Leading academics to be honoured for achievements

20 November 2013

Six leading University of Canterbury (UC) academics will be honoured for achievements in their field at the annual Chancellor's dinner event on campus on Friday night.

Leading academics to be honoured for achievements

Civil and natural resource engineers Dr Alessandro Palermo, Associate Professor Stefano Pampanin and Professor Andy Buchanan.

Six leading University of Canterbury (UC) academics will be honoured for achievements in their field at the annual Chancellor’s dinner event on campus on Friday night.

UC geography academic Professor Eric Pawson will receive UC’s Teaching Medal for 2013.

The Teaching Medal is awarded annually in recognition of an outstanding and sustained contribution to teaching at the University. It is the University’s highest recognition for teaching.

Professor Pawson is as an auditor for the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand universities.

He was awarded the medal in recognition of his outstanding leadership at both the institutional and international level in learning and teaching development and nationally in quality assurance.

UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says Professor Pawson’s nomination was centered on his use of community engagement to connect his students with community groups.

Three engineers will receive UC’s Innovation Medal for their efforts in playing a significant part in the rebuild of Christchurch for developing flexible timber buildings.

Civil and natural resource engineers Professor Andy Buchanan, Associate Professor Stefano Pampanin and Dr Alessandro Palermo were awarded the medal for using their academic knowledge to benefit the wider community. Their innovation and entrepreneurship shows they are leaders in their professional lives, Dr Carr says.

The trio were chosen as the medal winners following their innovative contribution to a new system of earthquake-resistant buildings using post-tensioned structural timber, referred to as pres-lam (pre-stressed laminated timber).

Their pioneering UC research has lifted engineered timber buildings into serious contention for the Christchurch rebuild after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Their innovation has made them world leaders in the international resurgence of multi-storey timber buildings. New buildings of up to 10 storeys are being built in Europe, North America and Australia, with proposals for a 30-storey timber building on the drawing board in Canada.

Opportunities for the new Kiwi technology in overseas buildings are under discussion. The trio have been instrumental in developing and promoting the new technology for the rebuild of Christchurch.

Professors Dave Kelly and Angus Macfarlane will receive Research Medals. Professor Dave Kelly receives his medal in recognition of his world leading research in plant ecology and plant-animal interactions.

Professor Angus Macfarlane receives his medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Maori research and education.

Dr Carr says Professor Macfarlane is a leader on cultural competence and confidence  and is a champion of a bi-cultural society.

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz

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