3 July, 2023
We are delighted to announce the new appointment of two new Deputy Directors - for Outreach and Education, and for Commercialisation and Industry Engagement.
Our new Deputy Director for Outreach and Education, Associate Professor Anna Garden, is a Principal Investigator based in the Chemistry Department at the University of Otago. Anna leads a group of computational chemists studying the structure and catalytic activity of nanomaterials, with specific application to key reactions for hydrogen and ammonia production. She is a Project Leader in our Catalytic Architectures Programme, has previously been a Principal Investigator representative on the Science Executive, and the Science Executive representative on the MacDiarmid Institute Governance Representative Board.
Our new Deputy Director for Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, Associate Professor Natalie Plank, is a Principal Investigator and Physicist at the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, where she is currently Deputy Head of School. Natalie runs the cleanroom lab with a group of physicists who make electronic devices, with specific applications to bio-sensing. She is a Project Leader in our Future Computing Programme, has previously been a Principal Investigator representative on the Science Executive, and was originally responsible for founding MESA.
Co-Director Professor Nicola Gaston said she was delighted to be working with Associate Professors Anna Garden and Natalie Plank.
"Both are long-term members of the Institute, inveterate contributors, with expertise in their respective portfolios, who we are seriously privileged to have on board."
We are privileged to have such a strong team of talent.Professor Nicola Gaston Co-Director The MacDiarmid Institute
As Deputy Director Outreach and Education, Associate Professor Garden will lead the Institute's engagement with schools and communities, through our annual Regional Lecture Series, NanoCamp and DiscoveryCamp, and by continuing to develop a scientifically-literate workforce via our partnerships with Otago Museum and House of Science, and others.
As Deputy Director Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, Associate Professor Plank will lead our commercialisation work and develop further our soft skills training for our students and early career researchers via our Careers Relevant-to-Industry Skill Programme (CRISP).
We bid farewell from our directorship team to Professor Paul Kruger and Associate Professor Geoff Willmott who led the Outreach and Education, and Commercialisation and Industry Engagement portfolios (respectively) for over five years. Paul and Geoff have provided strategic vision and enthusiasm to these portfolios, and were integral to our successful rebid in 2020.