New Associate Investigators 2021 » The MacDiarmid Institute
New Associate Investigators 2021

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New Associate Investigators 2021

5 May, 2022

Dr Mathew Anker is a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). His main research interests are in developing the synthesis of novel organometallic complexes, investigation of their underlying electronic structure and delineation of fundamental patterns of reactivity.

Professor Catherine Bishop joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury in 2008, where she currently leads the Materials Cluster@UC, a large network of materials researchers at the University of Canterbury. Professor Bishop’s research bridges structure-property-processing-performance interrelationships in alloys and ceramics.

Dr Kai Chen is a Scientist at the Robinson Research Institute, having previously worked with Professor Justin Hodgkiss’ Ultrafast Spectroscopy group at VUW. Dr Chen’s research focuses on advanced optoelectronic materials and spectroscopy technologies. As a spectroscopist, he has
experience in optics, nonlinear optics, and advanced laser and spectroscopy systems.

Dr Courtney Ennis is a Lecturer in the University of Otago’s Department of Chemistry. His research is focused on the vibrational signatures of crystalline materials, such as metallic-and hydrogen-bonded organic frameworks; specifically, how these signals are altered under changing environment and with the uptake of adsorbed gases.

Dr Prasanth Gupta works as an Ion Beam Scientist at GNS Science, having previously completed his PhD with VUW and GNS Science in 2017. He currently leads research in GNS Science to develop alternative catalysts to platinum in the hydrogen industry and design novel electrochemical systems for ammonia production.

Dr Muhammad Hanif is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Auckland (UoA). His research is underpinned by molecular design and synthetic inorganic chemistry. Over the years, most of his research has been focused on the design and functionalisation of organometallic compounds. More recently, Dr Hanif has been investigating metal complexes as molecular spintronics and photosensitisers.

Professor Patricia Hunt joined VUW in 2020 as a Professor of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry. Professor Hunt is a world leading expert on molecular level interactions within liquids/solvents, particularly in understanding ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents/electrolytes. She is also an expert in molecular orbital theory and hydrogen bonding.

Dr Luke Liu is a Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at VUW, having previously worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. Dr Liu’s current research projects, supported by Royal Society Te Apārangi and VUW, focus on tackling challenges in storing, distributing, and potentially exporting green hydrogen generated from renewable sources.

Dr Taniela Lolohea is a Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). His research involves exploring the fundamental aspects of plasma-material interactions and how these interactions can be utilized to control features of novel surface coatings. Alongside this, Dr Lolohea
is endeavouring to discover Pacific science knowledge systems, creating research with real life impact on his community.

Associate Professor Steven Matthews is a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at UoA. His research focuses on novel coating functionalities through manipulation of carbide/oxide microstructures, the use of thermal spraying to promote environmental remediation and biodiversity in marine environments, and the development of novel catalytic coatings for wet oxidation.

Dr Kim McKelvey has been working as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at VUW since 2020, following three years at Trinity College Dublin as an Associate Professor. His research involves using nanoscale electrochemical methods to study energy storage and conversion technologies (such as batteries, fuel cells, electrolysis cells, sensors).

Dr Kannan Ridings is a Lecturer in Physics at UoA. He is also the coordinator for the Tuākana programme at UoA which offers tutoring and mentoring to Māori and Pacific students. Dr Ridings’ research is in theoretical and computational materials science, specifically looking at memristive properties that emerge from nanowire networks.

Dr Cameron Weber is currently a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Centre for Green Chemical Science at UoA. His research interests are in the understanding of intermolecular interactions and use of alternative solvents such as ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents and
switchable solvents, and he has a particular focus on addressing issues around sustainability.

Dr Ben Yin is a Principal Engineer at the Robinson Research Institute at VUW. His research interests span the creation of inorganic and organic materials and their applications in the environmental and energy industries. Dr Yin’s work includes the membrane separation process,
fabrication and applications of porous materials, and hydrogen production and applications.

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