Lasers, Warships and Kereru

An event for women and girls with an interest in science. Come and hear from three Women in Science about how a science background can lead to an exciting career.

Dr Cather Simpson is Associate Professor of Physics and Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland and Director of the Photon Factory.

Lieutenant Commander Angela Holland is a Weapons Engineering Officer in the Royal Navy.

Ashleigh Moore is a keeper at Auckland Zoo with an interest in birds, particularly New Zealand natives.

The event will be preceeded by the AWIS AGM.

Free tickets available from https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/lasers-warships-and-kereru-a-trilogy-of-women-in-science-tickets-26471269279

Speaker Bios
Cather Simpson joined the University of Auckland’s Physics and Chemistry departments in 2007. She is founding director of the Photon Factory, a multi-user laser and microfabrication facility that provides advanced laser technology to all NZ researchers. She received her Ph.D. in the US, and after a DOE Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, earned tenure at CWRU. She is a Principal Investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute and the Dodd-Walls Centre. Recent awards include a NZ National Teaching Excellence Award, a 2016 Silicon Valley Forum medal for Agtech. She was named the Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur and the BNZ Supreme Award winner at the 2016 KiwiNet commercialisation awards. She is also a New Zealand Primary Industries Champion.


After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in the Arts, Ashleigh Morrow found her true passion lay in wildlife conservation.  In 2012 she completed the Unitec certificate in Captive Wildlife Management and started working at Auckland Zoo as a keeper.  Since then she has worked across many sections of the zoo and has had the opportunity to work with a variety of species.  She found her interest lay in birds and in particular New Zealand natives.  The zoo is heavily invested in conservation and as a result she has had the opportunity to be involved in a number of fieldwork projects in the North Island including work in Te Urewera National Park, The Waitakere Ranges and Rotoroa Island.  Her most recent long term position was on Rotoroa Island as a wildlife ranger, monitoring populations of translocated wildlife.

Born in Stafford, England in 1965, Lieutenant Commander Ange Holland, RNZN lived and was educated in Northern Ireland. Graduating from University of Ulster with a BSc (Hons) in Microelectronic Systems she began her naval career in September 1987 joining the Womens Royal Naval Service (WRNS) specialising as a Weapon Engineer Officer (WEO).

She served on the ships HMS Southampton and HMS Invincible gaining her charge qualification before undertaking various engineering support roles ashore.  She immigrated to New Zealand in April 1993, transferring to the RNZN. Over the next 5 years Lieutenant Commander Holland undertook a variety of project management and engineering support roles before leaving the RNZN in 1998 to work in the commercial sector. Using her engineering skills and knowledge, she project managed a variety of communications and high power projects before undertaking patent attorney exams and working for AJ Park Intellectual Property Lawyers.

She re-joined the RNZN in 2009 undertaking further engineering project management and technical support roles before posting to sea as WEO on HMNZS Te Mana. Currently she is posted in a dual role as the fleet Operation Defects Manager and Project Manager for HMNZS Endeavour.

A solo parent with twin 15 year old sons, she enjoys running and swimming and supporting her sons in their sporting endeavours.