Winners of the Team research medal from the Vocanic Risk Solutions Group, from left: Emma Phillips, Dr Bob Stewart, Dr Emma Doyle, Jon Procter, Professor Vince Neall, Dr Anke Zernack, Dr Kate Arentsen, Associate Professor Mark Bebbington , Dr Gert Lube, Anja Moebis, Associate Professor David Johnston and Suzy Cole.
Research leaders honoured at medals dinner
Guest speaker Professor Sir Peter Gluckman.
Early achiever medal winners Dr Aiqian Ye, Dr Leigh Signal and Dr Matthias Lein.
Massey’s research leaders were honoured last night at the Research Medals dinner at the Great Hall on the Wellington campus.
Guest speaker at the black-tie dinner was the chief science adviser to the Prime Minister, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, who congratulated the University for honouring its researchers in this way.
Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger, from the Institute of Advanced Study at the Albany campus, and Professor Anne Noble, from the College of Creative Arts in Wellington, were each awarded a medal for individual research.
Fundamental aspects of chemistry in relation to quantum physics – such as the chemistry and physics of gold – have been the major research focus for Professor Schwerdtfeger during his five years at Massey, earning him three consecutive Marsden grants over the past three years – a unique achievement.
One of the professoriate of three at the New Zealand Institute of Advanced Study, he has earned multiple accolades and prizes as one of the top-ranked physical scientists in the world.
His Marsden-funded projects include experimental and theoretical investigations of the nanostructures of gold for a better understanding of the quantum size effects in nano-structured materials, and understanding and modelling the behaviour of dynamic clusters of atoms and molecules in heavy metal clusters.
Professor Noble’s indelible photographic imagery is known far beyond Massey’s halls of learning where she is a professor at the School of Fine Arts.
Her contribution to international contemporary photography is recognised with representation in many gallery collections worldwide – notably Musee du Quai Branley, Paris, the Australian National Gallery and the Queensland Art Gallery International Collection of Contemporary Art.
From a 1982 exploration of the Whanganui River, to her graceful 1988 photo essay about the contemplative life of nuns, to pictures of her daughter Ruby showing off vividly coloured sweets and, latterly, breathtaking desolate images of Antarctica, Professor Noble’s work covers a broad canvas.
The Volcanic Solutions team based in the Institute of Natural Resources at the Manawatu campus, led by Associate Professor Shane Cronin, won the Team Research Medal.
The team carries out high-profile research on volcanic risk and volcanic geological issues throughout New Zealand, southwest Pacific and Asia. It has secured $7.5 million in research funding since its inception in 2004.
In that time the team has published 80 journal articles and 12 book chapters, presented 18 keynote lectures to conferences around the world and delivered 231 conference papers. It has supervised 14 master’s/bachelor (hons) and six PhD students to completion and currently has four master’s and nine PhD students.
Professor Hugh Blair Professor is the recipient of the University Research Medal – Supervisor. In 33 years, Professor Blair has supervised 39 successful postgraduate students, 28 completing master’s degrees and 12 PhD graduates. Professor Blair, a professor of animal science, is an acknowledged expert in animal genetics.
Early Career Medals were won by Dr Matthias Lein of the Institute of Advanced study, Dr Leigh Signal from the Sleep/Wake Research Centre and Dr Aigian Ye of the Riddet Institute.
Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nigel Long says the Massey Medals and awards are recognition of the excellent research under way. “I congratulate each of the medal and award winners, and this year I am particularly pleased to see the diverse range of disciplines represented.
“Massey is committed to excellent research, with strong foundations already laid set to be enhanced by the research pathway highlighted in The Road to 2020.
“A number of initiatives are under way to nurture our research environment, with the intention of providing a research community dedicated to making a difference to New Zealand and the world, and ensuring every researcher feels a valued part of that community. Recipients of the Massey Medals are acknowledged as among the best both here at Massey and externally: it is extremely pleasing to celebrate their achievement.”