The June 2019 issue has been an interesting one to put together. For me, it helped capture the natural diversity, of the many attributes, that the Chemmat family and spirit embodies. From world-class students excelling in top universities around the world, to fun-loving students enjoying beer and socialising, to the gentleness of breaking a fast as a community, we have – and enjoy – it all!
Of special note too is the Chemical and Materials Engineering Students Association (CMESA) who are featured in our department newsletter for the first time. CMESA is a self-organised group of students, who have very capably got together to create some pretty fantastic events – both fun and professional – and they are a testament to the creative energy of our student body. The department has ‘joined forces’ with CMESA to enrich the student experience and hope for a long and fruitful partnership.
Finally, the year is at the mid-point – too fast! – and we are in the midst of ending Semester I and soon to begin Semester II at the end of July. Wishing all our readers a safe and pleasant winter season, and talk to you again soon in Spring!
The department reaffirms its commitment to zero tolerance – of bigotry, discrimination and prejudice.
Associate Professor & Head of Department
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Checkout the Chemmat Gold Fund – The fund has been established to help create an inspirational learning and research environment designed to prepare our engineers of the future, for the future.
In May we had a visit from Chemmat graduate Reece Oosterbeek, who is in the midst of an exciting PhD program at Cambridge University. Reece received a prestigious Woolf Fisher scholarship to undertake doctoral studies at the Department of Materials Science and...read more
Congratulations to Dr Geran Zhang – Chemmat grad who completed a PhD at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Geran visited the department in May with the good news that he has not only completed his PhD at MIT, where he was on a full scholarship...read more
Each year the department ‘facilitates’ a mixer, organised by the Year Three students, that brings both staff and students of the department for an evening of casual mixing. The aim of this annual event is to foster a sense of collegiality and camaraderie amongst all...read more
By Thomas Chong, CHEMMAT student On the 10/5/2019, the groovy crew of CMESA visited the Urbanauts Brewery for a day of “educational” sampling and exposure to what a chemical and materials engineering degree can offer. After the overwhelmingly positive response from...read more
The Chemmat PG students organised a potluck on 24th May 2019 to enjoy a meal in observation of the day’s breaking of fasting during the Ramadhan period. Both Muslim and non-Muslim staff and students brought a variety of dishes and shared the food amongst much...read more
Chemmat’s Teaching and Learning Committee, chaired by A/P Peng Cao, is working to achieve Chemmat’s strategic goals relating to teaching and learning. In order to reduce the number of red-flagged courses, the Committee is working closely with...read more
Paula Steinmetz (nee Ah Kuoi) was the first Pasifika woman in New Zealand to study chemical and materials engineering. She’s now a senior engineer at Auckland’s Watercare. Read about Paula’s journey...read more
May 2019 – MPI publishes review on High Pressure Processes (HPP) applied as an alternative to thermal pasteurisation
In May this year, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) published a commissioned review of the scientific literature on high pressure processing (HPP) to address validation expectations for HPP as a control measure for the inactivation of food borne bacterial...read more
On Thursday, 21 and Friday, 22 March a group of 56 students and three staff from the University of Auckland visited Methanex NZ Ltd to provide practical experience on a live plant. This visit is organised every year by Robert Kirkpatrick and Harvey Weake who are both...read more
Last week we had a visit by Peter Slane, a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and a former graduate of our department. In 2012, Peter joined IChemE as Director of Australasia to oversee the operations of both the Australia...read more
Earlier this year Chemmat lent a hand to the Civil & Environmental Department to help clean up a significant chemical spill incident in their laboratory. Although this was a team response, it met the threshold to be nominated for an award in the Health, Safety...read more
Dr Mansouri being introduced by Prof Brent Young at the seminar. On 7th March 2019, the department held a seminar where invited academic Dr Seyed Soheil Mansouri, from the Technical University of Denmark, gave a talk on his work Towards Development of Virtual...read more
On the 26th of February 2019, the department held a workshop among academic staff members to generate and capture group discussions on (1) Traditional forms of research impact, and (2) Non-traditional forms of research impact. This whole-day workshop was held at the...read more
The 2nd International Symposium of Materials, Manufacturing Processes and Devices (MMPD2019) was held in the Science Building at the University of Auckland, New Zealand from 15–17 February. The conference was organized by the University of Auckland, and co-organized...read more
Our expertise offered a possible new solution for a problem Dr Keith Pine had been researching. A partnership between Dr Karnika De Silva of the NZ Product Accelerator and Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, and Dr Keith Pine from NZ Prosthetic Eye...read more
Peng Cao attended the 148th TMS Annual Meeting held in San Antonio, USA, from March 10 – 14, 2019. He presented an invited talk in the “Solidification Processing of Light Metals and Alloys: An MPMD Symposium in Honor of David St John”. During the four-day conference,...
Battery technology is a science hot-spot around the world. Multimillion-dollar research companies in the United States, China, Japan and Europe are racing to find the next big capacity boost to overtake the current front-runner – lithium-ion batteries. In New Zealand,...read more
Chemmat’s Senior Lecturer, Dr Jenny Malmström was invited to speak in the biomaterial surfaces and interfaces session at the Pacific Rim Symposium of Surfaces, Coatings and Interfaces. The conference was held at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, Hawaii, from 2-6 December, 2018. Jenny spoke about work from her group functionalising proteins with iron particles as well as their efforts in using block copolymers to create functional biointerfaces. Her talk was received well, probably partly due to the open bar at the rear of the lecture hall!
Apart from the plenary lecture and few selected talks, Jenny mainly attended the ‘bio-session’, which was very relevant to her research area. Two of these bio-sessions were devoted to celebrating 35 years of NESAC/BIO and showcased high profile speakers who are or have been associated with this centre over the last 23 years. Highlights included talks by Sally McArthur (Swinburne, AUS), Tobias Weidner (Aarhus, DK), Buddy Ratner (Washington) and David Castner (Washington). The conference also included sessions on energy harvesting and storage, nanomaterials, plasma processing and thin films. There was one plenary lecture, given by Mauricio Terrones on defects in 2D metal dichalcogenides and their effects on the material properties.
The IEEE EMBS fourth biennial Conference on Micro and Nanotechnology in Medicine was held in Kauai, Hawaii from 10-14 December 2018. Chemmat’s Head of Department, Assoc Prof Ashvin Thambyah attended the meeting at which the “biomedical grand challenges facing our society” were addressed at “the scale of biology with Micro and Nanoscale technologies.”
At this ‘Gordon Conference’ style meeting, top researchers from the universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Berkeley, and Wisconsin presented their career journeys in developing new technologies for diagnostics, therapeutics, enhancement of physiological function, disease management, or early monitoring and prevention.
Tejal Desai from UCSF, by using micro and nanostructured materials was able to modulate the therapeutic microenvironment and enhance both implant performance and the host response.
Erkin Seker of UC Davis similarly was able to tune mass transport of biomolecules by controlling the multiscale morphology of miniaturised devices.
In the wearable sensors field, Wei Gao (not to be confused with our very own Wei Gao) from Caltech, showed his latest advances in sensing physiology, based on his earlier work where he developed sensors that could measure in real-time a range of important metabolites, including glucose, from sweat!
Ashvin also had the opportunity to meet one of the invited speakers, Professor Lim Chwee Teck, who, like many of the speakers at the conference, has an impressive research track record that includes high-level science publications as well as commercially successful research enterprises. His nature-published work on capturing circulating cancer cells is directly related to a clinical and commercial application that has recently been listed on the stock market as an initial public offering.
Prof Lim has kindly accepted an invitation to visit Auckland this year and will give a couple of seminars. He will also discuss with university staff members on future research ideas and collaborations.
In September/October last year, Chemmat Senior Lecturer, Dr Filicia Wicaksana hosted Prof William Krantz (Emeritus Professor & President’s Teaching Scholar) from the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado. During his...read more
Chemmat students and staffEach year the department offers approximately 70 research projects to our Part IV students. Each student conducts his/her independent research under the supervision of a staff member. Some of the projects are part of large research...read more
International journal Biointerphases has released a special issue highlighting women in Biointerface Science. Chemmat’s Senior Lecturer, Dr Jenny Malström features on the cover with other international researchers. The editorial showcases the careers of these women...read more
Congratulations Chemmat PhD student, Hongzhou (Andy) Zhang (supervised by Assoc Prof Peng Cao) for winning best poster prize at the 2018 World Congress on Powder Metallurgy. The conference was held in Beijing, China from 16-20 September, 2018. When asked about the...read more
The Food and Health Programme and University of Auckland Business School’s Graduate School of Management co-hosted a visiting group of 25 MBA students from Stanford University, USA in December 2018. The visiting students were in New Zealand to understand how...read more
On 25 October 2018, Part IV students and staff gathered at Old Government House to celebrate the culmination of four years of hard work and the end of their undergraduate degree. It was an extremely happy evening, kicked off with a hilariously true-to-form speech by...read more
On 7 January 2019, the department welcomed a visit by Dr Nazmul Karim, Professor and Head of the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering Texas A&M University, and Holder of the Michael O’Connor Chair II. We were delighted that Prof Karim (Naz) found some...read more
During Semester II 2018, a group of Part IV students, spearheaded by Adam Cameron and Ellie McBurney, began brewing beers in the Park Ave food lab. The project was designed as a hands-on learning experience, to support theoretical process knowledge learnt during Part...read more