David Greig

David is the President of the Tauranga Astronomical Society where he has been a member for 11 years, since 2011.

He’s had a life-long interest in space / astronomy since when as a child he bought his first telescope at 14 years old, more than 40 years ago. He used to spend many hours outside watching the night sky, counting satellites and meteors (shooting stars).

Like most amateur astronomers, he loves sharing his interest in astronomy with others.  At the TAS Observatory (in Fergusson Park, Matua), they run astronomy programs for all ages, from very young to very old. One thing he has learned is that you never stop learning. There is always something new to learn and new discoveries about space are being made all the time.

Morgane Merien

Morgane is currently a Science and Curatorial Communicator at Canterbury Museum and also the presenter for the kids TV show Bug Hunter which is all about bugs and is currently streaming on TVNZ! She is also finishing her doctoral thesis researching camouflage and colour in our native stick insects.

She has close ties to the Entomological Society of New Zealand, of which she is currently the outreach officer. She feels incredibly lucky to have lived in Aotearoa for the past 15 years, but am originally from New Caledonia she has spent much of her early childhood there. She’s also lived in French Guyana for a few years! Passionate about all part of our natural world, but even more so regarding invertebrates, and especially insects, she believes that science belongs to everyone, and that it is part of our jobs as scientists to avail ourselves to the public and help communicate our research, making it accessible to everyone.

She enjoys talking to people about bugs, and science in general and hope to do it for the rest of her life!

Charlie Hazeleger Mollard

A recent graduate from St Peter’s College, Palmerston North, Charlie is now about to attend Massey University, Palmerston North and complete a four year Degree in Engineering (Mechatronics).

He has been involved in VEX Robotics for the past seven years and has gained several awards and tournaments (2 x National Excellence Award, 2 x National Tournament Champ, 1 x Design Award). Thanks to PowerCo, he was able to attend the VEX Robotics World Championship 2022 event in Dallas, Texas, USA. You can only attend this event if you qualify in the top spots through your country’s national event. Charlie qualified for the past three years, but this was the first time he could actually attend in the High School division. The VEX World Champ’s event has over 24,000 students from approximately 70 different countries. 

He is also coaching vex teams around the Manawatu, giving back to the STEM community.

Alex Altobelli

Alex is a Systems Engineer at Beca Applied Technologies currently working across a wide range of projects across the defence and commercial aerospace industry. Prior to moving to New Zealand, she worked in various roles from test engineering to aerodynamicist. She was introduced to engineering through a high school model rocket competition and never looked back!

Shen Hin Lim

Hin is a senior lecturer at the University of Waikato. He is also the programme leader of Mechatronics Engineering and convener of Master of Engineering in Mechanical, Mechatronics or Robotics disciplines.

He specialises in smart technologies and robotics in agriculture. He was the project leader of the asparagus harvester project that has developed 2 prototypes with successful field trials at Los Banos, California and in New Zealand.

He is also part of the research team of 2018 MBIE Endeavour Research Programme that covers three different horticulture areas, which are apple fruitlet thinning, grapevine pruning and blueberry harvesting. He is also the current chair of New Zealand Robotics, Automation and Sensing (NZRAS) group – a collaborative group working across research and science – that recently released the Robotics, Automation and Sensing (RAS) roadmap of New Zealand, found here. NZRAS also recently initiated a Postgraduate Seminar series, which will be held regionally three times a year in NZ. It is a 4-hour hybrid RAS seminar for postgraduate and undergraduate students to present their work to their peers and industry, and acts as a networking event.