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Making, shaking and breaking: Prof Pickering talks materials

3 June 2014

Making, shaking and breaking – Prof Pickering talks materials

From the houses we live in and the cars we drive, to the computers and smart phones we use, much of our daily activity, comfort level and to a large degree, even happiness, relies on our interaction with materials.

In her Inaugural Professorial Lecture this month, Professor Kim Pickering from the University of Waikato’s School of Engineering will use examples from her career to demonstrate how materials science and engineering is a key driver for technological development and national economic success.

“Materials science and engineering is all about understanding why solid materials behave like they do and how to improve them,” she says.

Prof Pickering’s background is in electronic materials and composites, including modelling the failure of composite materials and natural fibre composites. Her research has included projects such as the quick repair of carbon fibre epoxy aircraft structures, infra-red thermal imaging systems, natural fibre composites (wood, hemp, harakeke, wool and feathers), 3D-printing with composite material and more.

Her lecture will focus on elements of past and current research, as well as some “crystal ball gazing” for future developments.

When Prof Pickering first came to the University of Waikato in 1994, there were only three other people working in Engineering. Twenty years on, there are now about 20 academic staff members, including a team of staff dedicated to materials research.

Her first degree was in material science and engineering at the Imperial College of London and she completed her PhD at Surrey University before heading to New Zealand.

Professor Kim Pickering’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture, Making, Shaking and Breaking, is on Tuesday 17 June at 6pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The Opus Bar is open from 5pm.


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