Auckland

Auckland Branch covers the North Auckland District. This district covers the area north of a line drawn from the mouth of the Waikato to the Firth of Thames, not including the Coromandel Peninsula.

Auckland Branch Committee

ChairDr Cameron Weber
SecretaryDr Marija Gizdavic-Nikolaidis
TreasurerDr Marcus Jones
Council DelegateDr Jack Chen
Chem. Ed. Group RepresentativeDr Muhammad Hanif
Branch EditorDr Davide Mercadante
Committee Member(s)A/Prof Gordon Rewcastle
A/Prof Geoffrey Waterhouse
Dr Cassandra Fleming
Student Representative(s)Gaby Samson
Sneh Patel
Dominique Rwizinkindi
Brooke Kwai
Tzu-Jung Juan

NZIC Auckland Branch Report from the Chair 2020

C. Weber reminded members that the financial year runs from 1st October until 30th September and as our last AGM was on Wednesday 13th November, 2019, so this report starts from that date. Firstly, C. Weber thanked all the members of the branch committee for their contributions this year. He especially thanked to Dr Marija Gizdavic-Nikolaidis as Branch Secretary, Dr Jack Chen as Council Delegate, Dr Ivanhoe Leung as Chemical Education Group Representative, Dr Davide Mercadante as Branch Editor, and Dr Marcus Jones as Treasurer. C. Weber also thanked everyone who was involved in helping the organisation and promotion of the NZIC events this year.

The Auckland Branch of the NZIC and the Career Development and Employability Service hosted a Chemistry Careers Evening on Monday 10th August. This was attended by approximately 200 students across the Auckland region with presentations from 9 companies that employ chemists ranging from start-ups to multinationals. Given the success of this event NZIC Auckland Branch is looking into this becoming an annual fixture and Chair has started
discussions with AUT about hosting a similar event there next year.

C. Weber informed members that the seminar programme this year has been significantly interrupted due to COVID-19 which led to many planned seminars being postponed or cancelled. Despite these interruptions the Auckland Branch of the NZIC managed to host 4 seminars this year including a seminar to be held on Friday 20th November. The NZIC speakers were Prof. David Kingston (Virginia Tech), Dr Cassandra Fleming (Auckland University of Technology), Prof. Patricia Hunt (Victoria University of Wellington) and Dr Nathaniel Davis (Victoria University of Wellington). In addition to our own seminar programme, we have also hosted the Presidential Lecture by A/Prof. Sarah Masters (The University of Canterbury), to be held immediately following the AGM.

This year Auckland Branch of the NZIC have been incorporating seminar speakers within the University of Auckland seminar programme where possible to help ensure attendance but this has reduced the number of events being hosted outside the University of Auckland. C. Weber suggested members to consider what the best approach going forward should be in regard place and time for organising NZIC seminars in a future, so these events can be hosted equally across the Branch.

The NZIC helped support the IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast this year held on 12th February. Dr Iana Gritcan is gratefully acknowledged for her assistance in organising this event. The NZIC Auckland Branch annual dinner was held on Thursday 15th October at the Four Seasons at AUT following postponement due to COVID-19 restrictions. C. Weber thanked to Dr Marija Gizdavic-Nikolaidis for organising this event.

Chair also said that as the only NZIC branch that contains multiple universities, it would be good to have more events designed to bring students from these universities together to create more of a regional chemistry community. C. Weber asked if anyone has ideas in this space to contact him. Student representatives are also encouraged to indicate the types of activities that they believe would work well.

The NZIC Auckland Branch continued to support undergraduate chemistry students in the Auckland region by sponsoring undergraduate prizes at AUT, UoA and Massey Auckland. C. Weber said that NZIC Auckland Branch sponsored a poster prize in the 2019 Green Chemistry New Zealand conference in December 2019. Given the COVID-19 restrictions on travel this year, no travel grants were awarded or applied for from the branch.

NZIC Auckland Branch Report from the Chair 2019

Our financial year runs from 1st October until 30th September and our last AGM was on Friday 30th November, 2018, so this report starts from that date.

Firstly, I would like to thank all the members of the branch committee for their contributions this year. I would especially like to thank Dr Marija Gizdavic-Nikolaidis as Branch Secretary, Dr Jack Chen as Council Delegate and Chemical Education Group Representative, Dr Cameron Weber as Branch Editor, and Dr Marcus Jones as Treasurer. I would also like to thank everyone who was involved in helping the organisation and promotion of the NZIC events this year.

Events

We have continued organise a diverse seminar programme this year across AUT and UoA. We have hosted 13 seminars this year, covering different areas of chemistry, from chemical education to nanomaterials, organic synthesis to inorganic polymers. In addition, we wanted to achieve balances in genders (7 male speakers and 6 female speakers) and career stages (from early career academics to Nobel Laureates) in our seminar programme.

Dr Tobias Gruber (University of Lincoln)

Dr Jóhannes Reynisson (The University of Auckland)

Dr Gareth Cave (Nottingham Trent University)

Dr Alvin Orbaek White (Swansea University)

Dr Daniel Foley (University of Canterbury)

Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart (Northwestern University)

Dr Sheila Woodgate (The University of Auckland)

Dr Richard Hopkinson (University of Leicester)

Dr Renee Goreham (The University of Newcastle)

Dr Megan Grainger (The University of Waikato)

Dr Vanessa Morris (University of Canterbury)

Dr Erin Leitao (The University of Auckland)

Dr Viji Sarojini (The University of Auckland)

 

In addition to our own seminar programme, we have also co-hosted the Royal Society of Chemistry Australasian Lecturer (Professor Keith Gordon, University of Otago), and sponsored an open lecture organised by the Centre for Green Chemical Science at the University of Auckland (Dr Pete Myers, Environmental Health Sciences).

Sponsorship and prizes

The NZIC continued to support undergraduate chemistry students in the Auckland region by sponsoring undergraduate prizes at AUT, UoA and Massey Auckland prizes.

Unlike previous years, no requests were made to the branch to sponsor the UoA SCS Research Showcase or any other meetings or conferences.

Two postgraduate students applied for travel grants this year (Chloe Ren and Pablo Solís Muñana) to travel to the NZIC2019 conference in November this year. Both applications were approved. Both Ren and Solís Muñana will give oral presentations at the conference. In addition, Solís Muñana will represent the Auckland branch to compete for the ‘Student Oral Communication Prize’.

Finance

Finance report will be provided by Dr Marcus Jones.

Other matters

A particular highlight this year was that our long-serving branch secretary, Dr Marija Gizdavic-Nikolaidis, was made FNZIC. Marija has served the branch for more than ten years so the recognition was well-deserved.

Ivanhoe Leung

13th November, 2019