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Principal Investigators

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Dr Geoff Willmott

Dr Geoff Willmott

Principal Investigator

Functional Nanostructures

+64 9 373 7599, ext. 89992

The Departments of Physics and Chemistry
The University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019


Geoff grew up in Auckland and studied at the University of Cambridge, obtaining a PhD in shock physics in 2005. The following year he returned to New Zealand and Industrial Research Limited, where he worked in the Nano and Micro Fluidics team for 8 years, before joining the University of Auckland in 2013.

Geoff has collaborated with industrial partners including Qinetiq, de Beers and Izon Science, and has previously worked in management consultancy. He currently leads the Institute’s “Bionano/Nanobio and Soft Matter” Theme and was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship in 2012.

In early 2018 he took on the role as Deputy Director in Commercialisation and Industry Engagement in the MacDiarmid Institute.

Research interests

Nanofluidics is the study and application of fluid flow in and around nanoscale structures, inspired by microfluidics, nanoscience and biotechnology.  The range of tools available to researchers who wish to manipulate fluids at the nanoscale is presently limited.

We use theory and experimentation to develop novel tools for harnessing nanofluidic transport. Key research topics include tunable nanopores, capillarity and motion of phase boundaries, and drop splashes on water-repellent surfaces.

It’s great to see this flow from fundamental research to applied technology.

Dr Geoff Willmott
Dr Geoff Willmott

In the news

In The Media

The cure for climate change could be in our own backyard

May 4, 2019

The answers to sustainability goals and energy commitments must involve materials research happening in New Zealand, writes Dr Geoff Willmott.

Read more about The cure for climate change could be in our own backyard

News Article

MacDiarmid researchers successful in latest MBIE round

September 14, 2018

The MacDiarmid Institute is pleased to share the following successes from MacDiarmid researchers in this year’s MBIE Endeavour fund round.

Read more about MacDiarmid researchers successful in latest MBIE round


Sustainable innovation and commercialisation

October 3, 2019

Dr Viji Sarojini and Dr Geoff Willmott are giving a joint presentation on sustainable innovation and commercialisation.

Read more Sustainable innovation and commercialisation


Geoff Wilmott - attracting and repelling water

March 21, 2019

From fog harvesters to self-cleaning surfaces, Dr Geoff Wilmott is looking at how water is repelled by and attracted to surfaces.

Read more about Geoff Wilmott - attracting and repelling water