Unitec Research Committee Reports

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    Focus on Fiji: GIS Mapping to Support Conservation Planning
    (2013) Winder, Linton; Aguilar, Glenn; Unitec Institute of Technology
    In collaboration with the Institute of Applied Science of the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, the project conducted research on the development of a Geographic Information System for biodiversity conservation, development planning and environmental management. The objectives of the research include the characterization of the spatial distribution of key organisms that are of conservation interest, the determination of the effects of environmental perturbations such as climate change and contributing models that support mitigation strategies and conservation prioritization.
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    Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen
    (2013) Wagner, Daniel
    Student participants in three countries across the planet collaborated to make movies, with their mobile phones, about environmental sustainability. The thirty‐nine participants ‐ film & television students at Unitec PASA; acoustics and sound students at Salford University in Manchester, UK; and graphic design students at Université de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France ‐ divided into four international teams (each of which consisted of students from all three countries). They used a variety of Web 2 tools – Google Docs, Google+ Hangouts, Twitter, Dropbox, WordPress ‐ to collaboratively determine the specific subject matter and the story of each team’s film, the shots they would need to tell each story, and in which country each shot would be taken. In the end, they delivered four mobile movies that looked at different sustainability sub‐topics. The project was capped with feedback from the lecturers involved and by video reflections from the students.
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    Unitec Research Houses
    (2013) Tait, Robert
    Internationally there is a move to more airtight buildings as a means of conserving energy. Air tightness is a measure of possible infiltration through the building envelope and is often confused with ventilation within the industry. This project focuses on the impact on the overall internal space temperatures and humidity. Light timber frame houses in New Zealand are not performing to recommended temperature and humidity levels.
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    Promoting heritage: a conservation study of Apia courthouse
    (2013) Schnoor, Christoph
    The overall aim of the project was to protect the former Courthouse in Apia, Samoa from demolition, to research its history and its current physical state, to prepare a plan for its protection, restoration and future use. Also, through publicly showing the steps of the process, the project aimed at raising awareness about the necessity and problematic current situation of heritage conservation in Samoa
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    Robotic chair for remote cardiovascular risk assessment
    (2013) Jayawardena, Chandimal
    The objective of this project was to develop an intelligent robotic chair for cardiovascular risk assessment. The first prototype of the chair is currently in the technical testing phase. This robotic chair can engage users (patients) using human-robot interaction strategies and help them improve their cardiovascular risk. It measures several clinical parameters within a short period of time, by providing appropriate instructions to the user. Collectively these measurements can be used to provide a comprehensive assessment of the severity of heart failure symptoms, and this information may then be used to guide management and avoid hospital admission.