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Dr. Natalie Plank - MacDiarmid Institute

Dr. Natalie Plank - MacDiarmid Institute

Levelling Up: Training Tomorrow's Advanced Technologies Workforce

Tomorrow’s advanced technology workforce demands graduates who combine deep technical knowledge with a broad range of other skills and networks. In this presentation, I will introduce the MacDiarmid Institute’s flagship initiative, the Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Program (CRISP) developed to meet this need. Within the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, we conduct fundamental and applied research with a goal of creating technology for a sustainable future. The MacDiarmid Institute has a strong track record of engaging with industry, launching start-ups and nurturing researchers to succeed beyond the laboratory. Our graduates train in research disciplines spanning Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Biomaterials, and Mātauranga Māori. In the past 3 years, over 250 early career researchers have attended 13 CRISP sessions,  including “Introduction to IP”, “The Friendly Technology Transfer Office”, “Sustainability of Products, Processes and Business Models” and a “Deep Tech Hackathon”. I will discuss our motivation to run CRISP, how postgraduate researchers are involved in the session design, and the benefits to both our graduates and the New Zealand Deep tech sector.

About the Presenter:

Dr Natalie Plank is an Associate Professor in Physics at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington and the Deputy Director, Commercialisation and Industry Engagement at the MacDiarmid Institute. Her research expertise is in semiconductor devices and nanotechnology, with specific applications in biosensing and hardware platforms for artificial neural networks. She runs the Cleanroom Microfabrication Facility at VUW and has more than 20 years of experience as a research scientist and academic.