The Dame Charmian O'Connor Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences


Potential projects


Energy reduction in Office IT work


Standard laptop computers have become a major factor of electrical energy consumption in a modern energy aware household. For people trying to go off-grid a modern laptop is a notable obstacle. This also can increase the digital divide.

The problem lies chiefly in the software. In this project we will investigate software solutions and fitting hardware choices that make the work more user friendly and reduce energy consumption.

Supervisor: Gerald Weber, School of Computer Sciences g.weber@auckland.ac.nz

Energy aware cloud computing


Online services have dramatically increased power consumption. Search and other online services are often optimized with speed in mind but not with energy consumption. In this project we look at cloud technologies that are energy aware and can save dramatically the resource consumption of online work. A second part of the project is an energy aware cloud user homepage where the user can keep track of the energy usage.

Supervisor: Gerald Weber, School of Computer Sciences g.weber@auckland.ac.nz

Utilizing alternative fibres for paper saving


Certain visual art forms are dependent on the use of paper, such as drawing, watercolour, gouache. The wet properties of current cotton-based papers (wet deformation, waviness) is a big problem. Cotton paper expands when wet. For that reason, currently very thick paper strengths are used, 300gsm is the standard for pure cotton, about 4 times as thick as office paper. This of course is resource intensive. Historically this seemed to be not the case, it seems that even thinner paper did not buckle so extremely. It seems to be that different fibres, especially linen/flax, used therein had different wet properties. In this project, different fibres, including NZ flax (a different plant than linen/flax), as well as mineral paper ingredients, will be investigated. This would possibly show a path to using less resources in the future. The project has a strong literature research component as well as an experimental component.

Supervisor: Gerald Weber, School of Computer Sciences g.weber@auckland.ac.nz