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Dunedin Symposium 2022

The 2022 Dodd-Walls Centre symposium was a great opportunity for our community to reconnect after an isolating couple of years.

Dunedin Symposium 2022
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2-3 Minutes
Dr Sara Miller

The 2022 Dodd-Walls Centre symposium was a great opportunity for our community to gather together and reconnect after an isolating couple of years. Dodd-Walls members from across Aotearoa met in Ōtepoti (Dunedin) from 5 to 7 July.

A pōwhiri and opening of the symposium was held at Puketeraki Marae, this was a spiritually special event held in a truly beautiful part of the country. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to participate in a pōwhiri, a highlight was having the DWC sing together as a collective community. The kai after the pōwhiri was delicious and a brilliant opportunity to connect and reconnect with those gathered. We thank the Puketeraki Marae for their warm welcome and hospitality. At the Mare we had the keynote speech from Professor Artur Ekert (National university of Singapore and University of Oxford) who regaled us on the exciting potential and scientific challenges in quantum computing.  The bus trip back to Dunedin allowed for a quick stop to enjoy the views of Karitane and the rugged coastline. After lunch, the commercialisation experiences and example path ways of researchers were shared.

The second day of the symposium held a jam-packed series of talks consisting of invited speakers and summaries of the work recently carried out in each research question. Invited speaker Dr Rose Ahlefeldt (Australian National University) discussed her exciting work exploring the use of rare earth ion crystals for microwave to photon conversion. Invited speaker Dr Steve Holroyd (Fonterra) gave fascinating insights into the implementation of spectroscopic technologies in New Zealand industry from the perspective of the milk industry. It was great to hear what work was being carried out within each research question, I am sure it sparked ideas for forming new collaborations. In the evening we gathered for the poster session where it was fantastic to see and hear about the exciting research being undertaken, particularly the work done by DWC students.  

The third and final day of the symposium contained a series of parallel sessions where students and researchers could discuss their work in detail. In addition to scientific focused talks, there were sessions highlighting other key aspects of our roles as scientists, namely education, commercialisation and science communication. Andy and Jessa provided a great overview of the education and outreach work being carried out via the DWC and the inaugural completion for developing new outreach experiments. The commercialisation panel described the pathways and support available for researchers looking to commercialize their work. An engaging and helpful talk by Claire from the Science Media Centre provided key tools for engaging with the media and effective language for science communication.

Thursday evening was the conference dinner held at Larnach Castle, a beautiful place to mingle and close the conference. It was a fun evening with heartfelt speeches, fantastic food, great company and enthusiastic dancing.


Article by Dr Sara Miller, Chair of the Symposium Planning Committee, 2022

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