Can sound make beer better? And other things Auckland Uni's investigating

  • 14/09/2017
Beer
Alcohol can make music sound better - is the reverse true? Photo credit: Getty

Funding to the tune of $18.6 million will help researchers at the University of Auckland look into beer fermentation, detecting and dating earthquakes and a device to diagnose skin cancer, among others.

Eight University of Auckland Faculty of Science research projects have been awarded funding from this year's Endeavour Fund. The funding is from three to seven years.

Dean of Science Professor John Hosking says Wednesday's announcement by Science and Innovation minister Paul Goldsmith reflected the quality and innovation of research within the faculty.

"These projects have the potential to significantly benefit the daily lives of New Zealanders and they are at the forefront of science internationally," he said.

Research led by Photon Factory founder Professor Cather Simpson from the university's Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry attracted funding of more than $12.8m for two projects.

She will lead development of ultra-fast laser manufacturing, which receives $11.8m in funding, while a project to develop portable and handheld devices for skin cancer diagnosis - with the potential to provide a non-invasive method to detect cancerous skin lesions - receives just under $1m.

Research led by Professor Andrew Jeffs from the Institute of Marine Science receives $1m to help determine how different components of sound, such as pitch and loudness, can beneficially alter the beer fermentation process.

A project led by School of Biological Sciences Research Fellow Kim Handley will investigate how microbial processes influence groundwater quality, while Professor Joel Baker from the School of Environment has been awarded $999,823 to develop a new tool for detecting and dating earthquakes in New Zealand's distant past.

NZN