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AUT appoints top academics to prestigious title

AUT appoints top academics to prestigious title

Five AUT University academics can now add the title of ‘Professor’ to their names as AUT announces its new professorial appointments. The professors are experts in the disciplines of: mathematics, construction management, ecology and midwifery, and have demonstrated sustained outstanding performances in their chosen fields.

“There is such a variation in the areas of research interest amongst this group of high calibre academics, which reflects the real world disciplines available at AUT,” says AUT Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack.

AUT’s new professors are:

Professor Andrea Alfaro – Professor of Marine Ecology and Aquaculture: Professor Alfaro is an inter-disciplinary scientist with research interests in Marine Ecology and Aquaculture. Her work in mussel ecology and aquaculture relates to the largest sector of aquaculture industry in New Zealand and has important ecological implications. Professor Alfaro is acknowledged as a world expert in the field of green-lipped mussels and is highly regarded by her students and colleagues. Professor Alfaro is a passionate and committed teacher at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Professor Jiling Cao – Professor of Mathematics: Professor Cao has had a long journey to becoming a Professor of Mathematics. When he was a child growing up in a village in central China, he would study mathematics at night by the flame of an oil lamp fuelled by homemade pressed oil. It is this passion for maths that has driven his career to see him as one of the most published mathematicians in New Zealand. In two of his publications, Professor Cao has solved problems posed by mathematicians in the 1970s. One of Professor Cao’s abiding interests is topology, to which he is attracted by its ‘beautiful theorems’ and the cunningly clever proofs.

Professor Edwina Pio – Professor of Diversity Studies: Professor Pio is the first Professor of Diversity Studies both here at AUT and in New Zealand, and one of the few women of Indian descent to have been promoted to Professor. Her work is centred on ethnicity in the workplace, with particular emphasis on ethnic minorities. Professor Pio is the author of several books including her most well-known title Sari which explores the experiences of Indian women at work.

Professor Liz Smythe: Professor Smythe describes herself as “not your typical professor”, with an interest that goes from midwifery to the whole experience of being human. Drawing on her private work in international philanthropy as a member of the International Board of World Vision, she has recently conducted research on the experience of being a vision fund donor with World Vision. This means she can bring her experience and knowledge of health care to people living in poverty all over the world.

Professor John Tookey – Professor of Construction Management: Professor Tookey is New Zealand’s first Professor of Construction Management. Relocating to New Zealand in the 1990s, Professor Tookey saw the opportunity to bring knowledge from the United Kingdom to New Zealand’s construction industry particularly in the area of waste and productivity.

As well as the addition of five new professors to its ranks, AUT can now also add nine new associate professors. They are:

• Associate Professor Sharon Harvey – School of Languages and Culture

• Associate Professor Andrew Gibbons – School of Education

• Associate Professor Hinematau McNeill – Te Ara Poutama, Māori Development

• Associate Professor David Parry – School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences

• Associate Professor Tim Pasang – School of Engineering

• Associate Professor Russell Pears – School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences

• Associate Professor Nazimah Hamid – School of Applied Sciences

• Associate Professor Judith McAra-Couper – School of Healthcare Practice

• Associate Professor David Nicholls – School of Rehabilitation and Occupation Studies

These new additions bring the total of professors here at AUT to over 150.


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