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Young professor appointed as new Director for VUW’s MacDiarmid Institute

Press Release – Victoria University of Wellington
The Board of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is delighted to announce that Associate Professor Kathryn McGrath has been appointed as Director of the institute, to succeed the outgoing Director, Professor Richard Blaikie. She will begin the role on 1 July.

Associate Professor McGrath, from Victoria University’s School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, has been a Principal Investigator with the Institute since 2002, and is a member of the Institute’s Science Executive Committee.

“Kathryn is considered to be one of New Zealand’s leading young physical scientists and we are delighted she will be the new Director of the Institute,” says Chairman of the MacDiarmid Institute, Dr Steve Thompson.

The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is a national Centre of Research Excellence based at Victoria University.

As Director of the Institute, Associate Professor McGrath will be providing leadership in both scientific and strategic matters.

Some of her research mimics a natural process that could assist in wound care and medical implants. She researches how organisms grow their hard tissue—skeletons, teeth, shells—with potential uses including better hip replacements.

Other research interests are molecular self-assembly, complex fluids and hierarchical solid formation. She has also made important new fundamental discoveries especially in emulsion research where she has managed to characterise a new class of emulsion behaviours.

Associate Professor McGrath won the Easterfield Medal in 2003 and the New Zealand Association of Scientists Research Medal in 2007.

She is also an Associate Investigator at the Riddet Institute, and is a past president of the New Zealand Association of Scientists.

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