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Dynamic Duos

14 July 2023

From Brooke and Guy Hobson to Aidan Smith and Connor Read, learn about the Dynamic Duos UC is showcasing to celebrate our 150th anniversary!

Aidan Smith and Connor Read
Aidan Smith & Connor Read

BE (Hons) 2018 & BE (Hons) 2017

A shared passion for emerging technology, and building a brighter future, was the catalyst for Aidan Smith’s and Connor Read’s partnership. Co-founding Starc Developments, a consultancy focused on the removal of waste by designing sustainable solutions, was just the beginning of the duo’s innovation. Aidan and Connor have co-founded a new venture, Shutl, to electrify urban journeys. Shutl changes how our cities move by working with government, businesses, and individuals, to transition urban trips to using new forms of light electric vehicles (LEV). Parcels, pizzas, and parking wardens will all be moving on a Shutl LEV. 

Averill Moser-Rust & Bonnie Humphrey

BSc 2015, MSc (Biological Sciences) 2019 & BSc 2019 

Meeting through their supervisor, PhD candidates Averill Moser-Rust and Bonnie Humphrey were conducting experiments on jumping spiders together when they saw an opportunity in the academic space. After noticing the struggles academics face to get funding, the pair created their start-up company, Funded – a coordinated and personalised marketplace for finding and advertising funding. After coming 2nd in the Entré Enterprise Launch Challenge, the pair participated in the 2022/23 UCE Summer Start-up Programme to further develop their business.

Brooke and Guy Hobson
Brooke & Guy Hobson

BA 2015, PGDipJ 2016 & BCom 2014, MEM 2015 

Growing up on a farm, siblings Brooke Hobson and Guy Hobson experienced first-hand the importance of looking after the land while also having a lot of fun along the way. Native Sparkling was their venture into business, bridging the gap for those Kiwis who desired to protect our native species and environments through having a bit of fun drinking with mates. Through their innovative (and refreshing) beverages, Brooke and Guy are planting native trees on the home farm, creating more biodiverse areas. “It can be cutthroat being in business with family”, says Brooke, “but it’s special.”

Robert Park & Thomas Paulay OBE OoM

BE (Hons) 1956, ME 1959, DEng 2001 & BE 1954, PhD 1970

Educated at UC, Professor Tom Paulay and Professor Bob Park are both known for their sizeable and significant contributions to the fields of structural and earthquake engineering over the latter half of the twentieth century. Referred to as “the godfathers of the engineering world”, their foresight, alongside Paulay’s development of capacity design and Park’s contribution to the design of reinforced concrete, was undoubtedly part of the reason Canterbury was not as damaged as it could have been by the earthquakes felt across the region since 2010.

Mike McRae & Tom Tappin - Co-Founders of Two Dudes
Mike McRae & Tom Tappin

BCom 2017, LLB 2017 & BSc 2017, LLB 2017 

From law clerks to business owners, Mike McRae and Tom Tappin are following a path neither would have expected upon graduating! While living and working together in Singapore on the Heineken Asia Pacific Graduate Program, the duo came up with the idea to develop a skincare range for men. Two Dudes launched in late 2020 and now has a range of men’s bathroom products, with a percentage of profits donated to men’s health organisations. “The idea is that by choosing to use Two Dudes products, guys will be able to make a genuine impact on other men's health, and their own, just by going about their daily lives.” 

Pam Kilmartin & Alan Gilmore

UC Physics and Astronomy Department

Alan Gilmore and Pam Kilmartin’s interest in astronomy began at an early age, both choosing to continue this passion throughout their lives. After the husband-and-wife duo established a programme tracking comets and near-Earth objects (NEOs), they moved to Tekapo where Alan took on the role of superintendent of the UC Mount John Observatory for 20 years. Honoured by NZ Post in 2019 with their own stamp in its NZ Space Pioneers series, their 50-year contribution to astronomy has been huge; with the discovery of over 40 minor planets, and their efforts in observing comets and asteroids that could pose a collision danger.

Christopher Boyle & Hugh Reynolds

BE 1990 & BE 1989 

Managing Director Christopher Boyle and Technical Director Hugh Reynolds first met when they were at UC’s Engineering School, through what is now known as Motosoc – UC's Motorsport Society. Through this friendship, the two went on to create FABRUM, an innovative niche start-up business now specialising in green hydrogen production and liquefier systems and operating internationally with some of the world’s largest and most successful technology companies. FABRUM boasts more than 18 years of dedicated research and development, resulting in world-leading solutions in cryogenics, magnetic systems and advanced industrial composites that specialise in bespoke solutions to specific requirements, whether in space, aviation, HTS, industry or emerging fields in life science, food and beverage, animal breeding or research. 

Reuben Bijl & Toby Vincent

MusB 2008, BCom 2009 & BA 2013

Inspired by the launch of the iPhone in 2007, while both studying at UC, long-time friends Reuben Bijl and Toby Vincent were at the forefront of building apps when they co-founded Smudge – a company that helps people solve problems using technology. Existing at the intersection of design, software development and business consultancy, the company’s clientele is now mostly made up of larger organisations, including Coca-Cola and New Zealand Police, the work with the latter of which has been awarded an illustrious Purple Pin at the Best Design Awards for “work that raises the bar of New Zealand design”.

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