8 April, 2019
How do you go from a physics lab to Rocket Lab? Or from a chemistry lab to a new start-up company?
Inspiring and informing people, particularly students, about the diversity of careers that science studies enable was the focus of the ‘MacDiarmid Science – to Industry and Beyond!' Regional Lecture Series and the Regional Breakfast Series of Rotary Club talks. In 2018, these events toured regional New Zealand including to the Hawkes Bay, Wanaka, Nelson and Tauranga, with talks given by Principal Investigator Professor Keith Gordon and alumna Dr Bhuvana Kannan, Principal Investigator Associate Professor Ben Ruck and alumnus Dr Harry Warring, Principal Investigator Professor Alison Downard and alumnus Dr Ojas Mahapatra and Principal Investigator Dr Franck Natali, and alumna Dr Manmeet Kaur.
MacDiarmid Institute Co-Director Professor Justin Hodgkiss told Radio New Zealand's Kathryn Ryan that: "When we look at our science graduates, even at PhD level, and we look at where they end up, they are doing really an amazing range of jobs."
Professor Hodgkiss explained that while some science and engineering graduates stay in research, they are also in diverse areas like business, law, and government. "When people in high schools think about science they don't really have any idea that these possibilities exist," he said.
In explaining the crucial skills gained from studying science, Victoria University of Wellington post-doctoral fellow and MacDiarmid Institute alumnus, Brendan Darby, put it this way: "You solve hard problems and you try and do something that hasn't been done before and apply that to an industry."
"Kids today want to know they can make a difference in their lives. We're wanting to show that you can study science and end up in all sorts of interesting and varied careers."Associate Professor Nicola Gaston MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator Co-Director of the MacDiarmid Institute University of Auckland