Twins double up on degree
A pair of Auckland twins have graduated with near-identical doctorate degrees.
Samantha and Sophie Rodrigues both received their PhD in chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland’s May graduation ceremony.
On the surface the 26-year-olds and their degrees might look strikingly similar but there is much that sets them apart.
Samantha’s study in biomechanics has put her in a career at the Defence Technology Agency while Sophia’s research in oral food processing has led to post-doctoral work at the Univer- sity of Queensland.
Samantha says much of her work is strictly confidential but she can reveal at least a glimpse.
‘‘It’s a very exciting and varied role that’s focussed on helping the army, navy and airforce by using gadgets,’’ she says.
‘‘Right now I’m studying the effects of bullets on the rib cage.’’
Working in ballistics is about as far from food processing as you can get. Despite the twins striking similarities, there is much debate over whether or not they are identical.
‘‘My mum thinks we’re not identical, when she was pregnant the doctor said we were not. But me and my sister think we are,’’ Samantha says.
‘‘[Identical twins] naturally tend to be mirror images of each other.
‘‘There are some factors that make me think we are, including the fact that we both have an extra toe on one foot but on opposite feet.
‘‘I have an extra toe on my left foot and she has one on her right.
‘‘But we’re not completely the same, especially when it comes to food, so there definitely are some differences.’’
The decision to study engineering was a ‘‘no-brainer’’ for the Mt Roskill residents.
Although they share so many similar traits and interests, Samantha says sibling rivalry has never had a part to play.
‘‘Other people always tend to compare our grades but we want to support each other.
‘‘We couldn’t share all our problems but we certainly shared what we were going through.
‘‘In a way it’s nice to have someone living in the same house studying the same thing so you can support each other.’’
A tow truck with two vehicles on its deck was parked up against 97 Mount Eden Rd, the location of Promise Keepers, a Christian organisation.
The truck and two vehicles were fully inflamed by the time firefighters arrived, but within half an hour the fire was out.
Fire service shift manager Megan Ruru said the building was smoke-logged but otherwise undamaged.
‘‘In the end, the fire itself was just confined to the vehicles,’’ she said.
A call from the public brought the fire to the attention of authorities. At this point the cause of the fire is unknown, and is considered suspicious.
Police confirmed they were investigating on Thursday.
‘‘It’s a very exciting and varied role that’s focussed on helping the army, navy and airforce by using gadgets’’