Brown, Weekend Herald 19 July 2010, item on nanotechnology
Shaun Hendy, Christchurch Press article 30 June 2010 "NZ should think like a
city of 4.5 million people Interviews with Rebecca Macfie (Listener, July),
Peter Kerr (Businesswire, July), Business Day (NZPA, June), Simon
Shepherd (TV3 News, Jan), Noelle McCarthy (Radio NZ Summer Noelle,
Shaun Hendy has also a Blog on SciBlogs.co.nz since Sept 2009, now more
than 50 posts and a readership of more than 1000 people per month and is
Adviser to Science Media Center.
• Sponsorship of the RSNZ Rutherford Lecture 2010:
Martin Lord Rees is a successor of Sir Isaac Newton and Ernest Lord Rutherford as
President of the Royal Society of London. He is also UK‘s Astronomer Royal and
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Lord Rees visited the Institute at the Victoria
and Canterbury sites and met with students and principal investigators.
• NZ Chemistry Olympiad
• The International Young Physicist of the Year tournament
• RSNZ Honours Dinner
• Te Reo project/Awhina programme for Maori and Pacific pupils
• Two pupils supported to attend the Asian Science Camp in 2009 (Tsukuba,
Japan) and 2010 (Mumbai, India)
• Sponsorship of University of Canterbury Images of Nanotechnology
Competition to find the best NZ images from nanotechnology research. The best
images will be displayed at a special exhibition in Christchurch and there are
$2000 in prizes.
Communication - publications:
• Tools for Transformation —
providing information about capital equipment held
by the Institute.
• Media Kit section added to the website: macdiarmid.ac.nz/media.php
• Shaun Hendy has established a blogsite on the SciBlogs website: sciblogs.co.nz,
the Science Media Centre.
• 2011 International Year of Chemistry - collaboration with Massey Design
• AMN-5 - public lecture, speaker Sri Richard Friend
• Channel 7 Science Series fronted by John Watt
• Media interviews with Richard Blaikie, Shaun Hendy, and other MacDiarmid
• In 2009 a consultant was contracted to review the Outreach activities of the
Institute and an innovative programme has been developed including:
• 2012 Transit of Venus leadership forum
• In the Nature of Science series for secondary school students and
• Business lunch aligned with AMN-5 sponsored by IRL, with Anthony
Leggett as speaker
• Bring senior secondary chemistry/physics students in to AMN-5 poster
5. Dissemination and Update of Research:
6. Organisational Development (People and Systems)
On the retirement from the Board of Professor Ian Watson, Dr Steve Thompson was
appointed to the position of Chair of the MacDiarmid Board from January 2010.
The Board Chair is Steve Thompson who works with the British High Commission building UK-NZ
He has an academic background in agriculture, economics and business
and extensive experience in science management. He has an Honours
degree in Agricultural Science from the UK, a Masters in Economics from
Canada and a PhD in Agriculture from the UK.
He moved to New Zealand in 1997 as CEO of the Foundation for
Research, Science and Technology, then CEO of the Royal Society of New
Zealand for seven years. He became a Companion of the Royal Society of
New Zealand in 2008.
He is also a graduate of Canada's National Defence College and the
Queen's University Programme for Public Executives. He has experience
in environmental and economic management, policy formulation, conflict
resolution and scientific, economic and environmental analysis.
Other new members of the Board are:
Don Cleland is Professor of Process Engineering and Head of the School
of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University,
Palmerston North. He has been based at Massey University for 25 years.
He is currently Vice-President of the Science and Technology Council of
the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and is the immediate
past-Chair of the NZ National Committee of the IIR. He is a trustee of
the NZ Robotics Charitable Trust and a member of the Board of the
Manawatu Cricket Association.
Professor Jan Evans-Freeman is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Engineering at
the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. Prior to this she was the Head
of Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Before that she ran
the Centre for Electronic Materials at Sheffield Hallam, 2004-009, and was an
academic member of staff at UMIST in Manchester (UK), 1999-2004.
Professor Evans-Freeman has served on many UK government advisory
panels and is currently a member of the UK Engineering and Physical Science
Peer Review College. She has carried out international peer review activities
for national funding bodies such as the European Union, and the South
African and Finland national funding agencies. Between 2003-2008 she was
the Chair of the national Ion Beam Facility Steering Group in the UK,
successfully taking them through their next large funding bid.
Professor Vernon Squire is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic &
International) at the University of Otago. Prior to taking on this role, he
was Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sciences for 6 years, responsible for the
management and strategic development of the Division of Sciences at the
University. He is an applied mathematician, who continues to engage in
research and to supervise a small team interested in wave scattering
problems and marine physics in Arctic and Antarctic waters.
Professor Squire has convened government advisory panels, for example
MFAT's Environmental Assessment and Review Panel and TEC's PBRF
Mathematics, Information Systems & Technology Panel, and is currently a
member of the Riddet Institute Governance Board, the WildSouth
International Film Festival Charitable Trust and the Board of University
of Otago Foundation Studies.
Dr Geoff Todd
7. Development of Strengths
The Student and Post Doc Symposium is now in its 6th year. Themes for these have
2005 Presentations of research work and visitors including reps from —
MoRST, FoRST, TEC, GNS, IRL, A.J. Park, Baldwins, magritek,
Beaglehole Instruments, Resene, Vega Industries, Malaghan Institute,
NIWA, MoE and RSNZ
2006 Research – What‘s it all about?
2007 Scientists Sans Frontiers: Interfacial Tensions or Diminishing
2008 An Overview of Institute Expertise.
2009 How to make money from your science
2010 The Cutting Edge
The Board discretionary fund:
Used to fund strategically important projects. These have been:
1. Nanotechnolgy for DNA Sequencing: $127,510 per annum to June 30 2010 plus
$24,000 Capital item. Geoff Willmott, IRL/Izon (formerly Australo).
2. Development of Zinc Oxide Electronic Devices: $198,765 per annum to August
2011. Steve Durbin, CU
3. Andreas Hermann. Simulations of the templated growth of nanocrystals, Hendy,
Gaston, McGrath, Brimble Schwerdtfeger
• Keith Gordon received FRST funding to study self-repair organic electronics
over the next 3 years. The work is collaborative with Ashton Partridge also
involved. They will also be working with Dyesol in Australia and MSL in
• A proposal led by Shaun Hendy, ―Nanoscale Control of Crystal Growth‖
has received funding from FRST for two years with the possibility of a two year
• A proposal "Building Capability for Magnetic Resonance" led by Paul Callaghan
and Robin Dykstra, has been funded by FRST for 2 years with the possibility of
an extension for a further 2 years.
8. Three Year’s Time:
The Institute will be the pre-eminent research organisation in New Zealand with a
large number of collaborations with industry, hundreds of successful PhD
students, stellar PIs, tens of post doctoral fellows, ever expanding laboratories
housing 22nd century equipment an atom collider and two senior administrators.
These incredible advances have been a result of the ‗Big Science Ideas‘ initiative
from which was developed the MacD nano-dot self regulating personal health
check, thrusting NZ into the position of one the leading world economic forces
of the 21st century as well as resulting in three Nobel Prizes, one in physics, one
in chemistry and one in administration.
9. Areas for improvement and their management: