Chair's Report - Annual Report 2018

News & events

Chair's Report - Annual Report 2018

8 April, 2019

Paul Atkins

Materials science is crucial to many of the technologies we need for sustainability; new batteries, solar photovoltaics and energy efficient computing.

The 2018 IPCC report leaves us all in no doubt that we need to act now and we need to act fast if we are to have any chance of mitigating changes to our climate. It is certainly clear to me we need materials science more than ever before.

Materials science is crucial to many of the technologies we need for sustainability; new batteries, solar photovoltaics, energy efficient computing, and the clever materials to soak up CO2. The MacDiarmid Institute is uniquely placed to be able to make a significant contribution to answering some of the major questions posed by the IPCC and the Living Planet reports, and providing real technological solutions to the challenges we face.

It has been a real privilege to be part of the Institute this year. I wish to firstly extend my thanks to Thomas Nann who led the Institute through to March this year. He has taken a new and exciting role in Newcastle Australia. I acknowledge the contribution Thomas made to the Institute, and wish him all at the best in his new role.

And my thanks go to Nicola Gaston and Justin Hodgkiss, who took over as Co-Directors. The pace at which you have stepped into these positions is truly impressive.

I also wish to pay tribute to Ray Thomson, my predecessor as Board Chair, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this year. In his three years as Chair, Ray boosted the commercialisation capability and mindset within the Institute to unprecedented levels.

I invite you to read in this report the work of MacDiarmid Institute researchers and I am sure you will be as inspired and encouraged as I am by these stories. Clever structures that could reduce the energy computers need; smart materials for more sustainable batteries; examining the nano-environment between cancer cells; and more, as well as the ever expansion of our engagement, this year encompassing exciting new partnerships with Whakarewarewa Village, Te Papa and MOTAT.

Paul Atkins