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Students represent NZ at UN backed eco-conference

Media Release
21 September 2005

University of Auckland students to represent New Zealand at UN backed eco-conference

Two post-graduate students from The University of Auckland have been selected to represent New Zealand at the inaugural Eco-Minds Forum in the Philippines next month.

Post-graduate Auckland students Carl Chenery and Soriya Em will attend the Manila-based forum from October 26 to 31. The forum, involving students from nine nations across Asia Pacific, will address sustainable development issues and attempt to develop innovative solutions to sustainability problems.

The forum is backed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bayer.

Carl Chenery says sustainability is a global issue that New Zealand has an opportunity to take a leadership role in.

“Sustainability is an emerging issue that most countries around the world are starting to focus on. New Zealand has a great opportunity to become a model for sustainability because of the stage of development we are at, our natural resources and environmental awareness.

“From a personal point of view, it will also be interesting discussing the issues with people from very different backgrounds and cultures.”

Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor at The University of Auckland, today congratulated the students on their achievements.

“These are very prestigious postings and competition for them throughout the country was extremely strong. We are immensely proud of their success.

“Both Soriya and Carl are outstanding students, but it is their involvement in environmental projects and desire to take leadership roles on the issue of sustainability that led to their selection. They will benefit greatly from this opportunity to exchange ideas with others from around the region, and to bring them back to New Zealand.”

Student profiles (photos available on request):

Carl Chenery, Faculty of Engineering, is studying for a Master of Engineering Studies in Sustainability at The University of Auckland, while working as a mechanical engineer at URS New Zealand. He is a committee member of Engineers for Social Responsibility, and the New Zealand Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science. He is one of 60 young people participating in the Future Leaders’ Programme, an 18-month leadership development course run by The New Zealand Leadership Institute.

Soriya Em, Faculty of Science, is a studying for a post-graduate diploma in environmental management at The University of Auckland, where she received a Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in biotechnology.

She is the founder and chief operating officer of LIME Biotech, a start-up company which is developing microbially-enhanced odour control technology. LIME Biotech, which stands for Leading Innovations in Microbial and Environmental biotechnology, won the inaugural University of Auckland Chiasma I-Volve Challenge, an initiative aimed at addressing the need for well-rounded, enterprise-savvy biotech scientists.


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