RENZ Trustees

The Robotics Education NZ (RENZ) Trust was established in 2013 to carry on the work begun by Harold Russ and Ruth Purnell in 2003. One of the Trust's core purposes is to run the National Robocup Junior competition, and support the running of the regional competitions. The trustees are all long-term members of a wider group which runs the annual Otago regional Robocup Junior event.

The Trustees:

Donald Liddell

Donald is the Electrical Team Leader at Scott Technology Ltd. His son Ben introduced him to Robocup Junior many years ago. Ben now comes back every year to help judge the soccer. Donald has chaired the Otago Robotics Education Committee, which runs the Otago competition and from which the Trust developed, for as long as we can remember. He now chairs the Trust as well. Donald networks tirelessly to connect local engineering and IT businesses with local schools to their mutual advantage.

Bill Boyes

From a career in Agricultural Engineering, Bill has been teaching Design Technology to intermediate age students since 2003. He has introduced robotics units to his school and now all 500 students complete at least one robotics unit each year. Those interested can pursue electives in more advanced robotics and prepare for the local and national robotics competitions. He has been active on the regional robotics committee since it began and helped at a National level for a number of years. Bill's interests are Practical Engineering, Design, Simple Electronics and Robotics.

Anthony Robins

Anthony is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Otago. He got started with Lego robots in 2006, while his children were at school. The kids have long since grown up and moved on, but Anthony and the robots are still busy with projects for schools, and Robocup Junior.

Mike Paulin

Mike is Associate Professor in Zoology at the University of Otago. He teaches neurobiology, applied statistics and computational modelling. His research is about neural mechanisms that animals use for perceiving and controlling movements. Current projects involve sharks, frogs and spiders. Between 1999 and 2006, Mike worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on navigation and control systems for advanced autonomous robots.

Chris Edwards

Chris enjoys finding frivolous and serious uses for technology. In addition to teaching database systems at the University of Otago's Information Science department, he runs an after-school mechatronics club, and has helped with a number of University outreach programmes. He has interests in music and audio, computer performance tuning, telemetry and control systems, digital forensics, and is a big fan of Pure Data and Tcl/Tk. Recent obsessions include 3D printing and CNC machine tools.

Heather Robertson

Heather started competing in Robocup Junior in 2013. This lead to a career at Scott Technology Ltd. and she now helps run the local and national competitions each year. Heather is passionate about robotics and loves seeing the new and innovative ideas that students come up with every year.

Ryely Burtenshaw-Day

Ryely works for Bremca as an Automation Engineer. She started out competing in RoboCup Jr in 2012, and that lead to her completing a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics at the University of Canterbury. Throughout the course of her degree she taught robotics to school students, and continued with her involvement in RoboCup Junior as a judge. Since graduating she has joined the trust to help organise Robocup Junior and is passionate about supporting schools doing robotics.

Phillipa Dick

Phillipa is an educator who is passionate about creative problem solving and hands-on learning. Robotics is a great way to get kids doing just that in the classroom! Phillipa set up Hatch Education as a way to connect young people with rapidly evolving technologies so that they could learn how to create new possibilities. She is particularly keen to get more girls involved in robotics and is inspired by her fellow trustees, Heather and Ryely, who have created careers for themselves which started by getting involved in Robocup.