Research Projects and Case Studies
The School of Science and the School of Engineering have international reputations for research. Much of our research involves collaboration with businesses, other research institutes and local authorities, impacting and advancing research and development all over New Zealand and around the world. Here are some examples of these important research projects:
Protecting our ecosystems from invasive pests: Biosecurity is inextricably linked with the University’s focus on bio-heritage, restoration ecology, stream and lake health, as well as the monitoring of the coastal marine environment.
Protecting freshwater from algal blooms: Blue-green algal blooms are an increasing problem in lakes around the world.
The secret life of plants: The secret life of plants means we are still trying to figure out why different plant species grow and how they respond to climate change.
Vital clues in Antarctica’s Dry Valleys: Antarctica’s Dry Valleys may hold vital clues for scientists trying to understand the effects of climate change.
The trees are talking: Northland swamp kauri is helping University of Waikato scientists compile a timeline of changes in climate going back millennia.
New views from old soils: A break-through method for extracting possible ancient DNA from buried soils could provide clues to past environments and climate change.
Predicting annual rainfall for hydro lakes: Models that link wind and ocean water temperatures with rainfall would enable us to prepare for dry years.
Maintaining a healthy atmosphere: Nitrous oxide has serious consequences when emitted into the atmosphere: it is the largest contributor to the ozone hole.
Keeping our soil healthy and productive: Why have soil carbon levels declined in some soils over the past 30 years and can the trend be reversed?
Biodiscovery in our deep oceans: Could the mysterious depths of the world’s deepest oceans hold the key to a cure for cancer?
Unlocking the secrets of manuka honey: A range of doctoral and postgraduate research is developing scientific models for finding answers to key mānuka honey questions.
Probing research on implant electrodes: Heart, cochlear, spinal-cord and deep-brain stimulators all deliver therapeutic stimuli through electrodes implanted in the human body.
Understanding states of the brain: The work of the University of Waikato’s Cortical Modelling Group is helping the medical profession understand more about the brain.
Titanium alloys and 3D printing: The University of Waikato have been awarded Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) funding to research novel ways of producing and commercialising high-quality titanium and titanium products in New Zealand.
Increasing energy efficiency in our biggest industries: University of Waikato researchers are helping New Zealand’s biggest companies save millions of dollars by becoming more energy efficient.
Biodegradable plastic from animal protein waste: University of Waikato researchers have invented a novel manufacturing process to turn low-value animal protein into high-value biodegradable plastic.
Digging straight holes: The hole-drilling dibbler was built at Waikato University for treestock company ArborGen, which uses it to drill holes for planting pine cuttings in its nursery beds.
3D imaging for industrial uses: Cutting-edge imaging technology is being developed in the Chronoptics laboratory at the University of Waikato.
Forces at work: Engineering Professor Sinniah Ilanko is interested in the stability and vibration behaviour of mechanical and structural systems.
Powering a sustainable future: Researchers at the University of Waikato are pioneering the development of new supercapacitor-based approaches for energy recovery, power protection and optimised energy and water use.
Rena Research: Scientists at the University of Waikato and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic were heavily involved in the aftermath of the Rena oil spill, mounting an immediate response survey of marine species within two days of the ship’s grounding.