CANCELLED MacDiarmid Institute Annual Symposium and CRISP 2022 » The MacDiarmid Institute
CANCELLED MacDiarmid Institute Annual Symposium and CRISP 2022

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CANCELLED MacDiarmid Institute Annual Symposium and CRISP 2022

Feb 1, 2022 - 10am
Feb 4, 2022 - 3pm
Holiday Inn Rotorua
10 Tryon Street
Rotorua 3010

Event details

Following on the success of our MacDiarmid Institute Annual Symposium and Future Leaders' Programme 2021, and in recognition of our partnership with Whakarewarewa Village in Rotorua, in 2022 we will be hosting the MacDiarmid Institute Annual Symposium and Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Programme (CRISP) 2022 on 1 - 4 February 2022, in Rotorua at the Holiday Inn.

Please note that this is an internal event available to MacDiarmid Institute members only, and that all in-person attendees will need to show their proof of vaccination (the My Vaccine Pass) upon arrival at the venue.

Again, we will run this as a full conference with parallel, themed sessions. Replacing our former Future Leaders' Programme will be our new Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Programme (CRISP), which will be debuting its first in-person workshops at this event.

Given the Covid-19 pandemic, we recognise that it is extremely important to adhere best practices advised by the Ministry of Health, and the New Zealand government. For this reason, we are planning an event that can take place under the new Traffic Light system. In practical terms, this means that in-person attendance will be limited to a maximum of 100 people (with the possibility of online streaming of talks and a virtual poster session), and contact tracing, physical distancing and any mask requirements will be observed. Equipment will be cleaned between presentations if necessary, and activities such as buffets will be avoided. In the event of an outbreak, it is also a possibility for the event to be postponed or cancelled at short notice.


The situation for the anticipated symposium has changed drastically with the move to national Red traffic light settings. Omicron is in the community, and while in principle an event of up to 100 people could still go ahead, the risk associated with so many people flying across the country is probably our biggest concern – and we understand that a number of participants would choose to not take that risk.

We believe, therefore, that the most responsible course of action that is open to us is to cancel the event.

As you know, the relationship with Whakarewarewa is very important to us, and while they are disappointed, they are in agreement that it is the right decision. We do expect to hold institute symposia annually and so there will be a future event – we will just need to think about when to schedule it.

Draft Programme 2022:

Draft Programme 2022

Abstract Submission Information


  • The abstract is a maximum of 1 page of A4
  • Save as PDF file with the following name: MISymp22abstract_Surname
  • The MacDiarmid Institute programme committee reserves the right to reject abstracts that do not conform to the above guidelines.

Full Abstract Guidelines and Template are Downloadable here
Abstract Exemplar is Downloadable here

Presentation Guidelines

Oral presentations:

Time slots include your talk, questions and changeover. Please ensure your talk is a total of 15 minutes long, 12 minutes allowing 3 minutes for questions at the conclusion of your talk.

Please have your presentation available on USB for uploading on the morning of your presentation or email to Azy Hashemi no less than 24 hours prior to your speaker slot.

Poster Presentations:

Posters will be displayed for the duration of the conference. Each poster will be allocated a 1.2m wide x 2.3m high board and the poster must fit within this area, it is recommended to print to A0 size in portrait orientation. The boards are covered in a front runner material suitable for Velcro (supplied by the organisers at the registration desk).

Please also prepare a 1-minute oral poster pitch with a single slide of your poster. A suggested structure: Name, University, supervisor/s, theme, name of poster and one or two sentences on what your research is on and what the poster focuses on.

These will be presented by theme (Zero Carbon: Catalytic Architectures; Zero Waste: Reconfigurable Systems; Low Energy Tech: Hardware for Future Computing) and ordered alphabetically by surname.

The poster session is on Wednesday 2 February at 6pm.

Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Programme (CRISP):

At this time, we are calling for scientific Abstracts and registrations for the Symposium. Students who are interested in attending CRISP should register for the Symposium and indicate the days they can attend. Later, there will be a separate call to apply for specific CRISP sessions. You will only be able to participate in that call if you have registered for the Symposium. Attendance at CRISP is subject to accepted in-person attendance at the Symposium.

Key Dates:

Abstracts deadline Wednesday 8 December, 2021
Registration deadline: Friday 10 December, 2021

MacDiarmid Institute members and invited speakers

Video Contest 2022:

This year for the MacDiarmid Institute Annual Symposium, there is a new challenge for the student and postdocs to take part in. In a video (no longer than 4 minutes), on the theme of #MyResearchStory, tell us about your research interests and, more importantly, its inspiration and goal. Tell your story simply and convincingly as you would to a non-science-background audience.

You can film yourself in your lab or work environment and show us how you perform your research, what machine and equipment you use and simply take us to your world and tell us what difference you are making, or what brings you a smile about your work. This contest is for all MacDiarmid affiliated students and postdocs regardless of what stage you are at. We just want to see what you do, where you work at and be connected with you. We highly encourage you all to participate in this contest, there are great prizes to be won in different categories, including one specifically for Masters and early year PhD students, more reasons for competing if you are early in your research career and you are scared to take part in the contest.

Winners will be chosen by the panel based on:

  • Keeping to time (up to 4 minutes)
  • A catchy and relevant title
  • The clarity of the storyline in the video
  • The communication of technical scientific concepts to a non-scientific audience (accessible to a broad age range)
  • Innovation and creativity of the approach to the visual and audio presentation.

Submission deadline: Monday 10th of January 2022
Voting commences: Tuesday 11th of January 2022 
Voting closes: Monday 24th of January 2022

There are two categories for voting, panel votes (chosen by a panel of judges) and people’s choice (votes by members in the MacDiarmid Institute). Winners will be notified on Wednesday 26th of January 2022.

For instructions on how to enter and competition rules, SEE HERE

Speaker Biographies:

Associate Professor Jane Allison

Untitled design 41Associate Professor Jane Allison obtained a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from University of Canterbury in 2003, conducting her Honours research with Prof. Juliet Gerrard. She then did her PhD in the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University as an inaugural Woolf Fisher scholar, before moving to the computer-aided chemistry group at the ETH in Zürich, as a postdoctoral research assistant. In 2012, she took up a Lectureship at Massey University, she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2014 and to Associate Professor in 2017. She was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship in 2015. Jane joined Univeristy of Auckland in 2018 where she is currently an Associate Professor at the school of biological sciences.   

Dr Matthew Cowan

Untitled design 13 v2

Dr Matthew Cowan is a Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Canterbury. Since a young age he has been enthralled by the idea of creating new knowledge and materials that enhance humanity’s chances of survival and happiness. Studying at Otago and working in Colorado (USA) and Montpellier (France) provided research experience in chemistry, materials, and gas separations. He enjoyed the privilege of leading a team through the U.S. Innovation Corps, which changed his perspective of the role research plays in society. Matthew has authored the novel Rogha and children’s story Because I Cleaned My Room.

Professor Renwick Dobson

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Professor Renwick Dobson serves a team of 20 hard working postgraduate students and postdocs at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury.  Research themes in the group include:

- engineering new food systems,
- determining how enzymes work and engineering new catalytic functionalities,
- defining how bacteria import nutrients across their cell membrane,
- understanding transcriptional regulation,
- diagnostics assays,
- molecular interactions in plant/fungal infections (myrtle rust)

He worked at the University of Melbourne as a CR Roper Research Fellow prior to joining UC.  Currently he is the Dept. Director of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre, a national research centre based at UC.

Dr Pauline Harris

2 v7Dr Pauline Harris is from Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaka and Ngāti Kahungunu. She is Māori Programme leader and Principal Investigator within the MacDiarmid Institute, and a lecturer in the Faculty of Science at Victoria University of Wellington, where she lectures in the Science and Society programme. She has a PhD in astrophysics from Canterbury University.




Professor Shaun Hendy

Untitled design 40Professor Shaun Hendy MNZM FRSNZ teaches in both the Department of Physics and the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. He was founding Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a national Centre of Research Excellence, and is a co-founder of the green fintech company, Toha. He has won a number of awards, including the Callaghan Medal, the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize, and the E. O. Tuck medal for applied mathematics. In 2021, his team was awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Prize for their COVID-19 response. He co-authored Get Off the Grass with the late Sir Paul Callaghan in 2012, and has since written two other books, Silencing Science and #NoFly. 

Te-Rina King-Hudson

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Tena koutou, ko Ngāti Pikiao me Whakatōhea te iwi, ko Ōtautahi toku turangawaewae, ko Te-Rina taku ingoa, no reira, tena koutou katoa.

Te-Rina King-Hudson was born in Christchurch and have lived there for most of her life. She completed her BSc and Honours degrees in Biochemistry at the University of Canterbury and am now working towards a PhD. Rina’s research interests include structural biology and protein science, biomedical science and molecular mechanisms of psychological disorders, and she is also interested in the interface between Te Ao Māori, Mātauranga Māori and Western science and research. 

Dr Paul Hume

Untitled design 45Dr Paul Hume is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow based at Victoria University of Wellington. He is interested in light-utilising organic materials for sustainability technologies, such as solar cells and carbon capture. His work involves making new materials, using theoretical chemistry to understand them, and studying them spectroscopically.





Dr Julie Karel

Untitled design 39Dr Julie Karel earned her Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wisconsin, USA) in 2005. She worked as a Materials Engineer for Intel Corporation for two years before continuing her studies. Julie holds a Master of Science (2010) and a PhD (2012), both in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley (Berkeley, California, USA). She carried out her postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids (Dresden, Germany) from 2012-2016. Julie is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Monash University.


Dr Jenny Malmström

Untitled design 58

Dr Jenny Malmström is a senior lecturer at the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland. She holds a MSc (bioengineering) from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and a PhD (nanoscience) from the University of Aarhus, Denmark (2010). She started at the University of Auckland in 2010 initially as a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Chemical Sciences.

Jenny's research is interdisciplinary and focusses on engineering surfaces for applications as advanced materials and biointerfaces. Her research group has expertise in characterising and understanding the interactions between soft matter (biomolecules, cells, polymers) and surfaces. The group is currently applying this detailed understanding to emerging and exciting areas such as the creation of new magnetic materials, to create ordered functional patterns of proteins and to help understand and control cellular behaviour.

Dr Dave Warren

Untitled design 59

Dr David Warren is an ex-high school chemistry teacher who did his PhD in FTIR-ATR spectroscopy with Jim McQuillan, followed by a short spell as physical chemistry teaching fellow at Otago. In 2009 he was appointed to teach first year chemistry and establish the Otago chemistry outreach program. His main interest is the role that learning in ‘informal’ situations plays in developing student self-efficacy. He has won two sets of funding from “Unlocking Curious Minds” for outreach projects and was awarded the NZIC Hogan prize in 2018 for his contribution to chemical education. In 2019 he won an award for a “Distinguished Contribution to Chemical Education” from the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies.

Associate Professor Catherine Whitby

Untitled design 44Associate Professor Catherine Whitby completed a BSc (Hons) at the University of New South Wales and a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. She was an ARC Future Fellow at the University of South Australia, before moving across the ditch. She is now Associate Professor of Chemistry at Massey University. Catherine is interested in surface chemistry and its role in assembling reusable materials. Her current focus is on using nanomaterials to modify the surfaces in emulsions and make exciting new materials that can reconfigure (change their structure) in response to changes in their environment.


 Dr Rachael Wood

Untitled design 43Dr Rachael Wood has been part of the Chemical and Process Engineering Department at the University of Canterbury for a year after spending some time in the medical device industry and in a couple of post-doc positions. Her PhD was awarded in 2018 at University College London in Biochemical Engineering with a focus on nerve regenerating in the spinal cord. Her current research covers cell therapy for the injured spinal cord and exploring ways for directional neuron regeneration. She also works on gel drug delivery systems, developing diagnostic tools for endometriosis and co-supervises a student in Mechanical Engineering working on traumatic brain injury.

Rachael is involved in running the EngME! mentoring programme for first year engineering students at UC. In addition she is passionate about encouraging girls to enter STEM careers and gave a talk at STEMinism at UC and helped run the WiE CAN week workshop last month aimed at students entering Year 13 to give them a glimpse of the different engineering disciplines.