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Building bridges to engineering's future

Media Release
11 July 2006

Building bridges to engineering's future

How will engineering change our lives in the future? This question is at the centre of a series of Winter Lectures being held at the University of Auckland to mark the Faculty of Engineering's centenary.

Engineering Technologies: For Today and Tomorrow is a series of six-weekly lectures, each focussing on a different engineering discipline and featuring leading professors from each field. The lectures will all be held at the Maidment Theatre, 8 Alfred Street, from 1 to 2pm.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Engineered Composite Materials: From Earth to Space
July 25
From straw-reinforced mud bricks used thousands of years ago, to materials used in the aircraft industry and space research, this lecture will trace the development of composite materials and predict how they will be used in the future.

Engineering in Biology and Medicine: A Vision into the Future
August 1
This lecture will outline the state of this emerging field, which uses mathematical tools to develop models of human organs. These can be manipulated to represent actual events in the body. These models can be used to discover new drug targets and predict drug interactions in humans at a cellular, organ or complete body level. Research developed within the Bioengeneering Institute at the University will be presented.

Challenges in Electronic Engineering: What Have We Learned from the Past and What Will the Next Ten Years Bring?
August 8
The idea of inductive power transfer (transferring power through a magnetic field rather than direct contact between two objects) has languished for some time as being practically impossible. But new developments mean this technology is now used commercially and it is growing rapidly.

Civil Engineering for Life
August 15
Water and shelter, two basic needs of human existence, are addressed in terms of emerging technologies and their relevance to New Zealand. Issues will include engineering developments designed to mitigate the effects of droughts, floods and earthquakes.

>From No. 8 Wire to the Nano World: A Pilgrimage from Classical Engineering Materials to the Ultra High-Performance Materials of Today and Tomorrow
August 22
Gigantic leaps in our understanding of materials is producing an ever-expanding range of super-materials and nano-materials, with undreamed of levels of strength, performance and other physical properties that vastly surpass those of that kiwi icon, No. 8 wire.

Engineering Science: Creating the Future using Mathematical Models
August 29
There has been enormous growth in the use of computer models to solve real problems in engineering, such as oil exploration, geothermal field modelling and wind turbine design. This lecture will focus on the theme of energy to demonstrate this and asks, what will even faster computers with larger memories allow us to model?

The Winter Lectures Series is one of a number of Faculty of Engineering centennial celebration events which will conclude with an open day on 18 November.


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