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University of Auckland: Eleven New Professors Appointed

Press Release – University of Auckland

Eleven associate professors at The University of Auckland have been promoted to professor. Promotion to professor is a mark of distinction, recognising professional and academic eminence at an international level.1 February 2012

Eleven New Professors Appointed

Eleven associate professors at The University of Auckland have been promoted to professor.

Promotion to professor is a mark of distinction, recognising professional and academic eminence at an international level.

The new professors are from the Faculties of Arts, Business and Economics, Creative Arts and Industries, Engineering, Medical and Health Sciences, and Science.

Professor Robert Amor (Department of Computer Science) performs research in construction informatics, developing and adapting beneficial computer science techniques for the architectural, engineering and construction industries. He coordinates the International Building Council’s preeminent research community on ”IT for Construction” with a highly respected international conference series. Professor Amor’s primary research interest is in achieving interoperability between software tools, undertaken in collaboration with colleagues at the University’s School of Architecture and Planning and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Professor Amor has published extensively on information integration including information modelling, process modelling, user interaction, implementation frameworks, information mapping, and communication strategies.

Professor Toni Ashton is a health economist in the School of Population Health on the Tāmaki Innovation Campus. Her primary research interest is in the funding and organisation of health services from an economic perspective. Most of her recent research has been on health reform in New Zealand over the past two decades. She is also interested in the study of comparative health systems and in the general application of economic theory and methods to health sector practices and performance. Professor Ashton has been a member of several government working parties and taskforces, and has undertaken a range of consultancies including some for the World Health Organisation.

Professor James Bade (School of European Languages and Literatures) specialises in modern German literature, the German connection with New Zealand and the Pacific, and German cinema. His publications include a number of books on modern German literature (Thomas Mann and Theodor Fontane) and the historical connections between New Zealand and German-speaking Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Professor Bade is Director of the University’s Research Centre for Germanic Connections with New Zealand and the Pacific. He has served as Head of the School of European Languages and Literatures and as Head of the Department of German and Slavonic Studies, and is President of the Auckland Goethe Society.

Professor Tom Brittain (School of Biological Sciences) is a specialist in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. His research interests are in physical biochemistry, in particular the study of the structure and mode of action of metalloproteins and in functional studies which range from fundamental theoretical and physico-chemical characterisation to investigations of actions in vivo and in cell culture. His latest project looks at the role of neuroglobin in protecting neurons from cell death by apoptosis. Professor Brittain runs the University’s Metalloprotein Structure and Function Laboratory.

Professor Kendall Clements (School of Biological Sciences) works in the area of ecology, evolution and behaviour. His main research focus is the biology of marine herbivorous fishes, from ecological work on feeding rates and diet choice to biochemical and physiological studies on metabolism and the function of the digestive system. A particular interest has been the activities and identity of the diverse microorganisms that inhabit the gut of these fishes. Professor Clements also has a research interest in the evolution of reef fishes, and has had two Marsden grants to study speciation in triplefin fishes, which are abundant and diverse in New Zealand waters. He also studies the evolution and taxonomy of herbivorous fishes for his work on feeding and digestion.

Professor Anthony Endres (Department of Economics) has developed several research specialisations: the history of economic thought and policy; alternative schools of thought in economics; competing schools of thought on international financial integration 1945-2000; capital theory and the links between capital formation and entrepreneurship in market economies. Professor Endres has written three books on the development of ideas and policies concerned with the international financial architecture. His publications in the history of economic thought have covered a wide range of topics including the work of Adam Smith and classical economics, Veblen, Hayek, Keynes, and Schumpeter, and twentieth century issues in monetary policy and currency competition.

Professor Georgy Gimel’farb (Department of Computer Science) is a world-known expert in image processing, computer vision, and statistical pattern recognition. His main areas of interest include computational binocular stereo, texture modelling, 3D scene description from image and range data, and medical image analysis for computer-aided diagnostics. Professor Gimel’farb, who was educated in the former Soviet Union and came to Auckland in 1997, has authored or edited four books (in English and Russian), including a monograph on image textures and Gibbs random fields, published more than 320 refereed publications, and co-authored an undergraduate textbook on algorithms and data structures.

Professor Uwe Grodd (School of Music) has performed and recorded internationally for more than 30 years. He teaches flute at all levels and is an accomplished conductor. Professor Grodd gained worldwide recognition when he won First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000, for the ”Best 18th Century Orchestral Recording” conducting the Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia from Hungary. One of his most ambitious projects has been the recordings of the complete works for piano and orchestra by Beethoven’s longstanding friend and student, Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838). Professor Grodd’s reputation as an inspiring teacher is well documented by his students’ international performances and prizes. His editions of music by Hummel, Vanhal, Beethoven and Ries are increasingly in demand.

Professor Andrew Graham Hill (Department of Surgery) is Head of the South Auckland Clinical School based at Middlemore Hospital. He is also a consultant general and colorectal surgeon at Middlemore. His research interests are in perioperative care in general surgery, and medical education. He is head of the multidisciplinary Auckland Enhanced Recovery after Surgery research group. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and of the American College of Surgeons as well as of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. He is on the Academy of Surgical Educators for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Professor Margaret Hyland (Department of Engineering Science) works in the areas of aluminium reduction technology and in surface engineering. Specialising in environmental and materials performance in smelters, she has worked with many of the world’s largest aluminium producers and suppliers. She is the Associate Director of the Light Metals Research Centre. She is currently leading a Marsden-funded project on the design of interfaces in multi-material systems with collaborators from Japan and Australia. She holds the position of Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and is the first woman to be promoted to Professor in Engineering at The University of Auckland.

Professor Martyn Nash (Department of Engineering Science) is Associate Director Research at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. His research interests include investigating cardiac mechanics and arrhythmogenesis using computational modelling and medical imaging (eg MRI and arrays of ECGs). He also studies the structure and mechanical function of a wide variety of other tissues and organ systems such as the breast, skin, pelvic floor and tongue. Currently he is co-leading a MSI-funded project to develop biomechanics modelling tools to aid clinicians with breast cancer imaging and detection.


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