Manawatu

Manawatu branch covers Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, and the area north of a line from Otaki to Cape Turnagain.

Manawatu Branch Committee

ChairCatherine Whitby
SecretaryJustin Bendall
TreasurerAshley Way
Council DelegateVyacheslav Filichev
Chem. Ed. Group RepresentativeNessha Wise
Branch EditorSuraj Patel
Committee Member(s)Rebecca Severinsen
Barry Scott
Arka Gupta
Student Representative(s)Suraj Patel

Welcome to the Annual Report of the Manawatu Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry for 2019. 

I thank the members who served on the Branch Committee this year.  NZIC is a volunteer-led organisation and we depend on their time, energy and goodwill.

Members of the 2019 committee were: Justin Bendall (Secretary and Principal Research Scientist in Chemistry at Fonterra), Nessha Wise (Chem. Ed. Group Representative and Chemistry Tutor at Massey), Joel Cornelio (Branch Editor and PhD student at Massey), Rebecca Severinsen and Sam Brooke (Student Representatives and Massey PhD students), Barry Scott (Sales Specialist, Scientific Instrumentation, DKSH), Jingjing Wang (Senior Chemist, NZ Pharmaceuticals) and Nigel Kerr (Science Teacher, Fielding High School).

Special mention goes to two Committee Members who contributed throughout the year:

  • Ashley Way (Treasurer and Account Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific).  Our new treasurer spent a significant amount of her own time improving how we access and manage our account with our local bank branch.  She has also steered the transition of our financial records over to the new accounting software for our national treasurer.
  • Vyacheslav Filichev (Council Delegate and Associate Professor at Massey).  Vyacheslav has led initiatives to strengthen our links with the National Council.  He is a strong advocate for the Manawatu. He also does a fantastic job at communicating decisions made at the national level to our Branch.

I would like to acknowledge the many years of service of David Shillington (Former Treasurer and Senior Lecturer at UCOL) on our committee.  We are fortunate to have had many years of financial stability due to David’s efforts.  His achievements include being awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand certificate of excellence in 2009, for his work promoting science in the Manawatu through his weekly column in the Manawatu Standard.  David stepped back from his role on our committee when he retired.  We wish him all the best with his next adventure!

I would also like to wish all our students and staff attending the 2019 NZIC conference in Queenstown all the best!

Our Branch held a series of great events for 2019. Highlights were:

  • A total of 131 students and 11 teachers from 9 schools participated in the Year 12 and 13 visits organised by Nessha Wise during this year.
  • 12th of February — Jingjing Wang organised a breakfast to celebrate women in chemistry.  This event was part of the IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast initiative, titled “Empowering Women in Chemistry: A Global Networking Event.”  Special guests were: Anita Derks, Head of Quality at Pharmaceuticals Limited and Kathryn Stowell, Professor of Biochemistry.
  • 13th –18th January — The chemistry staff and students were delighted to welcome five high school students who attended the MacDiarmid Institute Discovery Camp at Massey University.
  • 3rd April — Rebecca Severinsen and Sam Brooke ran the Student evening.  20 people attended the evening.  The following prizes were awarded:
    • Sujin Lee won the 2018 New Zealand Institute of Chemistry Prize for Level 6 Chemistry at UCOL
    • Shikeale Harris won the 2018 New Zealand Institute of Chemistry Prize for Third Year Chemistry at Massey
  • 21st June — Paul Plieger, Associate Professor and Head of the School of Fundamental Sciences at Massey University introduced the element beryllium and why it is used in X-rays as part of Radio NZ’s Element of the Week series.  Several Massey academics have been part of this initiative organised by the NZIC.
  • 1st July — Vyacheslav Filichev hosted Stephen Ashworth, Professor of Chemical Physics and Science Communication at the University of East Anglia.  Stephen gave a public lecture at the Palmerston North Library, “Elementary! A celebration of 150 years of Mendeleev’s Periodic Table,” to help us celebrate 2019 being the International Year of the Period Table.
  • 10th July — I attended the 2019 Student research Symposium at Massey University and awarded the following prize:
    • Sam Powick was awarded the NZIC Prize for the Best Chemistry Presentation for his talk “Evaluation of Zealand Iron-sand as a Catalyst for Thermocatalytic Methane Decomposition”
  • 16th August — Three members of the Manawatu Branch — Karen Lyons, Mark Waterland and I served as part of the judging panel for the 45th Fonterra Manawatu Science and Technology Fair 2019.  The competition was strong among the 95 exhibits and it was a pleasure to meet and talk with the students about their projects.  Congratulations to the following chemistry prize winners:
    • New Zealand Institute of Chemistry prize: Nathan Emeck from Amanaki STEM Academy/Palmerston North Boys High School, for his project “Acid Gelation in Goat, Sheep and Cattle Milks.”
    • Massey University School of Fundamental Sciences — Chemistry Prize — Highly Commended: Caitlin Langvad and Lillie Srey Keo from Hokowhitu School for their project “Iron Juice.”
    • First Place: Charlotte Kirk from Carncot School for her project “pH and Nitrate — What do fish need to survive.”
  • 3rd October — we joined Gareth Rowlands (Central North Island rep for the Royal Society of Chemistry, New Zealand Branch) in hosting Professor Keith C Gordon (University of Otago).  Keith gave the 2019 Royal Society of Chemistry Australasian lecture, “From Ultrafast Processes in Solar Cells to Prediction of Meat Quality: Using Spectroscopy and Computational Methods to Understand Complex Systems.”
  • 18th October — I organised an end of semester party for our 2nd year students.  Our class of 46 chemistry and food tech. students celebrated with pizza and soft drinks.
  • 8th November — Vyacheslav Filichev, Sam Brooke and Yongdong Su organised the 2019 Massey-Vic Symposium.  Congratulations to the following prize-winners:
    • Matthew Evans was awarded the prize for the best talk by a PhD student for his presentation on “Synthesis and Reactivity of N-heterocyclic germanimines”
    • Leonie Etheridge was awarded the runner-up prize for her presentation “The Synthesis and Chemistry of Planar Chiral Amino Acids Derived from [2.2]paracyclophane”
    • Thomas Bird was awarded the prize for the Best BSc(Hons)/MSc talk for his presentation “Synthesis of Extended Linker Analogues of Risperidone”
  • 15th November — Mark Waterland and Nessha Wise ran the 5th annual teacher workshop day in the Hawke’s Bay.  24 chemistry teachers from the region attended.

Catherine P. Whitby

Manawatu Branch Chair

 

 

Welcome to the Annual Report of the Manawatu Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry for 2018

In sad news, Emeritus Professor Andrew Brodie passed away in August. Many branch members have fond memories of how chemistry at Massey flourished under his guidance. Andrew served in many roles, including as President of the NZIC in 2004. In 2007 he was awarded the NZIC Prize for Excellence in Research in Chemical Sciences with Eric Ainscough. Andrew was also awarded the 2007 New Zealand Science and Technology Medal in recognition of his exceptional efforts to promote science.

I thank the members who served on the Branch Committee this year. NZIC is a volunteer-led organisation and we depend on their time, energy and goodwill.

Members of the 2018 committee were: Justin Bendall (Secretary and Principal Research Scientist in Chemistry at Fonterra), David Shillington (Treasurer and Senior Lecturer at UCOL), Rebecca Severinsen (Student Representative and PhD student at Massey University), Ashley Way (Account Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific), Kevin Barnes, Barry Scott (Sales Specialist, Scientific Instrumentation, DKSH) and Nigel Kerr (Science teacher, Fielding High School). My thanks also to Sebastian Blackwood who served until he moved to Australia in July.

Special mention goes to two committee members who contributed throughout the year:

  • Joel Cornelio (Branch editor and PhD student at Massey) wrote about the branch news for Chemistry in New Zealand. He also coordinated submissions of articles by our branch for the January 2019 issue. My thanks to the students who submitted articles:
    • Maulik Mungalpara and Joel Cornelio “Arranging the elements creatively: alternative forms of the periodic table”
    • Joel Cornelio “Luminescence in metal-organic frameworks: origin and applications”
    • Rebecca Severinsen and Paul G. Plieger “Catalytic coordination cages”
    • Sidney S. Woodhouse and Paul G. Plieger, “Defective dicubane review”
  • Nessha Wise (Chem. Ed. Group Representative and Tutor in Chemistry at Massey) organised for groups of year 12 and 13 high school students to visit the chemistry labs at Massey. Our branch provided the funds for the students to have lunch during their visits. A total of 93 students and 11 teachers from 7 schools in the region visited us during 2018.

I would like to acknowledge the many years of service of Paul Plieger (Council Representative and Assoc. Prof. at Massey) on our committee. Paul is a strong supporter of NZIC and has served in many roles, including as National President in 2016. His achievements include leading the modernisation of the NZIC website. Paul is stepping back from his role on our committee to focus on his leadership role in the Institute of Fundamental Sciences at Massey. On behalf of the branch, I thank him for his contributions and hope we will see him at our events in 2019.

Our branch held a series of great events for 2018. Highlights were:

  • 11th of April – Paul Plieger arranged for NZIC President James Crowley to give a public seminar during his visit to Massey. James delivered a talk on “Rise of the Nano-machines: Mechanically Interlocked Molecules and Synthetic Molecular Machines”.
  • 18th April – Rebecca Severinsen ran the Student Evening. 20 people attended the evening. The following prizes were awarded:
    • Sam Powick and Brodie Matheson were jointly awarded the NZIC Prize for the Top 300 Level Chemistry Student at Massey University in 2017
    • Daisy Wilkes was awarded the NZIC Prize for the top Level 6 UCOL student
    • Sidney Wodehouse was awarded an NZIC Travel Grant
  • 1st June – Paul Plieger held an end of semester party for our second year undergraduate chemistry students. Our class of 30 chemistry students enjoyed the pizza and soft drinks kindly provided by NZIC.
  • 27th June – I attended the 2018 Student Research Symposium at Massey University and awarded the following prizes:
    • Maulik Mungalpara was awarded the Runner-up Prize for his presentation on “New routes to planar chiral phosphorus ligands and their use in asymmetric catalysis”
    • Sidney Woodhouse was awarded the Prize for the Best Chemistry Presentation to for her presentation on “Designer ligands for new magnetic materials”
  • 1st of August – I organised the local launch of Scientific Sleuthing – Chemical Discoveries Made in New Zealand. 64 people came to hear Robert Norris and David Illingworth describe their discovery of spreadable butter at the Palmerston North Library. We sold 12 copies of the book thanks to their entertaining seminar! Special mentions go to Simon Hall (Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at Massey) who acted as master of ceremonies, and Leonie Etheridge (PhD student at Massey) and David Shillington who sold the books.
  • 3rd August – I was one of the judges at the Fonterra Manawatu Science and Technology Fair. It was a pleasure to award three prizes funded by our branch:
    • Highly commended: Christopher Dewhurst of Palmerston North Boys High School for his project titled “Ricing to the challenge”
    • First place: Finn Martin and Junius Ong of Palmerston North Boys High School for their project titled “Vitafresh Hot or not”
  • 21st August, Barry Scott ran a joint event with Craig Ross of the Manawatu Branch of the Royal Society. 27 people attended to hear Justin Bendall give an insightful talk about chemical analysis for food safety at the Palmerston North Library.
  • 18th October – I organised an end of semester party for our second year undergraduate chemistry students. Our class of 40 chemistry and food technology students enjoyed the pizza and soft drinks kindly provided by NZIC.
  • 27th November – Paul Plieger organised for Horst Puschmann (co-author of the Olex2 crystallographic package) to run a workshop on using the software at Massey. 15 people attended the public lecture given by Horst that evening at Massey.

Catherine P. Whitby

Manawatu Branch Chair