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Final Canterbury PVC position to Auckland engineer

University of Canterbury
news release
18 February 2004

Final Canterbury PVC position to Auckland engineer

A mechanical engineering professor with an international reputation for his research on wind engineering, yachts and low-speed aerodynamics has been appointed to the new position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engineering).

Professor Peter Jackson has had a 27-year career at The University of Auckland and is currently Postgraduate Dean and Professor of Mechanical Engineering there, and Vice-President of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand.

Announcing the appointment, Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp said: “Professor Jackson is a highly respected academic, nationally and internationally, who brings strong research credentials and management experience to this important new role.”

Today’s announcement is the last in a suite of five new appointments to head four Colleges and a School of Law in a new university structure which took effect on 1 January. The other appointments are: Professor Kenneth Strongman (College of Arts), Professor Nigel Healy (College of Business and Economics), Professor Scott Davidson (School of Law) and Professor Ian Shaw (College of Science).

Professor Jackson’s specialist interests are in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, particularly applications in wind engineering and the aerodynamics of flexible membranes such as sails.

He set up Auckland University’s Yacht Research Unit, was performance analyst for the 1987 NZ Americas Cup Challenge and was involved in all the subsequent challenges for the Americas Cup. He helped develop a unique twisted flow wind tunnel for testing yacht sails, which was used by five of the seven Volvo Round the World Yacht syndicates for testing their designs.

The Jackson/Hunt theory he developed for assessing wind flow over hills is now widely used in wind engineering.

Professor Jackson is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He took his Bachelor of Engineering with first class honours and his Masters with distinction, both in engineering science at Auckland University, and won a Commonwealth Scholarship to Cambridge University, where he did his PhD. He has also been awarded a Canadian Commonwealth Research Scholarship and a SERC Visiting Research Fellowship to Bristol University.

After completing his PhD he worked for four years as a senior engineer for the Ministry of Works and Development in charge of their wind engineering studies. He then moved to Auckland University as a senior lecturer and was appointed to a chair in mechanical engineering in 1987.


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