MacDiarmid researchers successful in 2019 MBIE round

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MacDiarmid researchers successful in 2019 MBIE round

25 October, 2019

Seven MacDiarmid Institute Investigators have been awarded $20.29 million funding for their research through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Endeavour Fund.

The Fund supports scientists to explore new research ideas with 'transformational potential', delivering impacts across a range of economic, environmental and societal objectives including Vision Mātauranga.

Research Programme grants

Untitled design3Chris Bumby - Victoria University of Wellington

Associate Investigator Chris Bumby has been awarded $6.4 million over five years for his research 'zero-CO2 production of essential technological metals.'

Chris is based at the Robinson Research Institute of Victoria University of Wellington as a Senior Scientist. He is an applied materials physicist with diverse research interests, ranging from semiconductor device physics through to prototype superconducting machines.


8 v2Petrik Galvosas - Victoria University of Wellington

Associate Investigator Petrik Galvosas has been awarded $9.8 million over five years for his research '3-D printed porous media for process engineering.'

Petrik is an Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington and his research interests lie in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). He is particularly interested in how advanced NMR methods may contribute to the understanding of molecular exchange processes as seen in microporous materials, and of transport and diffusion in natural porous media such as soil, rocks or aquifers.

Smart Ideas grants

8 v3Cather Simpson and Michel Nieuwoudt - University of Auckland

Emeritus Investigator Cather Simpson and Associate Investigator Michel Nieuwoudt have been awarded $1 million over three years for their research 'Drinking-water pathogen monitoring in real-time.'

Dr Cather Simpson is a Professor in Physics at the University of Auckland and the Director of the Photon Factory, a state-of-the-art pulsed laser research facility. Professor Simpson's own research interests lie with the fundamental photodynamics of molecules in the condensed phase. She and her students use ultrafast laser spectroscopy to study rapidly evolving molecules as they convert light to more useful forms of energy.


Dr Michel Nieuwoudt is a research scientist at the Photon Factory in the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland. Michel’s research focuses on transforming complex spectral data and large datasets into knowledge and insight. Michel combines different forms of spectroscopy with chemometric and machine learning approaches to interrogate materials without changing the sample matrix, revealing their properties and behaviour in situ, and interactions between multiple components in complex matrices.




8 v4Volker Nock - University of Canterbury

Principal Investigator Volker Nock has been awarded $1 million over three years for his research 'Development of a multi-axis spin-coating system to coat curved surfaces.'

Dr Volker Nock is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the Biomolecular Interactions Centre at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Volker's research interests include micro- and nanofabrication, surface patterning and the application of microfluidics to Lab-on-a-Chip devices. He applies engineering technologies to study how biomolecules interact in plants and animals.


6Nate Davis - Victoria University of Wellington

Associate Investigator Nate Davis has been awarded $1 million over three years for his research 'Non-toxic hybrid nanomaterials for luminescent solar concentrators.'

Dr Davis is a Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at the Victoria University of Wellington. His background is in chemistry and physics within the field of optoelectronics, specifically the creation of materials allowing light and electronic energy to be interchanged. He works on the synthesis of different nanomaterials (organic/inorganic) for optoelectronic applications such as photovoltaics, light emitting diodes and luminescence solar concentrators. 


7 v2John Kennedy - GNS Science

Principal Investigator Dr John Kennedy has been awarded $1 million over three years for his research 'Nano-catalytic surfaces for efficient, stable fuel cells and eco-friendly hydrogen production.'

Dr Kennedy is a Principal Scientist, Team Leader, Ion Beam Physics and Nanotechnology at National Isotope Centre, GNS Science. He is a materials scientist focussed on condensed matter research and nuclear instrumentation and has pursued a wide range of research projects related to application of ion implantation and ion beam analysis technique for characterising thin films, nanotechnology, advanced materials, biology, environmental and agricultural samples.