Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Kiwi wins top international science prize

Kiwi wins top international science prize

A New Zealand environmental scientist has won a top international science prize for her contribution to the development of a simple, inexpensive test which measures arsenic levels in drinking water, and which has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.

Dr Mona Wells, a Senior Environmental Scientist with multidisciplinary consultancy CPG in Dunedin, is part of a team of three scientists awarded the 2010 Erwin Schrödinger Prize, a highly prestigious international science award.

Millions of people worldwide, but especially those in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, suffer from chronic arsenic poisoning because their drinking water is contaminated, either from natural geological conditions, or as a result of mining activity.

“Winning the Schrödinger Prize is a once in a lifetime experience, and it’s truly a tremendous honour to receive this level of recognition,” said Dr Wells.

The Schrödinger Prize is awarded annually by the Helmholtz Association, a group of German research centres of excellence in applied science. The prize recognises contributions to interdisciplinary science, in particular work which has the potential to affect the most people in the most profound way.

Dr Wells splits her time between her job at CPG, the German Centre for Environmental Research, where she is a Guest Scientist, and the University of Otago, where she is a part-time researcher. She has a long-standing interest in environmental contamination, and worked at ‘ground zero’ in Alaska following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

“I’m fortunate to work with three organisations who together provide the support and flexibility to enable me to pursue my work in this field,” says Dr Wells. “The result is that we can translate our knowledge of applied science in the academic domain, in to solutions to thorny problems facing people in the real world.”

The portable and highly reliable arsenic testing procedure was developed over a number of years. Commercial production of the simple, quick and cost-effective kit – trademarked ARSOlux® – will commence from 2011, starting in Bangladesh.

In 2009 Dr Wells and her fellow prize winners (Professor Dr Hauke Harms of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany and Professor Dr Jan Roelof van der Meer of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland) published a 20-year retrospective study on the Exxon Valdez disaster, which incorporated the same technology as their new arsenic test.

CPG’s New Zealand Chief Executive Dr David Warburton said the business was exceptionally proud of Dr Wells and her colleagues for what they had achieved.

“Our congratulations go to Dr Wells and her team for winning this prestigious award. We are very fortunate to have this level of expertise in our business which adds value in so many ways,” he said.

The team will be presented with the Schrodinger Prize, which includes 50,000
Euros (approximately $90,000), at an award ceremony in Germany on September 16.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news