MESA

Our people

MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA)

The MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA) was formed in 2010 to expand the opportunities available to MacDiarmid Institute PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. It works to improve networking among them and establish a sense of community.

MESA provides a valuable role in the management structure of the MacDiarmid Institute, acting as a hub for our emerging scientists. MESA was an initiative of our emerging scientist cohort and is a representative grouping encompassing all PhD and PDRs supervised by MacDiarmid Institute Investigators. MESA actively initiates and delivers a range of workshops and seminars, creates and delivers on outreach opportunities and networking, and works with the Director and Deputy Directors to help deliver on initiatives such as the new Industry Internships and the commercial scoping projects.

The Chair of the MESA Committee is a member of the Science Executive; this together with the formal structure and function that MESA have adopted, offers an outstanding avenue for developing leadership throughout our membership.

Contact us and get involved

MESA encourages all PhD students and postdoctoral researchers within the MacDiarmid Institute to participate with the many technical workshops and networking events organized throughout the year. There are many ways to get involved and see what events are coming up. Follow us on social media or contact us through email to get started.

The annual bootcamp is a three-day retreat in some scenic location focusing on a specific topic (in the past 'spectroscopy', 'soft matter', and 'surfaces' have been themes) attended by around 35 MESA members. MESA currently awards ten international travel grants for conference attendance and research trips, split over two rounds per year. Other events and activities include video/media competitions to publicise the Institute's science, outreach programmes (often coordinated with local schools), and whatever else the committee might be passionate about that year.

MESA Executive

The MESA executive consists of the traditional triumvirate of chair, treasurer, secretary, joined by a representative from each university at which the MacDiarmid Institute has a presence to form the rest of the committee.

Centre Representative and other general committee roles are self-nominated (so get in touch if you're interested!), and if there is competition they are voted on at the AGM held at the annual Institute Symposium each year. The executive roles are filled in the same way, with some weight given to those who have served in another position on the committee previously. Centre representatives are responsible for organising at least one workshop and one social event at their university each year, and for liaising between MESA members at their location and the wider institute.

The entire committee works together to administer the larger projects like the annual bootcamp and international travel grants, and meets by videoconference every second week to discuss these projects, ensuring regular communication between all centres.

Kieran DeMonte

Co-Chair

Kieran DeMonte

PhD student

University of Otago

Brooke Matthews

Co-Chair

Brooke Matthews

PhD student

University of Canterbury

Marco Vás

Secretary

Marco Vás

PhD student

University of Auckland

Nicholas Smith

Treasurer

Nicholas Smith

PhD student

University of Otago

Winter Zakaria

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Representative

Winter Zakaria

PhD student

University of Canterbury

Samuel Harris

Senior Commercialisation and Industry Engagement Representative

Samuel Harris

PhD student

University of Otago

Aston Pearcy

Junior Commercialisation and Industry Engagement Representative

Aston Pearcy

Junior scientist

Victoria University of Wellington

Cynthia Andriani

Centre representative

Cynthia Andriani

PhD student

University of Auckland

Askin Eldiven

Centre representative

Askin Eldiven

PhD student

University of Canterbury

Elouan Hay-Fourmond

Social media representative

Elouan Hay-Fourmond

PhD student

University of Otago

Alaigne Mare

Centre representative

Alaigne Mare

Masters student

Victoria University of Wellington

Olivia Matich

Centre representative

Olivia Matich

PhD student

Auckland University of Technology

Chris Mills

Centre representative

Chris Mills

PhD student

University of Otago

Brijesh Patel

Centre representative

Brijesh Patel

PhD student

Robinson Research Institute

Qayyum Shehzad

Centre representative

Qayyum Shehzad

PhD student

Massey University

Finnian Smith

Centre representative

Finnian Smith

PhD student

Victoria University of Wellington

Campbell Tiffin

Centre representative

Campbell Tiffin

PhD student

University of Canterbury

Carlie Watt

Centre representative

Carlie Watt

PhD student

University of Auckland