Frédérique Vanholsbeeck

Frédérique Vanholsbeeck
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After studying architecture for two years, I decided that I would be better off doing something else and went onto physics. I got a PhD in physics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) in 2003 where I also obtained a diploma in teaching (secondary). Originally, from Belgium, I moved to New Zealand in 2003 and have been at The University of Auckland since then. With my partner, also an academic, we have had three kids born in New Zealand and are well settled in this country.  In 2005, I started an experimental biophotonics research group to develop novel imaging technologies. My research team is now MBIE- and Marsden-funded, and strong of twelve people from all over the world (and 50% female). My research interests span from counting bacteria for food safety and antibiotics testing, to detecting early signs of diseases. Early on, I also got interested in equity and work-life balance issues, first through my involvement with the Women returning to work project of the TEU, then as Tuākana coordinator for Physics. In 2010, I was on the Equity Committee of the Faculty of Science, and this led me in 2015 to help create and lead the Equity Committee of my Department. I also got involved with equity in my discipline as councillor and committee member of the Australia and New Zealand Optical Society and of the International society for optics and photonics(SPIE). My work in equity has been recognised by the award of the Pleiades Silver level of the Astronomical Society of Australia to our department, then by the Diversity Award of The Optical Society of America. In 2019, I took on new challenges as Associate Dean Diversity and Inclusivity for the Faculty of Science and chair of the TEU’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationship group. In2019, I was also part of the UoA bargaining team, which has been a hard and rewarding experience. Through my work as an academic, an associate dean equity and an union member, I aim to improve our working conditions in terms of pay and workload. I also have a strong focus on recruitment and retention of a more diverse staff cohort as well as making tertiary institutions a safer and more welcoming environment. 

 

Nga mihi,

 

Fred