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Hack Tāmaki – Q&A with Michelle Dickinson, aka Nanogirl

Q&A with Michelle Dickinson, aka Nanogirl, as she prepares to judge local tech challenges at Hack Tāmaki, 26-28 March 2021 in Glen Innes, Auckland

How did you get into the world of tech?

Mostly from being a curious child that was always using a screwdriver to open up electronics so I could see how they worked! From there I learned to solder and played around with circuits and electronics.  This gave me the power to make things better and that has always been the driving force behind my love of building and improving hardware.

What do you love about tech?  What is your speciality area?

I’m a fracture mechanics engineer specialising in nanotechnology. That basically means that I make and break tiny things, including many of the components that go into your smart devices and electronics.

Where do you work?

I work at Nanogirl Labs, a company I co-founded to create novel hands-on experiences to help everybody, everywhere develop a meaningful relationship with science and technology.

Why are you involved in Hack Tāmaki?

I love the power that can come from bringing total strangers together who have a unified passion to use their skills to help solve real-world problems quickly while learning about a culture, market or field that they may never have worked in before. Hackathons are really special occasions where innovation happens right in front of your eyes, and I love being a part of something that is humbling and yet so powerful at the same time.

What are you most looking forward to seeing at Hack Tāmaki?  

“Outside of the box” thinking and watching people thrive from using their skills to solve problems that they might not have even known existed before the event.

As a judge what are you expecting to see?

Tight, well thought out presentations reflecting solutions from the lens of a team that started as complete strangers yet together created something new.

As a judge what makes a presentation stand out?

Storytelling is how we humans have communicated over generations, and for me powerful storytelling in a presentation flicks a switch in my brain to pay attention, as well as retain more information.

Join Hack Tāmaki on 26-28 March in Auckland.   

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