Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Friendly rivalry at Business School conference

Thursday 25 September 2014 11:52am

Prof Richard Blaikie and Prof John Knight image
Professor Richard Blaikie congratulates Professor John Knight on winning the School of Business' new Academic Interdepartmental Shield Challenge on Monday.

A conference at Otago’s School of Business earlier this week celebrated research and tested the rivalry between departments with a Three Minute Thesis-style competition for staff – the Academic Interdepartmental Shield Challenge.

The inaugural Business Annual Research Conference (BARC), held on Monday, brought staff and postgraduate students together to help build a strong and inclusive research community.

A representative from each of the School’s six departments delivered a three-minute talk, with Professor John Knight taking the Interdepartmental Shield for the Department of Marketing with his talk “Frankenfoods” which looked at perceptions of genetically modified foods and consumer’s purchasing behaviour.

A runner up certificate was awarded for a new staff category which went to Tobias Langlotz from the Department of Information Science whose topic was ‘Unobtrusive Interfaces for the Worldboard".

Alongside the staff challenge, postgraduate students also entered a Three Minute Thesis competition. The postgraduate winner was also from the Department of Marketing, PhD candidate Fatima McKague, who spoke about "Energy Hardship in New Zealand".

Organiser Kirsten Robertson says it was great to create a situation where postgraduates and staff were on an equal footing, with the same challenge – describing their research in just 180 seconds – in front of them.

“It was also wonderful seeing the diversity of research that is happening across our School. On the other hand, there were a number of similarities between research being conducted in different departments, so the conference has opened up opportunities for future collaborations.”

Professor John Knight was pleased to win the Challenge – which he admits was difficult.

“For my old synapses, learning exact words and sentences to fit 180 seconds while still pretending to be spontaneous was a huge challenge. My dog is heartily sick of hearing it (and probably so is my wife).”

Dr Robertson says the BARC will be held again next year and hopes it will become a strong feature on the School’s calendar.