#BetterWorkStories » The MacDiarmid Institute
#BetterWorkStories

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#BetterWorkStories

7 April, 2020

Check out our #BetterWorkStories videos below to see how our alumni are making their way in the world. See how science has taken them on a journey into different areas in government and industry. Even from the physics lab to Rocket Lab.

Each video has some questions for educators and parents to use to spark a discussion with students about science careers.

Dr Matthew Cowan is using nanotechnology to reduce our energy use. After completing his PhD in Chemistry, he began working with a chemical engineering group to use nanotechnology to make the most out of solar energy.

Physics took Dr Harry Warring from the lab to Rocket Lab. A week after completing his PhD in Physics Harry began working at Rocket Lab, the first company to successfully launch an orbital-class rocket from a private launch site.

Dr Julie Kho loves her job in science. Upon completing her PhD in Chemical Sciences she began working as a Sales Specialist at DKSH, providing a range of analytical chemistry consumables and equipment to research and commercial labs around the country. 

Dr Bhuvana Kannan turns real science into a real product. After undertaking a PhD in Chemistry Bhuvana started working as Research and Innovation Manager at Revolution Fibres Ltd, a world-leading nanofibre production company.

Dr Rebecca Hawke has an exciting career in science. Using her PhD in Physics, Rebecca is investigating how to control droplets on a surface to address a range of needs such as easy health diagnostic tools.

You can see all of our 90 second alumni videos here.

If you want to see more of where science has taken our alumni, check out our alumni LinkedIn page.

Dr Matthew Cowan: Improving solar energy

Dr Matthew Cowan is using nanotechnology to reduce our energy use. After completing his PhD in Chemistry, he began working with a chemical engineering group to use nanotechnology to make the most out of solar energy.

His research revolves around improving the methods and technologies we use to purify all the building blocks of society with the goal is to reduce the amount of energy we need to use every day.

Questions:

1. How would you improve a piece of technology you use everyday?

2. How has this changed the way you think about failure?

April 22, 2020

Dr Harry Warring: from the Physics Lab to the Rocket Lab

Physics took Dr Harry Warring from the lab to Rocket Lab. He completed his PhD in Physics with a specialisation in materials science and magnetic semiconductor engineering under MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator Dr Ben Ruck.

Harry is now Senior Vehicle Test Engineer at Rocket Lab, the first company to successfully launch an orbital-class rocket from a private launch site.

Harry submitted his thesis on a Thursday, interviewed for Rocket Lab on the Friday and started work a week later. He says the skills he picked up during his MacDiarmid Institute PhD were easily transferred to the hi-tech sector.

Questions:

1. What’s the coolest thing about Dr Warring's journey?

2. What is it about Dr. Warring you can really identify with?

April 15, 2020

Dr Julie Kho: loving her job in science

Dr Julie Kho loves her job in science. Julie completed her PhD in Chemical Sciences, focusing her research on solar energy harvesting complexes at the Photon Factory, University of Auckland. 

She now works as a Technical Sales Specialist at DKSH, using her expertise from her PhD to help businesses and other scientists across the country access the best scientific equipment for their needs.

Questions:

1. How has this changed the way you think about science careers?

2. What are some other science careers that are related to the field you are interested in?

April 15, 2020

Dr Bhuvana Kannan: turning real science into a real product

Dr Bhuvana Kannan turns real science into a real product. Bhuvana completed her chemistry PhD with MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigators Professors Jadranka Travas-Sejdic and David Williams in 2011. 

She now works as Research and Innovation Manager at Revolution Fibres Ltd, a world-leading nanofibre production company based in Auckland. Her job is to make the science work, turning real science into a real product. She finds her work challenging, fascinating and rewarding. 

Bhuvana is involved in innovation management and leading projects with diverse end applications such as cosmetics, skin scaffolding, textiles, batteries and filtration, working with international clients, supervising PhD students and writing patents, reviews and book chapters.

Questions:

1. What would you find most challenging/most fun about Dr Kannan's job?

2. Think of a problem we are currently facing. What product could you imagine making to fix it?

April 15, 2020

Physics took Dr Harry Warring from the lab to Rocket Lab. A week after completing his PhD in Physics Harry began working at Rocket Lab, the first company to successfully launch an orbital-class rocket from a private launch site.

Dr Rebecca Hawke: an exciting career in science

Dr Rebecca Hawke has an exciting career in science. Rebecca completed her PhD in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington, working on new materials to make solar panels more efficient. She then moved to the other side of the world to be a research assistant at the University of Oxford.

Using her knowledge from her PhD, Rebecca is investigating how to control droplets on a surface. This work could address a range of needs such as easy health diagnostic tools.

Questions:

1. Where in the world would you study science?

2. What are 5 items you can see around you that materials scientists worked on?

April 15, 2020

Physics took Dr Harry Warring from the lab to Rocket Lab. He completed his PhD in Physics with a specialisation in materials science and magnetic semiconductor engineering under MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigator Dr Ben Ruck.

Harry is now Senior Vehicle Test Engineer at Rocket Lab, the first company to successfully launch an orbital-class rocket from a private launch site.

Harry submitted his thesis on a Thursday, interviewed for Rocket Lab on the Friday and started work a week later. He says the skills he picked up during his MacDiarmid Institute PhD were easily transferred to the hi-tech sector.

November 2, 2018