Associate Investigators » The MacDiarmid Institute
Associate Investigators

Our people

Professor Shaun Hendy

Professor Shaun Hendy

Associate Investigator

Towards Zero Waste - Reconfigurable Systems

+64 9 923 9936

Department of Physics
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142


Shaun Hendy is Director of the Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence, and a Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland. Shaun has a PhD in physics from the University of Alberta in Canada and a BSc (Hons) in mathematical physics from Massey University. 

He has a wide range of research interests, including computational physics, nanoscience, complex systems and innovation. 

In 2010, Shaun was awarded the New Zealand Association of Scientists Research Medal and a Massey University Distinguished Young Alumni Award.  In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand for his research on nanotechnology, and in 2013 he was awarded ANZIAM’s EO Tuck medal for research in applied mathematics.

Shaun blogs, writes for Unlimited Magazine and has a regular slot on Radio New Zealand Nights as physics correspondent. In 2012, Shaun was awarded the Callaghan Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize for his achievements as a science communicator. His first book, Get Off the Grass, co-authored with the late Sir Paul Callaghan, was published in August 2013.

Research interests

Shaun uses methods from theoretical and computational physics to study the properties of materials at the atomic scale. He is interested in how fluids flow over complex surfaces like those on leaves or Gore-Tex. He also studies the properties of nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles. Finally, he also uses methods from physics and mathematics to study how innovation works, particularly how it can be affected by collaboration and distance.

I'm interested in the challenge of finding a new way for the New Zealand economy.

Professor Shaun Hendy
Professor Shaun Hendy

In the news

Annual Report

Internationally connected

March 31, 2021

Nicola Gaston and Sally Brooker were invited to join a German Academic Exchange Service-funded delegation to Germany..

Read more about Internationally connected

In The Media

Covid-19: The maths that explains why we’re locking down

April 1, 2020

Want to avoid Covid-19? Shaun Hendy explains the statistical modelling that helps us understand how diseases spread.

Read more about Covid-19: The maths that explains why we’re locking down

Interface Magazine

Professor Nicola Spaldin – cosmic strings

March 24, 2015

What do the origins of the early universe have to do with materials science? More than you might think, according to Nicola Spaldin and her colleagues at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. Spaldin has found an unusual material that mimics aspects of the way the universe might have been shortly after the Big Bang.

Read more about Professor Nicola Spaldin – cosmic strings

Learning Hub

Nature of Science – meet our scientists

October 23, 2013

Bill, Alex, Cather, Maan, Shaun and Sandy work at The MacDiarmid Institute - they all do science for a living, but have very different jobs and perspectives. One thing they all have in common is their passion for science.

Read more about Nature of Science – meet our scientists