School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at UC

School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at UC

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From the Ground Up
From the Ground Up
UC Science
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Iiam

For past, present and future students and staff of the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

The Department provides tuition for students studying Physics or Astronomy as a subject for the Bachelor of Science, the Honours Bachelor of Science and for research degrees (MSc, PhD). Physics and Astronomy aim to understand the behaviour of matter: from the scale of subatomic particles to that of the Universe itself. While past discoveries are of fundamental importance to science and all its app

Operating as usual

Using a gyroscope to measure variations in Earth's rotation 19/09/2023

Latest paper from the Canterbury-Germany Ring Laser project:

Using a gyroscope to measure variations in Earth's rotation A team of scientists has developed a novel way to measure variations in the Earth's rotation. In their paper published in the journal Nature Photonics, the team explains how their new approach works and how well it did when tested. Caterina Cimminelli and Giusepeppe Brunetti have published a News &....

25/08/2023

Design an artwork that could be animated and brought to life on the facade of The Art Centre - and it might end up in our light show!

To celebrate UC’s 150th Anniversary, we are putting on an amazing projection light show at our original campus, The Art Centre. The show will run from 7pm on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September and will be a magical illumination of community artwork as well as moving moments from the last 150 years of UC.

This is your chance to design an artwork on the facade of The Art Centre that could be featured in our show!

We also have amazing prizes for the top design in each category:

Under 12’s: Winner will receive a Stop Motion workshop for their class and their winning design on a t-shirt.
12 and above: Winner will receive a brand-new Intel Core i7 Gaming Laptop worth $1899.00 RV.

Get your entries in and come along to the Art Centre carpark on 22 and 23 September from 7pm for a night of illumination, kai, and family fun - and you may even see your artwork up in lights!

Designs can be emailed to [email protected]

Physical copies can be handed into the reception at UC Arts at The Art Centre, 11am - 3pm, Wed - Sun or to Level 4, Matariki Building on the Ilam Campus during weekdays.

The competition closes on Sunday 3 September. Get your entry in now!

24/08/2023

💫💫💫ASTRONOMY SEMINAR TODAY💫💫💫💫

Friday 25th August.
Location: Erskine 111
Time: 11am
Speaker: Conor Byrne, University of Warwick

Zoom Link: https://canterbury.zoom.us/j/93435740596?pwd=T3REV0JrVG5ETFgzL2ZDK1pwTEFOUT09

Binary Stellar Populations: From small nearby stars to massive stars in the distant Universe
Binary stars are ubiquitous in the Universe and interactions between stars in close binaries significantly affect the inferred properties of stellar populations, as their subsequent evolution will deviate from that of isolated stars. In this talk, I will show how I have used the Binary Populations and Spectral Synthesis (BPASS) framework to provide insight into two rather different topics in stellar physics, where binary interactions are of great importance.

All Welcome

24/08/2023

We are currently looking for a full-time observing technician for the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory (UCMJO). Internationally renowned, the UCMJO is New Zealand's premier optical astronomical research observatory and is the key field station for the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences who operate it for astronomical teaching and scientific research for UC's staff, students and visiting researchers.

See more details in the job ad here: https://lnkd.in/gGeBzi2i
The closing date for this position is: 3rd September 2023 (midnight, NZ time)

Photo credit (B&C telescope at the UCMJO): UC Engineering student Chester Hall-Fernandez

22/08/2023

https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/events/active/uc-events/public-lecture--black-holes-turn-60.html
Date: Thursday, 31 August 2023
Time: 07:00PM to 08:00PM
Location: E8 Lecture Theatre, University Of Canterbury
Ticket: Free $0

Next week, Canterbury Distinguished Professor Roy Kerr will present a Public Lecture to mark 60 years since his discovery.

In 1963 the New Zealand mathematician Roy Kerr achieved something that had eluded scientists for 47 years - he found the solution of Einstein's equations which describes the space outside a rotating star or black hole. Kerr's solution has been described as "the most important exact solution to any equation in physics".

This is a rare chance to gain insights from a true pioneer in the field. Fundamental discoveries made 60 years ago are defining 21st-century science: the cutting edge for decades and centuries to come. Join us to share a unique piece of history, past, present and future.

Get tickets-https://events.humanitix.com/public-lecture-or-black-holes-turn-60?_ga=2.135550065.1552893650.1692238573-363840966.1682559785

UC Engineering University of Canterbury University of Canterbury Alumni Community

UC Science Summer Camp 2022 10/08/2023

The UC Science Summer Camp is a 5-day event for Year 12 students interested in studying science at university.
Date: 11 - 15 December 2023
Location: University of Canterbury Ilam Campus
Fees: $575
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3RN65TXVIw&t=4s

APPLICATIONS close 31 August
Students will stay in university accommodation on the University of Canterbury's Ilam campus. They will attend lectures, work in the labs, experience field work, meet with staff and current students, and find out about the amazing research happening at UC.

There are limited places available and students can apply from anywhere in New Zealand.

Why UC Science Summer Camp?🔭🔬🧬🦠
UC Science Summer Camp is about helping students make the best decisions for their future. The transition from school to university can be hard – there are so many options to choose from and decisions to be made.

That’s why we started this camp. We want to give students a real taste of university life and let them experience first-hand what studying science at UC is like – so they can make informed decisions for their future.

What’s on offer
During their visit, students will be completely immersed in UC life. They’ll get to experience the full scope of science on offer at UC – from lectures and lab work to field trips and the latest technologies. Of course, university life is not all about study. There will also be social activities – including experiencing the new and vibrant Christchurch CBD, and time to hang out with like minded students and get a feel for the campus.

Scholarship opportunities
UC has a set number of Māori, Pasifika Scholarships and fee support Scholarships available for people from under-represented communities (including, but not limited to minority ethnic groups, lower socio-economic status and special needs) to attend the UC Summer Science Camp.

Contact
For more information, please email [email protected].
Science University of Canterbury

UC Science Summer Camp 2022 UC Science Summer Camp gives students a real taste of university life and let them experience first-hand what studying science at UC is like.Learn more:https...

Photos from School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at UC's post 09/08/2023

Public Event (Introduction to Effective Altruism)💫
Thursday 10th 5.30PM - Eng Core(Rata) 128 Meeting Room

Many of us wonder: What can I do to make the world a better place?
At Effective Altruism Christchurch, we try to help each other answer this question, using evidence and reason to figure out opportunities that are high in impact, tractability and neglectedness.

Effective Altruism is all about using evidence and reason to assess how to benefit others as much as possible, and then taking action based on the findings.
The club is part of a global movement focused on integrating this evidence-based reasoning into career guidance, as well as providing a space for truth seeking discussions on how to most effectively improve the lives of others.
EA connects altruistically minded students with internships, grants and guidance to pursue highly impactful careers, run a regular discussion group programme and hold social events.

EA run monthly talks, an in-depth fellowship discussion group and help students get in contact with internships and job opportunities at impactful international organisations.

To hear more about EA sign up to the mailing list, like us on facebook, sign up to the discussion fellowship or come along to a public event (Introduction to Effective Altruism Thursday 10th @5:30pm-Eng Core(Rata) 128 Meeting Room).
Effective Altruism
Effective Altruism NZ EA Christchurch

Postgraduate Info Evening 08/08/2023

Thinking about postgraduate study? This is a great time to start planning!

Dive deeper into your area of expertise or change direction completely - with more than 100 postgraduate programmes to choose from, we’ve got the right postgraduate option for you.

Date: Thursday, 10 August 2023
Time: 06:30PM to 08:30PM
Location: Central Lecture Theatres, University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch.
Ticket: Free - Register now.
Come along to find out everything you need to know about postgraduate life and study at UC.

6:30 - 7:30pm: Info Session.
Find out about your options, where postgraduate study can lead you and hear from students about their journeys.
You can join us online for the Info Session - please register for details.

7:30 - 8:30pm: Ask the experts.
Grab a snack and ask our team any questions you may have, from student support to particular programmes.

Please register as spaces are limited.

Nau mai, tauti mai, come join us. We're looking forward to seeing you there.

Postgraduate Info Evening Thinking about postgraduate study? This is a great time to start planning! Dive deeper into your area of expertise or change direction completely - ...

Science at UC - What our students say 04/08/2023

Discover why the University of Canterbury stands as the prime destination in New Zealand for studying science. However, it's not just our opinion - delve into the experiences of our students to uncover what sets science at UC apart and makes it truly exceptional.

UC Science UC Student Experience University of Canterbury

Science at UC - What our students say We think the University of Canterbury is the best place in NZ to study science, but it's not about what we think – hear what our students have to say about t...

04/07/2023

Congratulations to David Wiltshire, who was awarded the Dan Walls medal at the New Zealand Institute of Physics conference last night. The Dan Walls medal is presented annually to the physicist working in New Zealand for at least the past ten years and who is deemed to have made the greatest impact both nationally and internationally in their field of research.

The photo shows Joachim Brand (President of NZIP) and David.

Previous winners include Jenni Adams (two years ago) and Paul Callaghan.
https://nzip.org.nz/about-nzip/nzip-award-recipients/

The Art of Science Competition 13/06/2023

Have you entered yet?

🎨🔬 UCArts and UC Science proudly present The Art of Science Competition, inviting New Zealand school students from Year 5 to Year 13 to express their love for science through art! 🎉
Students can showcase their creativity using various artistic mediums such as 🎥 video, 🎵 music, ✍️ writing, 🖌️ drawing, and 📷 photography.
The competition is divided into three categories: Apprentices (Year 5-7), Interns (Year 8-10), and Masters (Year 11-13)

Hurry, entries close on July 24, 2023! ⏰ Remember, each applicant is allowed to submit only one entry. 📥
For more information, visit: The Art of Science Competition
https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/science/outreach/events/the_art_of_science_competition/
See last year's winners https://blogs.canterbury.ac.nz/science/2022/09/30/the-art-of-science-competition-2022/

The Art of Science Competition UC Arts  and UC Science are proud to present The Art of Science Competition: an opportunity for school students to express their love for science through art, and win exciting prizes!

Organic, recyclable batteries could transform energy storage 13/06/2023

University of Canterbury Associate Professor of Biochemistry Deborah Crittenden says her research shows long-life, high performance organic batteries are possible.

A greener, rechargeable world could be within reach as Kiwi scientists develop a new battery that is rechargeable for decades, made from organic materials and can be fully recycled.




UC Science University of Canterbury

Organic, recyclable batteries could transform energy storage A greener, rechargeable world could be within reach as Kiwi scientists develop a new battery that is rechargeable for decades, made from organic ...

The Art of Science Competition 02/06/2023

🎨🔬 UCArts and UC Science proudly present The Art of Science Competition, inviting New Zealand school students from Year 5 to Year 13 to express their love for science through art! 🎉

Students can showcase their creativity using various artistic mediums such as 🎥 video, 🎵 music, ✍️ writing, 🖌️ drawing, and 📷 photography.

The competition is divided into three categories: Apprentices (Year 5-7), Interns (Year 8-10), and Masters (Year 11-13)


Hurry, entries close on July 24, 2023! ⏰ Remember, each applicant is allowed to submit only one entry. 📥

For more information, visit: The Art of Science Competition

https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/science/outreach/events/the_art_of_science_competition/

The Art of Science Competition UC Arts  and UC Science are proud to present The Art of Science Competition: an opportunity for school students to express their love for science through art, and win exciting prizes!

Photos from School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at UC's post 30/05/2023

📣 Calling all science enthusiasts and photographers! 📷✨
How do you see science and/or mātauranga Māori in Aotearoa?

Join the Seeing Science Photography Contest and get a chance to win up to $1000! 🏆🔬

Your photos can inspire others and promote greater engagement in science through social media, ads, and school posters.

Submission deadline: August 1st
Enter now: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/science/explore/seeing-science]

Check out our 2022 finalists on the UC Science blog. https://blogs.canterbury.ac.nz/science

Unleash your creativity and showcase the wonders of science through photography! 🌟📸

Photos from School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at UC's post 29/05/2023

🌌 Check out the Sky Charts for June 2023, provided by Alan Gilmore from Tekapo. Thanks, Alan! 🙌✨

Don't forget to follow the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory for more astronomical updates and insights:

Facebook: University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory
Instagram:

University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory

29/05/2023

📢 Join us for a free public lecture at the University of Canterbury that explores the potential of nutrition in addressing mental health challenges. 🧠💚

🌟 Event: Tauhere UC Connect Public Lecture
🗣️ Speaker: Professor Julia Rucklidge
📅 Date: Wednesday, 31 May 2023
⏰ Time: 7pm–8pm
📍 Venue: C1 Central Lecture Theatre, University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch

🤔 What if the solutions to mental health problems lie in changing our diet and nourishing our brains differently?

During this upcoming lecture, "Could nutrition help solve the mental health crisis?", Professor Julia Rucklidge, a clinical psychologist and Director of Te Puna Toiora | the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab at the University of Canterbury, will present the latest research findings from the past decade.

The lecture will also be live-streamed on the UC page and available to watch on YouTube.

To register for the free event, visit: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/public-lectures/

29/04/2023

UC’s academics will be taking part in Te Papa Hauora ’s ‘We’re talking hauora’ event on 10 May. It’s an opportunity for Canterbury health researchers to showcase their work across a range of topics and health disciplines
https://www.healthprecinct.org.nz/health-research-talks-2023/

06/12/2022

Fully funded Masters research project opportunity
 
We are seeking a chemist or chemical engineering graduate to undertake work related to industrial synthesis of a pest control agent. Applicants should have an interest in addressing the issue of invasive predators in New Zealand.  Understanding of reaction kinetics and NMR will be an advantage, but training will be provided if required. This is a fully funded Masters research project, and includes a stipend of $28 000 per year for up to 18 months.
 
Interested? Contact Daniel Holland (CAPE) or Richard Hartshorn (SPCS)

04/11/2022

Congratulations to Lily Hermanspahn on the successful defence of her PhD thesis, 25th October, entitled “Synthesis of Functionalised Supramolecular Assemblies” and supervised by Paul Kruger.

Well done to Lily on such a polished performance, and good luck to her for the future!

Additionally I’d like to thank A/Prof. Nick White of ANU for leading an absorbing oral exam, and I’d also like to recognize the efforts of both Nick and A/Prof. Sally Plush of Uni SA in producing comprehensive, thoughtful examiner’s reports.

Greg
(Oral Exam Chair)

Former lawn produces hundreds of kilos of veggies for students 19/10/2022

Celebrating 20 years on Friday, Te Ngaki o Waiutuutu/ Waiutuutu Community Garden provides a calming space for students, staff & neighbours, & hundreds of kilos of fresh produce a year https://bit.ly/3MIt1xg.
https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/news/2022/former-lawn-produces-hundreds-of-kilos-of-veggies-for-students---.html

Former lawn produces hundreds of kilos of veggies for students Two decades of planting and growing has seen a former lawn transformed into an abundant garden that produces hundreds of kilograms of produce each ...

18/10/2022

SPCS Envr Seminar:- Joel Rindelaub - Understanding airborne microplastics in Aotearoa New Zealand
When: Friday, 21 October 2022 12:00 PM-1:00 PM.
Where: Jack Erskine Room 031, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ

College of Science
School of Physical and Chemical Sciences
Te Kura Matū

NB:- Out of consideration of those with compromised health please wear a mask.
SPCS Seminar
Friday, 21 October 2022
12:00 pm Jack Erskine Room 031
Joel Rindelaub
University of Auckland

Understanding airborne microplastics in
Aotearoa New Zealand

Microplastics have been found across the globe, from the tops of mountain ranges1 to the snowfall of Antarctica2, yet there are currently large uncertainties in the transport mechanisms of these tiny pieces of plastic. My work investigates the presence of microplastics in Aotearoa New Zealand, hoping to better understand how the ocean-atmosphere dynamic contributes to airborne plastics. I am also interested in exposure to plastic-related species, particularly from inhalation, as microplastics have recently been found in both human lungs3 and the bloodstream4. Despite posing a greater toxicological risk compared to ingestion, the inhalation of microplastics has not been studied as extensively, due to issues related to the small sizes relevant to particulate matter inhalation (< 10 µm). Using size-selective air sampling techniques coupled with a Pyrolysis GC/MS analysis method, my work aims to uncover the chemical compositions of the small, breathable plastic in the air around us.

About: Joel Rindelaub is a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland, using analytical chemistry to address issues in air quality and environmental science. Originally from Minnesota in the US, Joel moved to New Zealand in 2017 after receiving a PhD from Purdue University. In addition to academic research, Joel is also active in science communication, writing, and video production.

All Welcome

05/10/2022

Do non-human animals feel joy, like humans do? Are emotions in other animals contagious, as they are in humans? How can we ask an animal that does not speak our language about its internal world?
In her upcoming Tauhere UC Connect public lecture at the University of Canterbury, Animal Behaviour expert Professor Ximena Nelson, from the School of Biological Sciences, will explore the topic based on her research.
Join us free in person or online: https://bit.ly/3RIvQz4

03/10/2022

Accusations of being a ‘useless Māori’ or seeing life through a ‘vanilla lens’ might sound mean-spirited and hurtful. University of Canterbury Senior Lecturer Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll highlights the deeper questions about Māori identity that lie behind the political.
https://bit.ly/3fHpUcB

Sign the Petition 28/09/2022

https://www.change.org/p/uc-to-introduce-means-of-exit-for-ducklings-getting-trapped-in-pond-outside-te-puna

UC to introduce means of exit for ducklings getting trapped in pond outside Te Puna

The Puaka James Hight building was built in 1974, helping eager young learners thrive in the academic environment. However, the building took a sinister turn with the pond surrounding it claiming many lives.
Each year, ducks and their offspring inhabit the UC campus grounds. Namely, they take to the large pond that surrounds the entrance of the Puaka - James Hight Library.
Several people have witnessed ducklings drowned in the pond due to their inability to exit it once they are in. The pond is surrounded by a curb that is 15cm above the water level, making it impossible for a duckling to exit. They are trapped, awaiting their inevitable fate of being a fishes lunch at the bottom of the pond.
Please sign this petition so UC or the UCSA actually does something about this problem that happens year after year.
University of Canterbury

Sign the Petition UC to introduce means of exit for ducklings getting trapped in pond outside Te Puna

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Our Story

Welcome to Te Kura Matū, the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences at the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Excellent quality, high-impact science is fundamental to New Zealand's ability to achieve excellent economic, environmental, social, and cultural outcomes. Innovation will be the main mechanism through which we lift peoples' productivity, prosperity and wellbeing.

The School of Physical and Chemical Sciences offers undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Astronomy, Chemistry and Physics, including Biochemistry and Environmental Science, that allow science students to explore their options, find their passion and make a difference to society in their chosen career. The School offers two programmes unique within New Zealand: A Bachelor of Science in Astronomy, where you also have opportunities to go to our field station, UC Mt John Observatory in Tekapo part of the Dark Skies reserve, and a variety of postgraduate qualifications in Medical Physics.

Our teaching staff are all active researchers and very passionate. Dynamic teams are leading research in a wide range of disciplines, from molecular cloning to stellar astrophysics, from the design of new pharmaceuticals to nanotechnology devices.

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Kirkwood Avenue
Christchurch
8140

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
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