SEAT News


Thirty- five teams from schools across Auckland descended on the Massey University's Albany campus for the fifth VEX Robotics Auckland Ladder challenge on August 16.


The annual Innovation Award was held at the Albany campus yesterday.

Nineteen staff gave a three-minute outline of something innovative they had done in their teaching or research.

Presenters came from a wide range of disciplines and all five colleges were represented.

The winning presentation, based on audience vote, was on indoor air quality by Professor Robyn Phipps from the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology.


This year's New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors mentoring scheme was convened by Professor Robyn Phipps and Dr Jasper Mbachu of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology on August 14 at the Albany campus.


An enterprising computer science student is using his spare time to make Palmerston North's buses easier and he's garnered the support of Horizons Regional Council.

Third year Massey University student Taylor Hamling's web application Late for the Bus pulls data from the Regional Council's website, allowing students to enter a travel time and select a preferred route to see their next bus to or from university.


Thirty-five teams from schools across Auckland descended on the Albany campus on Saturday for the fifth VEX Robotics Auckland Ladder challenge. Event organisers say it was one of the largest competitions of the season.

The tournament champions were Lynfield College (2915A) and Wingus & Dingus Robotics (7682) from ACG Strathallan. The Design Award went to Mt Albert Grammar School (2908X).

The challenge is part of a regular competition run by Kiwibots New Zealand, and is aimed at inspiring a passion for science and technology.


Budding Rotorua engineers had the chance to see the latest in industry technology at a four-day Massey University engineering camp.


China is better than New Zealand at planning for mitigating energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy use, says a Massey University sustainable energy professor. Ralph Sims said China used only 6 tonnes of greenhouse gases a person a year, as opposed to New Zealand, which emitted 16 tonnes a person a year.


Secondary school pupils have been dreaming up ways to solve future transport problems at engineering camps at Massey University this week. Year 11-13 pupils from 30 different schools throughout New Zealand participated in the four-day camps on the Manawatū and Albany campuses. More than 120 attended the camps that were oversubscribed.


For the first time in 13 years two top Massey University Information Technology (IT) students have been jointly awarded the prestigious New Zealand Computer Society Cup.


More than 750 teams from 27 countries competed at the VEX Robotics World Championships held recently in Anaheim, Los Angeles – and New Zealand again walked away world champions.


WE'RE all used to security lights that switch on when we come home and washingmachines that choose the best programme for their loads. But in the coming decades our homes will become really smart. They will have ambient intelligence - the ability to understand what we intend to do. Ambient intelligence describes computer systems that run programmes inspired by artificial intelligence. Researchers are developing systems that observe the inhabitants of smart homes in unobtrusive ways through sensors that then interpret the data produced to recognise behaviours. Video cameras are considered too intrusive by many people so simple sensors such as motion sensors, power sensors registering the use of appliances, or contact switches on cupboard doors are becoming the preferred options. These sensors produce a continuous stream of data that can be fed into a computer programme that uses methods from artificial intelligence and machine learning to find out what is happening in the house. Once the smart home knows what's going on, it can take appropriate actions to provide support, reassurance, assistance, or comfort to the inhabitant. But how are we going to communicate with our smart homes? We are already beyond the point of purely communicating on a person-toperson basis. Our lives have become highly connected through a variety of devices and communication media. Receiving amessage on a smart phone and then posting it on Facebook so that others can download it onto their PC is not something that raises eyebrows anymore. Taking this to the next levelmeans incorporating nonhuman entities into our communication networks. In the future our houses will be able to adjust to our needs and provide comfort for whatever activity we are engaged in. For example, if you sat down in the lounge in the late afternoon with the television switched on, it would know you were watching the latest episode of your favourite television show, and since this would take an hour, it would increase the temperature in the room to be more appropriate for this activity. The house would also track seasons and sunsets so, if there was a chance of sun glare on your screen, it would lower the blinds. If you wanted to work on your shopping list at the same time, it would check the contents of your fridge and display the items that needed replacing alongside your programme on your television screen. All the research and technical innovation needed to make this happen is being driven by a simple demographic truth. Most developed countries, including New Zealand, have ageing populations and this is what will make smart homes a reality. Life expectancy is now higher than ever before, and so is the expectation that people will live high-quality, independent lifestyles in old age. Unfortunately, this expectation is not always met. Rather than moving to a nursing home or employing the continuous support of a carer, smart homes will give older people the ability to live independently in their own homes for longer. From there, the technology will no doubt become mainstream so, in 30 years, the benefits of smart homes should be available to all. Today if you came home and your living room was cold and dark, you might wonder what was wrong with your heat pump, or whether another light bulb had blown. In the future, you might ask what your home was thinking. Hans Guesgen is a Professor of Computer Science in Massey University's School of Engineering and Advanced Technology. (Feature from Hawkes Bay Today, 2nd June 2014)


Massey University's Mathematical and Engineering Sciences have been ranked in the top 150 in the world and the best in New Zealand in the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014. Massey's Natural Sciences were ranked in the world top 200, and first in New Zealand on the same measure.


6 from 6! New Zealand has been to the VEX World Championships 6 times and 6 times we have returned with a World Champion title. This year the finals repeated themselves with a team from New Zealand being in each of the alliances that faced off in the finals. So with a World Champion Title assured we only had to wait to see which team would lift the trophy. In the end it turned out that Lynfield College would successfully defend the crown that they won last year and that Otumoetai College would be narrowly beaten. If it had not been for the "Kiwifactor" we would not have been chosen by Canada and the USA as alliance partners so we join them in international glory. OYES gained the profound respect from all the Kiwi teams winning not only the World Programming Skills title but the World Driver Skills Title AND the University Excellence Award. Their performance at this years world championships was truly amazing with an undefeated record until a mechanical breakdown denied them of what looked like a clear path to the College World Champion title. We are proud of them and their fantastic effort. Feildiing High School will be returning with their Online Challenge trophy that was presented to them during the opening ceremony. Other great news is that we met with the President of Northrop Grumman and we have agreed to work with them to get an Australia vs New Zealand Competition up and running. The launch of this competition will be on the 23rd and 24th of August in Canberra. New Zealand is seen as key to the success of this endeavour and we will be working with the RECF and Northrop Grumman to make it happen. Northrop Grumman are the biggest sponsor of VEX worldwide. The teams will arrive back from the USA on the 30th April on Qantas flight QF123 landing at 14:50. All I can say now is "Tick, level up!"


Developing an app to turn an "off the shelf" smart phone into a low cost satellite has won a group of Auckland students a place in an international space competition


Developing an app to turn an "off the shelf" smart phone into a low cost satellite has won a group of Auckland students a place in an international space competition. Duct Tape team Scott Wilson of Orewa, Zach Warner of Red Beach and David Tan of Albany are all with Massey University, with Erlis Kllogjri of Glenfield at the University of Auckland.They were among five teams competing in the NASA International Space Apps Challenge held on April 12 and 13 and hosted jointly by the US Embassy and AUT University at their city campus. Satellites generally cost millions of dollars to build and get into orbit. But Wilson reckons their smartphone option provides a cheap alternative. "At a cost of just $10,000 getting a smart phone up in a shuttle or into a low earth orbit where it can take photos or collect data, is a fraction of current costs for purpose-built equipment," mechatronics engineering student Wilson says. "This brings research into the range of universities but also business," he says. Mini satellites have become very popular with 130 CubeSats released into low orbit since 2003. Smaller pocket-sized ones are now being developed. Lacking thrusters they will fall back to earth within a year. Others are being developed with thrusters to survive outside earth orbit to measure turbulence in the solar wind. A Cubesat can be produced for around $116,000 with students doing the work. Despite only weighing a kilogramme, it will still cost around $80,000 to get each one on a SpaceX Dragon launch. About 20 have been given free passage by NASA So the smaller and lighter, the better. Lots of small, short-lived satellites are starting to be seen as more cost-effective than large, longer-lived ones. Fairfax NZ


Massey University this month unveiled a $22 million upgrade of the Manawatu campus Riddet Complex , its base for food technology and engineering.


New Zealanders are now the fourth highest emitters of greenhouse gases per person in the world and there is no plan to reduce our impact, says a Massey University climate scientist.


On the 21st of April, 37 students and mentors will depart on Qantas for Anaheim, Los Angeles to represent New Zealand at the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championships. This is the biggest and fastest growing class room based robotics competition in the World.

This event will be the biggest so far with 800 teams and 15,000 students competing for the title of World Champions. Junior Schools, High Schools and Universities will compete in their respective divisions in a three day event that rounds off a year's worth of work for these students.

Representing New Zealand will be students from

  • Massey University
  • Feilding High School
  • Otumoetai College
  • Lynfield College
  • Albany Home School

I am sure you will wish our teams well and will, like us, keep your fingers crossed that we will be able to bring home a World Championship trophy on the 28th for the sixth year in a row.


Massey University Professor Ralph Sims talks to Rachel Smalley on KPMG Early Edition about a new UN report which says catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards - but only if the world urgently switches to clean sources of energy. Professor Sims is the lead author of the report's chapter on transport. (Newstalk ZB, Monday 14th April)


Lead author for the Transport chapter of the latest UN IPCC Report on Mitigating of Climate Change Massey University's Professor Ralph Sims. From Sunday Morning on 13 Apr 2014


A Fiordland College student has been named the supreme winner of a Massey University design competition to support a smokefree New Zealand (Page 2 of the Fiordland Advocate)


3-D printing could give New Zealand inventors and designers the ability to take their products to the rest of the world at a fraction of the current cost. Massey University professor of mechatronics Olaf Diegel said yesterday the technology provided the ability to try out ideas without much capital risk.


Massey University today unveiled a $22 million upgrade of the Manawatu campus Riddet Complex, its base for food technology and engineering. The major revamp is a significant step in the planned $250 million investment into Food HQ, a research collaboration between Massey and other big stakeholders in the agri-food business that have combined to help boost the annual value of New Zealand's food exports to $60 billion by 2025.


A digital microscope first scoffed at for being "unoriginal and unmarketable" is now making waves worldwide.


Transpower is trialling new machines as a way to monitor its network, meaning the next time your power is off a robot may help to get it switched back on.


Te Radar looks into water to see why our long finned eel is up the creek without a paddle, and uses his body to test ways to clean up the water. Andy and Nicola can be viewed at 19.06s into the video clip


Te Radar looks at oil alternatives like alligator fat, and finds out how a mix of sunlight and old kiwifruit can juice up a car, our very own Prof Yusuf Chisti can be viewed 15.03s into the video clip


Nitrous oxide emissions threaten algae's environmental credentials.It thrives in fresh, brackish or salty water in places too hot, dry or infertile for other forms of agriculture. It grows many times faster than conventional crops, consuming quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) as it does so.


A Palmerston North couple have made the largest donation recieved by Massey University, destined to be used as scholarships to aid budding technology talent.


A BRANZ scholarship helped Massey University researcher Mikael Boulic complete a study into healthy homes. Now he's turned his attention to our schools.


A major publication outlining the innovations in information and communications technology being utlised at the London Olympics has been overseen by a chartered professional engineer from Massey University


Cooking with twigs over a small solar-powered stove may seem a far cry from the daily life of the average engineering student in New Zealand


An Onehunga High School team of three students who are robot designers, engineers and programmers has won the VEX High School World Robotics Champions title for the first time after four years of trying and amassing 11 other titles on the way.


The dairy industry has been integral to New Zealand since 1814, when missionary Samuel Marsden imported the first pair of heifers. Dairy exports began in 1846, and in 1882 the first refrigerated butter shipment travelled from Dunedin to London.


Katherine Holt has seen a lot of pollen. During the four years of her PhD investigating past patterns of vegetation in the Chatham Islands, many thousands of grains passed under the lens of her microscope, each one painstakingly magnified, identified and tallied


A Massey University energy expert says proposed local government reforms would be a step backwards for sustainabliity.


My prediction is that in five years most new residential water heating systems will use a heat pump with carbon dioxide as the refrigerant.


New Zealand robotics teams mentored by Massey University engineers have won the VEX Robotics Wold Championships in the United States for the fourth time running.


A new manufacturing technology that some commentators believe willchange the world is now entering the main stream.


Massey University's Professor Don Cleland has been awarded the Furkert Award for excellence in sustainability and clean .....


Are you getting older? Yup me too. For some of us, it's the body that lets us down


The rugby robot that nearly bested ex-All Black Andrew Merhtens in Auckland last year is kicking back in Taranaki at the moment.


Jarrod Burton is developing an invention he thinks could help save lives the next time New Zealand faces a natural disaster.


Two final year students were awarded the inaugural award for Excellence in Mechanigal Engineering Technology ....


A Massey University professor has been awarded $745,000 from the Marsden Fund to research how algae might remove phosphorus from effluent.


Former All Blacks ace Andrew Mehrtens proved he was a goal kicking machine today.


Two Massey University students have won the supreme award in this year's Great New Zealand Remix and Mashup competition


If Dan Carter wants to brush up on his drop kicks ahead of the Rugby World Cup knockout stages, Woderwick the robot is ready to give him a few pointers


Installing artificial intelligence in houses will be trialled by a Massey University academic to support older people living alone.


Professor Hans Guesgen has been made a senior member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.


Former All Black first-five Andrew Mehrtens will strap on his kicking boots again in October to attempt to outkick a trio of robots - or more accurately, robotic legs.


Passionate young project manager Stephen Kleehammer hs shown dediction to his profession during the 18 years of experience he has had ing the industry around the world.


A research programme to help New Zealand business perform better is at the heart of Massey University's newest initiative - hosting and innovator-in-residence.


A team of Massey University engineering students is building software for New Zealand's firt spacecraft, which could pave the way for a new generation of .......


Three robots will test the boot of former All Black Andrew Mehrtens in a man versus machine goal-kicking challenge during the Rugby World Cup.


Winning first place in the Innovate Manawatu Awards was the easy part for the trio of Massey University students who have set up a new company.


Build it and break it. Normally that would break your heart, but the breaking part is the point of the project.


A research programme to help New Zealand business perform better is at the heart of Massey Univeristy's newest initiative - hosting an Innovator-in-Residence.


Approximately 800 participants from all over the world gathered at the Athens Hilton Hotel for the congress. New Zealand was well represented by a fourteen strong contingent with eight from Massey Univesity, ....


Dr Jen-Yuan (James) Change, faculty of School of Engineering and Advanced Technology has been awarded the Outstanding Contributions Award by Information Storage and Processing Systems Divisions of American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


Of the 10 finalists in Palmerston North's Bio Commerce Centre "Innovate" contest, four were from the agricultural sector, but that was no surpise to centre business growth manager Warren Bebb.


Congratulations to School of Engineering and Advanced Technology Senior Lecturer Dr Eva Heinrich who was New Zealand's entry in the Innovation Adoption Learning ....


Shannon Swan is very enthusiastic about her role and Involvement with Fonterra.


We have been delighted to learn that the IEEE New Zealand Central Section now has a new IEEE Fellow: Associate Professor Subhas Mukhopadhyay.


A Life-sized rugby robot with kicking abilities to rival humans is under development - but the Crusaders aren't planning to replace Dan Carter with Robo-Dan any time soon.


Budding North Shore engineers have proved to the world they are hard to beat in the battle of the robotics.


With a population of only four million people, 40 million sheep, and a gross domestic product (GDP) the size of a large American corporation, New Zealand....


Winning the Build Award at the recent Vex Robotics Championships in Auckland brought big smiles to the faces of the Katikati College team.


It may not make you coffee, but a "wearable" robot being developed in New Zealand will at least help you hold the cup.


Their robot might not be able to make the bed or fold the washing, but leave any rubber rings around, and it will clean them up like a world champ.


After months of building, training and competition, 10 teams have been chosen to represent New Zealand and defend its world title at next month's Vex Robotics world championships at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.


School of Engineering and Advanced Technology head Professor Don Cleland has been awarded the J and E Hall gold medal by the British Institute of Refrigeration


It may not make you coffee, but a "wearable" robot being developed in New Zealand will at least help you hold the cup.


Manawatu researchers are working on a wonder product that has potential to boost soil nutrients and fight against global warming.


Advanced technology that can help the aged and the continued development of medical robots are issues that will be explored in workshops being hosted at the Wellington campus next week.


Engineering students are forgoing sun, sand and sea to run a robotics programme for youngsters this summer at the Albany campus.


The first "boot camp" was run in July 2008 and attracted 30 teams. Since then interest has risen steadily with the organisers expecting around 100 teams to be competing next year.


Robotics are catching on in colleges around the country with Whangaparoa College the first in the northern area taking part in upper North Island VEX Robotics Round Up competitions.


With only three sleeps until Christmas and a million things left for most people to organise, it's easy to opt for convenience and just pay a little extra for those presents, Christmas trees and food.


From humble beginnings running tractors and cars on vegetable oil, to being part of a Nobel Peace Prize-Winning climate change team, Professor Ralph Sims has another accolade to add to his long list of lifetime achievements.


A world-renowned energy researcher and educator was presented with an Outsanding Contribution award by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Association on Friday night.


New Zealand generates several million tonnes of bio-waste each year from forests, orchards, farms and refuse stations.


Meccano on steroids, mental rugby - Vex Robotics international games have been described as both.


It looks like a head-on smash between tipped-over Mechano sets and an electronics bench.


Robots are a fun way to teach hard sciences - maths, physics, engineering and computer programming.


All eyes may be on the closing of the Commonwealth Games today, but yesterday Massey University's Palmerston North Campus was abuzz with excitement over the annual Robot Olympics.


It's vacuuming, but not as we know it.


Charcoal's changing use over time is the subject of the first talk in this year's series of public lectures at the Wellington campus next Thursday


Each year the local kiwifruit industry becomes more technology-focused as it seeks more efficiency - in growing, harvesting, packagine and exporting - to maintain its positions as a world leader.


Michelle Hutton feels a zing of pride and secret thrill to which not many can lay claim when she passes the canned soup aisle at the supermarket.


Congratulations to Mr. Hamid Memarbashi (PhD student in Mechatronics, Albany) and Mr. Riichi Nagao (Master student in Mechatronics, Albany) for receiving Conference Scholarship Award at the 20th American Society of Mechanical Engineers Annual Conference on Information Storage and Processing Systems (aka ASME ISPS) held in Santa Clara (Silicon Valley), California, United States of America from June 14 to June 15, 2010.


SEAT PhD student Jurgen (Phil) Wagner has been awarded the runner-up prize for the inaugural Harry Boer Best Student Paper Award at the European Operations Management Association (EUROMA) conference in Porto, Portugal.


Six staff this week received Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Teaching Excellence.


Two former Massey students are growing their electronics engineering consultancy. As featured in Manawatu Standard, 2nd June.


Palmerston North's world women's taekwon-do special technique champion Nikki Galpin has graduated from an aeronautical engineering course. As featured in Manawatu Standard, 22nd May.


An environmentalist and engineering student has taken the helm of Massey University Students' Assocciation (Musa). As featured in Manawatu Standard, 21st May.


Higher learning curve offered. Flight simulators, ice cream and vocal cords were all on show at Tertiary Discovery Day. As featured in Manawatu Standard, 29th April.


The inventor of an automated kiwifruit picking machine, Dr Rory Flemmer was named engineering innovator of the year at the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards in Wellington. As featured in Food Industry Week, 7th December.


Budding scientists at Albany Primary School got some quality time with children's science show host and internationally-acclaimed scientist Chris Chitty. As featured in North Shore Times, 22nd September.


Getting hold of someone distant from us is these days just a matter of pushing some buttons on a phone, but it wasn't always that way. As featured in Hutt News, 22nd September.

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