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Dr Elke Pahl was appointed Associate Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. The MacDiarmid Institute is a centre for research excellence providing a national network for leading New Zealand material scientists (see MacDiarmid Institute). Elke was selected due to her research on the modelling of material properties in dependence on the size of the systems from small few-atom clusters to solids. Of particular interest is the modelling of melting processes and how the material properties change in extreme environments characterised by ultra-high pressures and strong magnetic fields.