Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Flash Hawaii job for Waikato science graduate

22 January, 2014

Just three weeks after handing in his masters thesis, University of Waikato chemistry graduate Simon Williams was on a plane to Hawaii.

Since that day two years ago he has worked as a research assistant at the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), in the Renewable Resources Research Laboratory (R3 Lab). The R3 Lab is a test-bed for the development of innovative technologies and processes for the conversion of biomass into fuels and other products.

Simon has been involved in the laboratory’s work on Flash Carbonization™ and studying the thermochemistry of biomass conversion via pyrolysis into biocarbon (charcoal).

“Flash Carbonization™ involves the ignition of a flash fire at elevated pressure in a packed bed of biomass. The elevated pressure, allows the fire to quickly spread through the bed, converting the biomass to biocarbon. High carbon yields can be achieved in as little as 20 or 30 minutes. By contrast, conventional charcoal-making methods take from eight hours to several days,” says Simon

The long term goal is for small communities like those in Hawaii to be able to turn locally produced biomass such as macadamia nut shells, into biocarbon. The biocarbon can be used as a fuel to replace imported fossil fuels, or in agriculture for soil beneficiation and carbon sequestration.

Simon works on a number of projects running in the lab, with a focus on the chemical analysis of the gases produced in the experiments. “I run a piece of equipment called a Micro GC, which is a specialised miniature gas chromatograph used to measure the composition of the gases from our carbonisation experiments.”

He says his Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Master of Science (MSc) degrees set him up well for his role. “I learnt a lot about various instruments and instrument support which is a significant part of my job now.”

As a school student Simon attended Tauranga Boys’ College and got a head start on university, by completing two level 100 papers at Waikato University while in Year 13. This made the transition to tertiary study easier and allowed him to complete some 200 level papers in the first year of his BSc.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Māori Past And Present

In its heft, exceptional production values and omniscient tone, Tangata Whenua looms a bit like a Bentley in a downtown parking building – a distinguished and doomed reminder of a former literary age. More>>

Photos: Cosplay And Wrestling At Armageddon Wellington

Armageddon Expo wrapped on Sunday with wrestling and a cosplay (costume play) competition. The gathered nerds were in good spirits with the Westpac stadium turning into a liminal space of fantasy, sci-fi and anime. More>>

John McBeth: Israel Dagg Form Timely

The unfortunate injuries to Waisake Naholo and Cory Jane at the weekend emphasised the importance of Israel Dagg in this Rugby World Cup season. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Point Break - Lawyers Don’t Surf

Has there ever been a more ridiculous and brilliant name for an FBI agent in the movies than Johnny Utah and has there ever been a more appropriately beautiful, dim and earnest young man to play him than the Keanu Reeves of Point Break? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Talent To Burn

America's Got Talent: The show was filmed in one of a collection of enormous empty hangars once used by Northrop Grumman to manufacture jets and spacecraft... the set itself was but a fragment of glossy illusion in an empty warehouse with rows of cheap seating, wads of gaffer tape, and cameras on bare concrete floors. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news