Dr. Worku Gobeze

Current position: Research technician (August 2013- present) at Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS), Taupo, New Zealand

PhD: at the University of Otago, with Professor Sally Brooker (2007-2011)

MSc: at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia (2002-2004)

BSc: at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia (1999-2001)

Worku in front of the Registry building, University of Otago.

I joined Sally’s group, as a PhD student, in 2007. I am genuinely grateful to have worked under the supervision of Sally. Her professional guidance and support to students is immense. Her passion and excitement for novel discovery has been inspirational. Her attention to detail has also been quite unique and I benefited a lot from this, especially during the writing of my PhD thesis.

My PhD research has so far resulted in four publications in good journals, with some more papers to come. The department (of chemistry) is adequately equipped with a wide range of instruments that are accessible to learn hands on. This freedom of access is relatively rare in most places and is significantly helpful to progressing research smoothly and efficiently. In particular, as an inorganic specialist, I am very proud to have acquired in-depth skill in all aspects of single crystal X-ray diffraction: from growing and mounting crystals, to collecting data, to solving and refining the structure to publication standards. For specialist instruments that are not available in the department, like a SQUID magnetometer, Sally had a well-established link with an external collaborator, Professor Keith Murray (Monash), and I particularly benefited from this, obtaining quite a few magnetic datasets in a reasonable time-frame (now the group collects much of its own magnetic data, on the MacDiarmid Institute SQUID and PPMS instruments at Callaghan Innovation, Lower Hutt).

I am a proud father of two kiwi boys. My family and I love NZ so much that even in challenging times our desire to dwell here remains strong. It is really an engaging country with phenomenal natural beauty and unique culture. As the city of my highest educational achievement and also because of the friendships that we established during that significant period of our life, Dunedin will always have an especial place in my heart. However, for work we have moved north, and are fascinated by the beauty of the refreshing small town, Taupo, where we are now living. I am enjoying my new role as a research technician at GNS and our new life here in Taupo, and believe the best reward of our hard work is still to come.