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


‘A materials girl in a materials world’

19 June, 2014

‘A materials girl in a materials world’

A quip on a famous lyric from the queen of pop proved a good fit for Professor Kim Pickering during her Inaugural Professorial Lecture at the University of Waikato this week.

‘Materials girl’, Prof Pickering, spoke about her passion for materials science and engineering and the trends she predicts for the future.

She explained that “Materials science and engineering is all about understanding why solid materials behave like they do and how to improve them.”

Diversity in science and engineering industry
Alongside materials, a reoccurring theme was her experiences as a woman in a predominantly male dominated industry – something she has watched evolve in her 25 year career.

”It has been great to see an increased appreciation of the value of diversity. Diverse backgrounds can contribute to diversity of ideas in design, which is a very important process in engineering,” says Prof Pickering.

Future of materials
Her research background is within electronic materials and composites, including modelling the failure and utilisation of natural fibres in composites.

In the future, Prof Pickering sees great opportunities still to be explored in the areas of 3D printing, particularly in molecular 3D printing. She also sees a ‘space elevator’, consisting of a cable between Earth and space as a real possibility, “for this to be made possible we need stronger materials for which 3D printing could provide the solution.”

From London to Waikato
Prof Pickering studied at the Imperial College in London, within the Royal School of Mines, followed by her first position at Plessey, an electronics company. With a continuing passion for materials, she returned to study at PhD at the University of Surrey, before moving to New Zealand in 1994, for her position at the University of Waikato. She is currently Deputy Head of the School of Engineering at Waikato University, alongside her role as a lecturer in materials science and engineering.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Arts Festival: An Evening With Richard Dawkins

In a special one-off, New Zealand event at the Michael Fowler Centre, Dawkins will reflect on his eminent career as a scientist, and expand on the themes of inspiration, influence and ideas in his recent memoir, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news