Explore as a

Share our content

Previous recipients

From left: Christopher Petrie, Mehdi Saeidi, Peni Hausia Havea, Sunil Gopaul and Federico Tomasetto.


In 2017 our Falling Walls Lab participants traveled to the Australian Falling Walls Lab in Canberra to pitch their innovative ideas.

Novel solutions to tackling invasive plants, climate change, AI and education, better knee replacements and making sustainable agriculture truly sustainable won five early career researchers from New Zealand and the Pacific the chance to compete at the Australian Falling Walls Lab in Canberra on September 12. Mehdi Saeidi placed 3rd in the competition with his knee implant innovation.


 2017 Falling Walls Recipients: 



Presentation Title



Mr. Sunil Gopaul

University of South Pacific

Breaking the Wall of Invasion Biology

The rapidly spreading Pinanga coronata affects plant diversity in the Colo-I-Suva Forest Reserve (Fiji) by altering understory Photosynthetic Active Radiation, microclimate and soil pH.

Understanding the impact of the invasive P. coronata on key abiotic factors helps to guide control efforts of minimizing their spread in native communities, and restoration of native flora.

Mr. Peni Hausia Havea

Pacific University of South Pacific

Breaking the Wall of climate change impacts and adaptation

Climate change is known to impact the low-lying small island states because they have limited access to funding and technologies that allow them to be more resilient and recover from these impacts.

I used concurrent convergence parallel triangulation design to study climate change impact on livelihood, health and well-being and adaptation strategies in 5 coastal areas and communities in Tonga.

Mr. Christopher Petrie

University of Canterbury

Breaking the Wall of Education with Artificial Intelligence

The aim of this idea is to challenge our current education model of standardised testing with the help of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

The objective of this software is to personalise education so everyone can learn anything. This software provides a unique learning curve which can be crafted automatically.

Mr. Mehdi Saeidi

Auckland University of Technology

Breaking the Wall of knee replacements in younger patients

Most patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) undergo total knee replacement eventually, and the main reason for using other treatments, specifically in younger patients, is to postpone this last resort

We are developing an implant to remove excessive load from the knee and so slow progression of OA, creating a suitable environment in which OA lesions might be repaired

Dr. Federico Tomasetto

AgResearch Ltd

Breaking the Wall of Sustainable Agriculture

Human population worldwide is growing at its fastest rate. This leads to high demands for food production in agricultural monocultures which are more vulnerable to yield losses due to pest species

A sustainable pest management involves biological control approaches. However, these ecosystem services can evolve unequally. We are showing that there could be a rapid evolution of pest resistance