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UC postgraduate to research in making cities sustainable

University of Canterbury postgraduate to research in making cities sustainable

July 21, 2014

A University of Canterbury postgraduate is heading to Baltimore in the United States to research making cities sustainable.

Civil and natural resources engineering and mathematics PhD student Tom Logan soon begins research at John Hopkins University to look at major city issues such as poverty, environmental impacts, food production and pollution.

“I hope my research will help improve our quality of life and urban sustainability. I am eager to analyse sustainability from a quantitative perspective. More than half the world’s population live in cities and this will increase to 60 percent by 2030.

“Today’s computing power means that we can model complex, non-linear systems in a way not possible until now. The team at John Hopkins has expertise in this area. I will be able to quiz experts in fields from mathematics to public health.”

Logan, one of the University of Canterbury’s emerging leaders, has received a Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment’s Fulbright Award, a Templin scholarship and also a Croft Fellowship from Johns Hopkins’ Environment, Energy, Sustainability, and Health Institute. He was one of 26 postgraduates from all over New Zealand to receive a Fulbright award this year. The University of Canterbury received 10 Fulbright awards – more than any other New Zealand university.

While at Canterbury, Logan has worked closely with the civil and natural resources engineering and experts in mathematics and statistics.

“I really appreciated the time and energy people in these departments invested in me. The education I’ve acquired from Canterbury has been world-class and the opportunities have been outstanding. There are great minds at Canterbury and I look forward to working with them in future.”

Logan has worked on projects including ecological network complexity with Associate Professor Alex James and optimisation of urban storm-water networks with Dr Tom Cochrane.

He learned from his experience with national organisation Engineers Without Borders New Zealand which has engaged with local and international issues around sustainable development and poverty. He spent the first part of the year working on helping other students study abroad and hopes Canterbury will see more graduate students doing research abroad, improving the university’s global connections.


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