About the Faculty of Science & Engineering
Waikato is home to some of the most well-respected researchers in the science and engineering communities. Our researchers, your lecturers, are amongst the best in the country. Teaching and research in the Faculty is supported by first-class facilities and some of the world's most advanced laboratory equipment - like the Bruker Centre of Mass Spectrometry Excellence for investigating molecular structure, the largest collection of instruments of its type in New Zealand.
The Faculty of Science & Engineering comprises the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth & Ocean Sciences and the School of Engineering. We offer strong academic programmes in these subject areas as well as in physics, materials and process technology, and science and technology education. We also offer a number of interdisciplinary subjects such as animal behaviour and environmental sciences.
The Faculty has truly gifted staff who perform radical and innovative research while fuelling the minds of energetic and talented students. It is a prime characteristic of a University degree to have teaching informed by research. Our staff have acquired national and international reputations in their subjects and place emphasis on maintaining a fruitful balance between the growth areas of scientific endeavour and the technological applications of that knowledge.
Professor Bruce Clarkson
Dean of Science & Engineering
University of Waikato
History of the Faculty
The University of Waikato was four years old in 1968 when the founding Vice-Chancellor Don Llewellyn received funding from the University Grants Committee (UGC) to build a School of Science.
As the science buildings took shape the four foundation professors, chemist Alex Wilson, who became the first dean, soil scientist John McCraw, biologist Jim Prendergrast, and physicist Bruce Liley, worked in a prefab hut preparing for the first intake of science students.
Prof McCraw recalls the expectations of those days: "They give you an ex-army hut, you go out to a rubbish tip to get your equipment, and you make a start. Then you get money as time goes on".
In March 1970, the new School of Science opened its doors and has since evolved from demonstrating random selection with pingpong ball experiments to launching rockets from the University’s rugby grounds.