Our Network

Our Business and Project Leads

Mark Jones

Mark Jones

Co-Director

Bio

Mark is an Associate Professor in Chemical & Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland and has 20 years of 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).

Karnika De Silva

Karnika De Silva

Soft Materials, Bioprocessing and Recycling

Bio

Karnika has her PhD from University of Aston, UK. Her background is in Polymers and she has interests in sustainable polymer composites and coatings. She contributes to NZPA as the Senior Industry Materials Specialist and a Project Lead and engaged in industry projects involving multidisciplinary technologies. Karnika has won numerous awards including Commonwealth scholarship and funding from NSF, NSERC, CIDA, UNIDO, CFC and the Malaysian government to work on assignments overseas. She has industry and academic experience and before migrating she was the Deputy Director Research (Technology) at the RRISL

Shanghai Wei

Shanghai Wei

Materials and Surfaces

Bio

Shanghai is a Lecturer in Chemical & Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland. He has several years R&D experience in energy storage materials, advanced materials characterisation, nanostructured materials, metals and alloys. He is also a Project Lead at NZ Product Accelerator working with industry partners in commercial projects.

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor

Co-Director

Bio

Professor Mark Taylor has spent 30 years in technology development and line management in heavy industry, primarily aluminum production, and related businesses. During this time he worked at the interface between research and production, innovating to create high-value products, reduce energy and materials consumption, and manage major engineering and construction projects such as the $500m expansion of the Tiwai Point smelter. Mark has served as Director of the Materials Accelerator and then the NZProduct Accelerator programs from 2009-2020.

Anthony Meyer

Anthony Meyer

Manufacturing Technology

Bio

After a spell as a 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 NZ Product Accelerator programme.

Monique Bateman

Monique Bateman

Design Innovation

Bio

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 NZ Product Accelerator working alongside industry partners with a strong emphasis on design thinking throughout processes.

Brian McMath

Brian McMath

Business Development Manager

Bio

Brian has over 40 years of commercial experience in NZ & the UK in production, distribution, sales, business development, marketing & general management with Ford Motor Company, BOC Gases, APV, & Burkert Fluid Controls. He has been involved with the forerunner of the Product Accelerator, The Materials Accelerator since its inception.

Jingjing Liu

Jingjing Liu

Energy and Emissions

Bio

Jingjing is a postdoc research fellow in University of Auckland after obtaining her PhD from the department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, UoA. 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.

Kevin Sheehy

Kevin Sheehy

Business Development Manager

Bio

Kevin is a Business Development Manager with the NZPA and a Commercialisation and Industry Engagement Manager for the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and nanotechnology. Kevin has a clinical background with commercial, strategy and governance experience supporting science from the lab to market.

Harshpreet Singh

Harshpreet Singh

Sensing and Automation

Bio

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 process metallurgy, 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.

Our Research Partners

Consisting of New Zealand and international companies, more than 100 researchers and practitioners from 9 research organisations and several government organisations.

Sarat Singamneni

Sarat Singamneni

Bio

Manufacturing science and engineering are Sarat’s core areas of research interests and expertise. Experimental, analytical, and numerical evaluation of the material, process, structure, and property relationships in particular in additive processing methods are the current focus areas. Interdisciplinary research, exploring the interactions between different branches of research such as materials and manufacturing science and electromagnetic physics is his passion.

Loulin Huang

Loulin Huang

Bio

Loulin Huang is associate professor in Mechatronics in Auckland University of Technology (AUT) . He has more than thirty years’ research experience in the areas of robotics, mechatronics, sensing and control. He has completed more than thirty industrial and government-funded projects, and  has more than  100 research publications.

James Lim

James Lim

Bio

James’ research is mainly on cold-formed steel structures, with a special focus on its application to portal frames. James is the New Zealand representative on Au/NZ 4600. Since arriving in New Zealand in 2014, his research has been supported by industry either through direct sponsorship of PhD students or Callaghan Innovation Research and Development Fellowships. Students are engaged in laboratory testing, finite element analysis and formulation of design recommendations. James has authored / co-authored around 120 journal papers and supervised twelve PhD students to completion.

Kaveh Shabhaz

Kaveh Shabhaz

Bio

Kaveh is a lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland. Kaveh is an expert in green chemical engineering, particularly in designing, characterization and using Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) as promising eco-solvents and alternatives to conventional solvents in chemical processes (i.e., Extraction, Separation and Purification, and catalysis)

Olaf Diegel

Olaf Diegel

Bio

Olaf is an educator and a practitioner of additive manufacturing (AM) and product development with an excellent track record of bringing innovative solutions to engineering problems. In his role as professor of additive manufacturing, at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand, he is involved in all aspects of AM and is one of the principal authors of the annual Wohlers Report, considered by many to be the bible of AM. Over the past three decades he has developed over 100 commercialized new products and received numerous product development awards for this work

Mark Dyer

Mark Dyer

Bio

Mark is Dean of Engineering at Waikato University. Before hand he held the McNamara Chair Construction Innovation at Trinity Dublin. At Waikato he is passionate to pursue the link between maths physics and innovation.

Leandro Bolzoni

Leandro Bolzoni

Bio

Dr. Leandro Bolzoni is physical metallurgist with extensive expertise on the design, processing and characterisation of innovative light metals manufactured by means of conventional and advanced near-net-shape techniques aiming to develop futuristic advanced materials such as architecture and heterostructure alloys through metamorphic manufacturing processes for sustainable high added-value products.

Johan Potgieter

Johan Potgieter

Bio

Johan Potgieter is a professor of Robotics within the Massey Agritech Partnership (MAP) Research Centre. His current research interests are mainly in areas of Additive Manufacturing and advanced mechatronics/robotics with applications in medicine and automotive related areas. He has a well established reputation for his work in educational robotics and have been inducted into the World Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation Hall of Fame. Johan has created a hub for some of the most outstanding innovation, robotics, IOT (Internet of Things) and 3D printing.

Khalid Arif

Khalid Arif

Bio

Khalid Arif received the B.E. degree (Hons.) in mechanical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, in 2000, the master’s degree in engineering from The University of Tokyo, in 2004, and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA, in 2011. He is currently a Senior Lecturer (Range 2) in mechatronics and robotics in the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, SF&AT, Massey University, Auckland. He heads Sensors and Smart Systems Laboratory and his research interests include sensors/biosensors, the IoT, robotics, and additive manufacturing.

Don Cleland

Don Cleland

Bio

Theme leader for Materials, Manufacturing Technology and Design for the Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI) National Science Challenge. Professor of Process Engineering in the School of Food and Advanced Technology at Massey University, New Zealand. Interests include industrial refrigeration, heat pumping, energy efficiency and food processing.

John Kennedy

John Kennedy

Bio

John has 20 years’ experience in research and development of advanced materials for manufacturing industries. He is leading the projects in energy materials, electronic and magnetic devices sectors. Originator of several technologies under US and EU patents (sensors and coatings). John leads the GNS Science SSIF programme of Materials for Low carbon Future.

John Futter

John Futter

Bio

John has experience in Electronics Engineering including high voltage solid state design, low noise signal conditioning, power electronics including inverters and solid state motor drives. Scientific instrument design including novel magnetic, gas, humidity, and optical sensors.

Simon Fraser

Simon Fraser

Bio

Simon has over 35 years’ experience in practice-based design research in industry and academia, through a variety of roles such as Assistant Design Director at the Porsche Design Studio, Head of School and Associate Dean of Research & Innovation at the VUW School of Design and affiliations with the NZ Product Accelerator, MedTech CoRE and the NSC Science for Technological Innovation.

Jim Johnston

Jim Johnston

Bio

Professor Jim Johnston is a founding Principal Investigator in the NZ Product Accelerator. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Jim’s research is at the university-industry interface where he is recognised nationally and internationally for his contributions in materials science and new chemical technology and product development. He leads a team of 12 MSc, PhD and Research Fellows, has written 200 research papers, made 180 at international conferences presentations, is an inventor on 19 Patents, and has received numerous awards.

Rebecca Hurrell

Rebecca Hurrell

Bio

Rebecca Hurrell is Institute Manager of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre, a multi-disciplinary research centre based at the University of Canterbury. She is an experienced research manager, with particular experience working with researchers and industry to develop new research ideas and grow them into substantial programmes of research.

Jennifer Crowther

Jennifer Crowther

Bio

Jennifer is a biochemist with experience in protein characterisation and synthetic biology, with particular interests in food science and sustainability. She has worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Canterbury and the University of Edinburgh. Jennifer is currently a Research Advisor in the management team of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre at the University of Canterbury

Raechel M Laing

Raechel M Laing

Bio

Expertise includes research, teaching and consultation on fibres/textiles and products manufactured from these – their structure, function, and performance, as well as physical and physiological effects on humans. Active on AS/NZS committees on PPE, The Textile Institute Council (International), and Journal of The Textile Institute (subject editor).

Enrico Tronchin

Enrico Tronchin

Bio

Enrico is a Commercialisation Manager for the SfTI National Science Challenge, where he helps researchers to engage with industry and the commercialisation process, cultivate entrepreneurship skills and navigate innovation support systems. Previously he’s worked in industry, university and government organisations building teams and corporate functions to support innovation.

Advisory Board

Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson

Board Chair, Executive Director, Talbot Technologies Ltd

Bio

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.

Mark Templeton

Mark Templeton

CEO, Aeroqual Ltd

Bio

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.

Craig Armstrong

Craig Armstrong

Sector Director, Specialised Manufacturing NZTE

Bio

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.

Rob Heebink

Rob Heebink

R & D Executive, Gallagher Group Ltd

Bio

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.

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor

Managing Director, Framecad

Bio

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”.

Paul Dyson

Paul Dyson

Entrepreneur

Bio

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.

Michael Pervan

Michael Pervan

Managing Director, Aim Altitude

Bio

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.