Our team

Mark P. Taylor photo

Mark P. Taylor

PhD (Chem & MatEng), FIChemE, C.Eng, BE (Hons)

Professor Mark Taylor, director of the NZProduct Accelerator programme, spent 20 years in technology development and line management in heavy industry, primarily aluminium production and related businesses. During this time he worked at the interface between research and production, innovating to create higher value products, reducing energy and materials consumption, and managing major engineering and construction projects such as the $500m expansion of the Tiwai Point smelter.

His roles included Production Manager at NZAS, Upgrade Implementation Manager at NZAS, GM Technical for Comalco (1998) and GM Operations (2000) at Comalco's largest smelting operation, Boyne Smelters Ltd, in Queensland. In 2003 he joined the University of Auckland as Director of the Light Metals Research Centre, which has since become a world leader in research application in practice.

At the same time Mark served as Deputy-Director of the Materials Accelerator for three years and became Director of the Materials Accelerator and then the NZProduct Accelerator programmes in February 2012.

Mark Jones photo

Mark Jones

PhD (Biomedical Materials), BE (Hons)

Mark is Associate Professor in Chemical & Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland, and has 20 years research experience with an industrial focus, including 6 years as a member of a large national ceramics project in Japan. Mark has published extensively and holds patents in the areas of materials development and performance. He is a Professional Engineer with chartered status and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, UK (IOM3).


Brian McMath photo

Brian McMath

B.Sc. (Hons)

Brian has over 40 years commercial experience in NZ & the UK in production, sales, market development, marketing & general management with Ford Motor Company, BOC Gases, APV, & Burkert Fluid Controls.

He currently runs his own company supplying products to the equine industry and is an active member of the Auckland based ICE Angels investment group. He is a trustee of a number of Charitable Trusts, Past President of the Newmarket Rotary Club and Rotary District 9920 Vocational Chairman.

Karnika De Silva photo

Karnika De Silva

PhD (Chem), MSc. (Polymer Tech), B.Sc. (Hons)

Dr Karnika De Silva has a PhD from University of Aston, UK. She has expertise in R/D, commercial and technology related projects in rubber, plastics, composites and coatings. . Karnika is the Industrial Materials Specialist and Project Director for industry-led projects in the NZProduct Accelerator and the commercial materials expert in the MBIE funded Biocide Toolbox programme hosted by the University of Auckland. She is also a Principal Investigator in some short term consultancy projects in both programs.

Karnika has many years of experience at PPG Industries NZ, where she has involved in developing several UV curable coatings, concept to commercialisation. Before migrating to NZ, she worked at the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka as the Deputy Director Research (Technology) and won a national merit award for her valuable contribution to the manufacturing industries. In her current position, she extends her services to provide short-term consultancies in materials, process and product related issues and undertakes the responsibility to offer product testing services required by the manufacturing industry.


Anthony Meyer photo

Anthony Meyer

MBA, BSc Mech. Eng.

After a spell as section engineer in mining, Anthony held technical and general management positions in the South African domestic and commercial refrigeration manufacturing industries for 25 years, including start-up ventures. Anthony’s engineering brief includes a wide range of materials manufacturing and design skills.

On arrival in New Zealand he became involved in project management in the asphalt plant industry and is currently a manufacturing engineer in the NZProduct Accelerator and Hybrid Polymer programmes.

Dr. Shanghai Wei photo

Shanghai Wei

PhD, MEng, BEng.

Shanghai obtained his PhD in chemical and materials engineering from University of Auckland. He has many years of research and development experience in advanced materials characterisation, materials processing, alloy design and development, and coatings. He is a lecturer at the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering and project director for industry-led projects in NZProduct Accelerator. He has worked with researchers from the NZProduct Accelerator network and Product Accelerator industrial partners to upgrade the technologies in the New Zealand companies. 

Monique Bateman photo

Monique Bateman 


Monique graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Design Innovation majoring in Industrial Design. Following her studies she completed a research scholarship focusing on multi-material 3D printing for the improvement of Metamaterials, specifically Pentamode structures for wave manipulation.  She is now a Technologist and Industrial Designer at NZProduct Accelerator working alongside industry partners with a strong emphasis on design thinking throughout processes.

Monique Bateman photo

Jingjing Liu

PhD (Chemical & Materials Eng), ME (Hons), BE(Hons)

Jingjing is a postdoc research fellow in University of Auckland after obtaining her PhD from the department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland. She has a background in materials and metallurgy, research experience in molten electrolytes and aluminium electrolysis/refining. She is also a Project Lead in NZ Product Accelerator to and aim to develop industrial technologies for New Zealand businesses. At present Jingjing is engaged in research in Aluminium Smelting and Sustainable Energy Storage.

Monique Bateman photo

Harshpreet Singh

PhD (Chemical & Materials Eng), ME (Hons), BTech(Hons)

Harshpreet obtained his PhD in Chemical and Materials Engineering from the University of Auckland after being awarded University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. His research experience includes metal matrix composites, heat-sink materials, powder metallurgy, alloys design and metal injection moulding. In his current role, he is involved as Technologist and Project Lead for commercial projects at NZ Product Accelerator. He also mentors postgraduate and undergraduate students at the University of Auckland as a postdoctoral research fellow.  



The Product Accelerator Advisory Board provides guidance on our platforms, industry insights, and commercialisation advice. Its members are mostly senior industry representatives with considerable technical, R&D and commercialisation experience. The Advisory Board also includes the Sector Director, Specialised Manufacturing, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and a researchers’ representative, as well as the Director, Deputy Director, Business Development Manager, and Project Directors of the NZProductAccelerator team.

Industry members of the Manufacturing Materials Advisory Board


Steve Wilson --- Board Chair

Executive Director, Talbot Technologies Ltd

Steve is a Company Director and shareholder of a number of technical companies, including Talbot Technologies Ltd, (where he is an Executive Director) Holmes Solutions, and Solar Bright. He is a shareholder and Director of Powerhouse Ventures Ltd and an Advisory Board member for Cortexo, Design Energy, and the Mechanical Engineering Department of University of Canterbury.

He previously had 33 years’ experience as CEO of a number of private and public manufacturing exporters, including Donaghys Industries, Arthur Ellis, Viscount Plastics and LWR Hosiery and Underwear. He was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to manufacturing and is a Fellow of the N.Z. Institute of Management and a Life member of Plastics New Zealand.


Craig Armstrong

Sector Director, Specialised Manufacturing NZTE

Craig is Director - Customers at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. He has global executive experience with Lion Nathan, Cadbury Schweppes, Hunterskil Howard, CPLG, National Foods and HJ Heinz. He is also trying to make a success of growing and commercialising edible oils from tree crops.


Mark Taylor

Managing Director, Framecad

Mark is Managing Director of Framecad, a software and construction technology company with significant involvement in Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Engineering, and Automated Manufacturing and Modern Methods of Construction.   Mark’s experience has been around developing and commercializing   innovative products from NZ into a wide variety of international markets.  He is an advocate of customer centric innovation and NZTE s " Better by Design approach".


Michael Pervan

Managing Director AimAltitude

Michael is the Managing Director of ALTITUDE Aircraft Interiors. 

He joined AirNZ in 1989 and later worked for Boeing in Seattle before returning to New Zealand and subsequently leading the formation of Altitude Aerospace Interiors in 2008 after being manager of the AirNZ Auckland Design team for five years.  In 2014 Altitude was bought and merged with AIM Aviation to form AIM Altitude, with Michael becoming the Managing Director of the NZ arm of the group.  Altitude provides comprehensive services for the interior reconfiguration of Jet Airliners. The key to all their programmes is its design and engineering analysis capability particularly in composite technology.  AIM Altitude is experienced in all aspects of aerospace supply chain management, as well as the very complex aerospace certification process.


Mark Templeton

CEO, Aeroqual Ltd

Mark is an experienced CEO and Director with a track record in building successful NZ technology businesses. Mark is currently CEO and Director of Aeroqual Ltd, an growth stage company that sells outdoor air quality monitoring equipment in a range of international markets. He has previously held CEO positions at: Inro Technologies (robotic automation of forklifts); Actronic Technologies (mobile loading productivity solutions for materials handling); ESR Ltd – as foundation CEO on formation of the Crown Research Institutes.


Rob Heebink

R & D Executive, Gallagher Group Ltd

Prior to his appointment he held a variety of senior R&D management positions in New Zealand-based global technology companies. Rob is an experienced executive with extensive international experience in operations and R&D management.  He has a unique combination of Engineering and International Business Strategy, qualifications and experience.   Rob is a specialist in aligning R&D activities with business strategy and developing R&D as a strategic capability for sustainable growth and an international competitive advantage.  Rob was recently elected Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ for his contributions to advancing engineering practice and leadership in the profession.   

Rob is also a director of Hamilton-based Business Incubator and Entrepreneurship Centre, SODA Inc. Ltd. and he serves on the Industry Advisory Board of the School of Engineering at the University of Waikato.


Greg Sitters

CEO, Sparkbox Ltd

Greg is CEO of Sparkbox Venture Group and a member of the investment committee of Global from Day One.  Greg is an experienced IT professional and executive with more than 25 years working in NZ, Australia, Asia and the US. He was involved in setting up Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics in NZ, and has worked for these companies in NZ and overseas in executive management and international forums. 

He has founded three consulting companies primarily active in the IT sector across Australasia. 


Paul Dyson


Paul Dyson, a physicist and bio-medical engineer by training, began his career as a design engineer for implantable medical systems (pacemakers & defibrillators) and over a 33 years period he has gained diverse experience in international technology companies operating from Australia, France, UK, USA, India and NZ. He has been CEO of three start-up technology companies and, since 2005, has run the business in the Middle East and Africa for a US$10B NYSE-listed medical device company. 

Paul is an investor and director of early stage technology companies and Deputy Chairman of the Northern Cochlear Implant Trust and trustee of the PinDrop Foundation.