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UC researchers awarded prestigious fellowships

UC researchers awarded prestigious fellowships

Two University of Canterbury researchers have been awarded prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowships totalling $1.6 million over five years to help them develop their research careers in New Zealand.

Dr Christopher Hann (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Dr Anthony Poole (Biological Sciences) are among 10 recipients of the fellowships, which are administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Dr Hann and Dr Poole will receive $160,000 per year over a five-year period. The aim of the scheme, set up by the Government in 2010, is to support researchers in the three to 10 year period after they have completed a doctoral degree. The funding will enable the researchers to investigate a particular research topic and help them establish their career in New Zealand.

Dr Hann, a UC alumnus, will use the funding to progress his work in the development of a system to control rockets.

His work will involve building a mathematical model of the rocket as it is travelling through space, including directly identifying random wind loads to allow prediction and stabilisation of the rocket. This approach will avoid the need for costly trial and error runs currently used to tune the control systems and significantly reduce the long turnaround time required to launch and accurately position a payload.

Dr Poole, a senior lecturer in genetics, will use the fellowship to use a combination of computational and experimental approaches to test four specific hypotheses relating to the emergence of biological complexity with the aim of elucidating the mechanisms by which complex molecular and cellular systems evolve.

The chairperson of the selection panel, Professor Margaret Brimble (Auckland University), said the high calibre of the applicants made choosing the final 10 a difficult decision.

“Those chosen demonstrated exceptional talent and promise. We believe they will be New Zealand’s future research leaders and are worthy of this investment.”


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