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Metallurgy scholarships to fund three Waikato MSc projects

11 August, 2014

Metallurgy scholarships to fund three Waikato MSc projects

University of Waikato Earth Sciences students Megan Saunders, Billy Bodger and Kate Mauriohooho have each won a $5000 Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) Education Endowment Trust Scholarship for their masters study.

The scholarships were awarded by the AusIMM Education and Endowment Trust Board which organises and promotes scholarships to students at New Zealand universities who are undertaking research in Earth sciences, engineering and the environment.

Each of the first-year Master of Science (MSc) students was required to submit a summary of their research project and how it is relevant to the minerals, coal or petroleum industry.

Studying erosion
Megan Saunder’s MSc thesis involves reconstruction of the geological development of the north-western part of the South Island, where numerous granites are exposed and a sedimentary basin has been largely eroded. Megan is applying fission track analysis and helium dating to granite samples, to establish the low temperature history of the rocks, which relates to their burial and subsequent exhumation (erosion). The former Cambridge High School student is supervised by University of Waikato staff Professor Peter Kamp and Dr Martin Danisik.

Volcanic deposits
Billy Bodger, a former Taipa Area School student, is focused on volcanic deposits for his MSc. His research is supervised by Waikato’s Dr Adrian Pittari and Dr Shaun Barker.

“My thesis will focus on evaluating the characteristics of volcanic deposits within eight million-year old andesite volcanic complex(es) in the southern part of the Coromandel Volcanic Zone. Because the andesite hosts epithermal gold/silver base metal deposits, I will undertake core logging and apply a range of microscopy and whole rock and mineral geochemistry analysis techniques to acquire information on the factors controlling mineralisation. This information will improve the chances of finding gold/silver deposits elsewhere in New Zealand,” says Billy.

Tauhara geothermal field
Kate Mauriohooho is evaluating hydrothermal alteration mineralogy and whole rock geochemistry across the Tauhara geothermal field in order to understand how fluid flow pathways and fluid temperatures have changed over time and space.

“This involves a number of techniques that will tell us about the hydrothermal conditions, with the aim of building a more detailed analysis so we can progress our understanding of the evolution of the geothermal system,” says Kate.

Her research in in conjunction with GNS and supervised by University of Waikato lecturers Dr Shaun Barker and Dr Adrian Pittari.

Kate, a former Hamilton Girls’ High student, was also last year awarded the Sir Hugh Kawharu Masters Scholarship for innovation in science, providing $10,000 a year for up to two years.


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