UC Connect public talk: Why on earth would you drill into a magma chamber?

07 October 2019

Magma is humanity’s final frontier. We have been to the moon, to the deepest oceans, but we have never ventured into a magma chamber. In this UC Connect public lecture, award-winning educator University of Canterbury volcanologist Associate Professor Ben Kennedy will encourage the audience to explore with him the different paths magma can take to the surface and the consequences.

  • BenKennedy

    University of Canterbury volcanologist Associate Professor Ben Kennedy

Magma is humanity’s final frontier. We have been to the moon, to the deepest oceans, but we have never ventured into a magma chamber.

In this upcoming UC Connect public lecture – Why on earth would you drill into a magma chamber? – award-winning educator University of Canterbury volcanologist Associate Professor Ben Kennedy will encourage the audience to explore with him the different paths magma can take to the surface and the consequences.

“Technology has advanced in recent years allowing us to do experiments with magma that give us snapshots of the processes that occur during magma’s journey to the surface,” he says.

“These processes define whether magma becomes a sustainable energy source or produces potentially catastrophic eruptions. The only way to learn more is to drill into magma chamber in Iceland and build an open window into that chamber where scientists can observe and experiment on magma in its natural habitat.”

Associate Professor Kennedy, of the UC College of Science’s Geological Sciences department, recently won the University of Canterbury’s highest award for tertiary teaching excellence, the UC Teaching Medal. An expert in Physical Volcanology, Associate Professor Kennedy says his research and teaching are “driven by a love of volcanoes and fuelled by experiments and projects that are fun, exciting and important to society”.

His research takes him around New Zealand and the world to volcanic hotspots, including Chile, Iceland, Vanuatu and Hawaii, to “work out why volcanoes erupt in various different ways”.

Associate Professor Kennedy has previously won a UC Teaching Award and an Ako Aotearoa National Sustained Tertiary Teaching Excellence award for sustained excellence. Over the last decade, he has developed an outstanding track record of teaching excellence and of effective and wide-ranging teaching leadership at UC and beyond. In addition to inspiring students in his undergraduate classes, Associate Professor Kennedy has supervised 21 doctoral (PhD) students, 26 masters’ students and three honours students.

UC Connect public talk: Why on earth would you drill into a magma chamber?  Presented by University of Canterbury volcanologist Associate Professor Ben Kennedy, 7pm – 8pm, Wednesday 9 October – C-Block lecture theatre C1, University of Canterbury’s Ilam campus, Christchurch.

NB: Registrations to attend have reached capacity, however the public lecture will be streamed live on UC’s Facebook page and available to view on the UC Connect YouTube channel about a week later. http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/ucconnect/

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