Dr Mark Lay was one of three individuals recognised for their contribution to the University of Waikato’s science and engineering work placement programme, through awards presented by the University’s Cooperative Education Unit.
Three individuals have been recognised for their contribution to the University of Waikato’s science and engineering work placement programme, through awards presented by the University’s Cooperative Education Unit.
Waikato University’s Dr Mark Lay, Perry Resource’s Mike James and AgResearch’s Dr Marcelo Martinez were nominated for the Co-op Halo Awards by students who they supervised during work placements.
Cooperative education is the combination of work and study. Work placements are a key part of Waikato’s Bachelor of Science (Technology) and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degrees, where students spend time working in industry to gain real-world experience.
“Our dedicated industry supervisors are nominated by the students themselves, to recognise the enormous contribution supervisors make. A Halo Award is a large vote of thanks from the student and the Cooperative Education team,” says Cooperative Education Unit Director Professor Richard Coll.
All three recipients described the experience of supervising a work placement student as an equally important learning opportunity for both the supervisor and the student.
Dr Mark Lay, a Chemical and Biological Engineering lecturer from the University of Waikato has supervised one or more work placement students every year for the past six years. He says the experience of watching students develop their skills and becoming confident researchers, designers and engineers is a pleasure.
For Mike James, a laboratory manager at Perry Resources in Hamilton, this is the first time he has supervised a work placement student, and he thoroughly recommends the experience to other employers.
Also awarded was Dr Marcelo Martinez from the Reproductive and Developmental Biology team at AgResearch in Invermay. Dr Martinez’ most recent placement student was given the opportunity to work with him on the relationship between an ovarian phenotype and fertility of dairy cows. The ovarian phenotype relates to the number of ovarian follicles (that can be observed by ultrasound scanning) which is variable among cows, but very constant within individual animals.
“Working with placement students gives us the opportunity to have knowledge and learning experiences in a two-way fashion. We share experiences and knowledge, while we learn from each other. Due to the interactions with these students, myself and my team are enriched both professionally and personally,” says Dr Martinez.