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Published 29 March 2018

Bioengineering - a boon for New Zealand?

2016 MacDiarmid Medal winner Professor Merryn Tawhai discusses how a fascination with mathematics and biology led her to developing technology for healthcare, and why New Zealand has the capability to become a world leader in this market.

Royal Society Te Apārangi is delighted to host Professor Merryn Tawhai for the 2018 NZ Research Series, where we share throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, significant research being carried out by Kiwi scientists and scholars.

Professor Tawhai was awarded the MacDiarmid Medal at the 2016 New Zealand Research Honours for her research to create anatomically detailed models of the respiratory system. 

Virtual window into our airways from Royal Society Te Apārangi on Vimeo.

Deputy Director of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and recently appointed Director of MedTech CoRE, Professor Tawhai is playing a key role in growing NZ’s medical technology sector through both innovative approaches and instigating collaboration between NZ universities and industry.

Royal Society Te Apārangi Vice-President Professor Richard Blaikie says “Professor Tawhai provides inspiration and impact through her work connecting physical and mathematical modelling to clinical practice in the diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions, and through to her leadership of the New Zealand MedTech CoRE. This world-leading centre connects mathematics and bio-engineering to medical practice, developing new medical technologies and training our next-generation of MedTech researchers”.

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In these talks, Merryn will explain the crucial aspects of her own research, from science discovery to clinical research, as well as how New Zealand is beginning to distinguish itself in the global bioengineering industry.

"Bioengineering research allows me to combine modern imaging, instrumentation, and computational methods to explore lung physiology in an unconventional way; and by doing this, to come up with novel technologies that will have clinical and commercial impact".

All are welcome to attend these free public events (although Auckland and Wanaka have small entrance fees), but do register to guarantee your seat(s).


Digital breaths: The benefits of bioengineering

Rotorua | Scion, Rimu Conference Room - register for Rotorua
6pm Tuesday 17 April

Hamilton | Waikato Museum, Lecture Theatre - register for Hamilton
5:30pm Wednesday 18 April

Auckland | Auckland Museum, Auditorium - register for Auckland 
6pm Tuesday 24 April
$10 General admission, $5 Members and Friends

Palmerston North | Palmerston North Central Library, Events Central - register for Palmerston North
7:30pm Tuesday 19 June

Napier | EIT, Lecture Theatre LTH1 - register for Napier
6pm Wednesday 20 June

Wellington | Royal Society Te Apārangi, Aronui Lecture Theatre - register for Wellington
12:15pm Thursday 21 June

Nelson | Nelson Elim Christian Centre - register for Nelson
7:30pm Tuesday 26 June

Christchurch | University of Otago Christchurch, Rolleston Lecture Theatre - register for Christchurch
6:30pm Wednesday 27 June

Dunedin | Otago Museum, Hutton Theatre - register for Dunedin
5:30pm Thursday 28 June

Wanaka | Wanaka Presbyterian Community Church Centre - register for Wanaka 
6pm Friday 29 June
$5 door charge


The 2018 NZ Research Series is proudly supported by the Auckland Bioengineering Institute of The University of Auckland and the Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE).


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Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi