Innovative Manufacturing and Materials Programme

Past events

A summary of past events for you to peruse.

  1. » The Electric Dream: How we rewrite the Program of a Robot Takeover
  2. » Problem-solving with Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things
  3. » Knowing how to Grow Innovators and Entrepreneurs
  5. » INNOVATING THE FUTURE of New Zealand’s Primary Industries and Associated Tech Sectors
  6. » MaD2017: A National Conference for Innovation in Manufacturing and Design
  7. » Spanning the industry-academia research divide in Material Science
  8. » Shaping Splashes: The future of water control
  9. » Creating affordable, sustainable and recyclable technologies
  10. » Ideas & Execution: The Yin and Yang of Innovation
  11. » Better Tools for Performance Measurement and Benchmarking
  12. » National Strategy Workshops - 15 June 2016 and 31 August 2016
  13. » Mathematical Modelling in an Industrial Context: What can it achieve for you?
  14. » Automation Services based on the Internet of Things and Ubiquitous Computing
  15. » Are you market driven or market driving?
  16. » Optical sensing and imaging for industry applications
  17. » Biosensing and polymer electronics
  18. » Out of the box thinking: How lasers can improve your business
  19. » Supply Chain Coordination and Cooperation: Why what’s best for you and me may not be best for us
  20. » Process control
  21. » Global Manufacturing: the New Zealand Connection
  22. » Scratching the surface
  23. » Get off the Grass: Kickstarting New Zealand's Innovation Economy
  24. » Overcoming the tyranny of distance
  25. » 3d printing
  26. » Engineered composites for the future
  27. » The industrialisation of 3D printing
  28. » Materials analysis
  29. » Developing a technology strategy
  30. » Engineering the future: Perspectives on innovative manufacturing and materials
  31. » Microfabrication – is this the new #8 fencing wire?
  32. » Cloud manufacturing
  33. » IMM Programme launch

Tech Tuesday Forum for Innovative Manufacturers

The Electric Dream: How we rewrite the Program of a Robot Takeover

Dr Dermott McMeel entertained a broad group of industry professionals with an interactive presentation and discussions around the new technological revolution – Artificial Intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, automation, and robotics – how they tend to revolve around the challenges they impose on our everyday workspaces and the anxieties they cause our workforce. Along with demonstrating how an industrial robot can be repurposed to draw individual portraits Dr Dermott McMeel argued the case against these technologies producing negative disruptions in our evolving workforce and environments. Instead, he suggested that they present new opportunities for our social economy, prompting us to re-evaluate the fundamental value of ‘work’ as we know it... we just need to dream it.

Tech Tuesday Forum for Innovative Manufacturers

Problem-solving with Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things

Prof Xun Xu introduces Dr Ray Zhong as they co-present to an Industry Audience on 6 March 2018


New revolutions such as Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things have been lauded to bring major changes to our manufacturing environments. However, technological complexities mean that the right expertise is necessary to ensure efficiency, accuracy, and usefulness of ‘smart’ equipment and data. 

Professor Xun Xu and Dr Ray Zhong co-presented on 6 March 2018, focusing on the possibilities these technologies have for our manufacturing industry and New Zealand SMEs.


Topics covered included:

  • An overview of Industry 4.0 and its implications on various technologies, from cybersecurity to augmented reality
  • Case studies in local manufacturing and what opportunities are available: applications, useful data collection/visualisation and analysis
  • Hands-on demonstrations of working components to illustrate what technological solutions are already in place, such as RFID and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

Tech Tuesday Forum for Innovative Manufacturers

Knowing how to Grow Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Unleash space
Unleash Space: 20 Symonds Street, Auckland

Wendy Kerr is the Director of the University of Auckland’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the key driver behind the scenes within the University of Auckland's Unleash Space. Her experience extends to working, on a global scale, with technology and media companies and she has written two bestselling books on start-ups led by women.

On 31 October she presented to an interested group of industry professionals in the Newmarket Seminar Room with her topic covering the fact that recent social and industrial developments have popularised terms such as ‘disruption’, and ‘innovation’ within our common vernacular. This, however, is not without its consequences, primarily risking the loss of meaning and misunderstandings of our capacity to commercialise.

During her presentation she:

  • Discussed how we can enable an innovative culture that’s possible, tangible, and productive
  • Defined ‘innovation’ for the broader audience – what it means for us beyond the education industry, and how we can apply it to New Zealand’s arguable lack of ability to innovate
  • Explained the difficulty of commercialisation within, and outside, traditional organisational structures
  • Presented case studies to reveal opportunities the University provides to address issues pertinent to industry, primarily in identifying the young, innovative workforce of the future.

Tech Tuesday Forum for Innovative Manufacturers


Dr Vicente Gonzalez' Tech Tuesday audience - Newmarket Seminar Room

29 August 2017


A mix of professionals from industry organisations working in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, Manufacturing, Aviation and associated technology organisations visited the Newmarket Seminar Room where Dr Vicente Gonzalez addressed the audience on Virtual Reality (VR) technologies being successfully implemented in many industries, including gaming, tourism, and aviation, drawing attention to the increasing variety of VR-capable consumer electronics opening up possibilities beyond entertainment – with more of today's businesses positioned to teach vital concepts, from safety training to production management in innovative, cost-effective ways.


He also discussed:

  • The development of visualisation spaces using science and raw data, and how going beyond common practices in gaming visuals with largely aesthetic concerns can produce solutions towards good business practices.
  • Practical applications in new virtual environments for industries such as civil and infrastructure engineering, manufacturing, forestry, and more. 
  • The evolving spaces for industry and research collaboration, and the expanding opportunities for commercialisation.
Dr Vicente Gonzalez has been a staff member within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Auckland since 2010. He actively conducts research in a number of fields in construction management and civil engineering and is the author of 83 publications including 3 books (author and editor), 35 papers in world-leading journals and 45 peer-reviewed conference papers to date. He is also a member of scientific boards, and an editor and reviewer of international journals and conferences. He has been a visiting scholar at Technion of Israel and at another two top Latin American universities. He is actively involved in research with academics in Australia, NZ, USA, Mexico, Chile, Finland, India, Israel, among others. He currently supervises nine PhD students and co-supervises four PhD students. Vicente has secured US$2.7 million in research funds over his career in different research roles. He is currently the Director of the Faculty of Engineering's VR/AR Laborastory and is also director of the Advanced Computing and Virtual Technologies in Construction (ACVTC) Research Group


Tech Tuesday Forum for Innovative Manufacturers

INNOVATING THE FUTURE of New Zealand’s Primary Industries and Associated Tech Sectors

Newmarket Seminar Room filled with Prof Kenneth Husted's Tech Tuesday audience

27 June 2017

Professionals from Manufacturing and Technology organisations, from Start-ups offering solutions to primary industries and from SMEs working in the primary industry filled the Newmarket Seminar Room where Professor Kenneth Husted addressed what opportunities are currently missing for SMEs, opened up discussions on what can be considered as interesting innovation problems, how to capture value from developing unique solutions to these innovation opportunities and what this may mean for the future of the New Zealand primary manufacturing industry. He also covered:

  • New Zealand’s “problem-rich environment”, by identifying the dimensions that define this statement – to what extent is our young country unique, and ideally resourced to solve problems using innovative new technology?
  • The role of universities and scientists in our manufacturing industry: what cultural and structural challenges do we have to consider in creating collaborative relationships to encourage innovation for all stakeholders?
Professor Kenneth Husted (PhD from Copenhagen Business School) is Professor of Innovation and Research Management at The University of Auckland Business School. His research covers Innovation, R&D Collaboration, Science and Innovation Policy, Innovation in Low-tech Industries, and Knowledge Management (knowledge sharing and knowledge governance) as well as links between these two areas (knowledge sharing in open source software development, knowledge sharing in R&D alliances). His academic work has appeared in, among others, Journal of Management Studies, California Management Review, Technovation, Journal of World Business, Organizational Dynamics, International Journal of Technology Management, Journal of Knowledge Management, Creativity and Innovation Management


MaD for the Future 2017

MaD2017: A National Conference for Innovation in Manufacturing and Design


10 - 11 May 2017

We were delighted to have the opportunity to successfully consolidate, connect and collaborate with the New Zealand Manufacturing and Design (MaD) network at our inaugural manufacturing and design conference whioch we hosted at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre. There were 160 delegates who participated in MaD2017 and who will become members of this cross-disciplinary researcher network, focussed on New Zealand’s manufacturing economy of the future. 40% of the delegates were MaD industry representatives and the remaining 60% comprised researchers from across New Zealand, including post graduate MaD students. 

This event was another significant step in the process in which the IMM Programme is progressing towards a national MaD CoRE (Centre of Research Excellence)



Seelye Public Lecture

Spanning the industry-academia research divide in Material Science

Seelye Fellow, Professor Michael Morris, from the AMBER Centre Ireland

9 May 2017

Professor Michael Morris from the Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) Centre, Ireland discussed the evolution and challenges of producing new research in Material Science. He posed arguments for collaborative efforts between all stakeholders, and suggested strategies towards a future of stronger relationships and a research community that strives towards excellence.

Innovative productions are placed in the hands of many stakeholders, such as industry, academia and government policy-makers, each with their own priorities. The immediate consequences are often evident in funding structures, on top of the benefits and drawbacks that come with different research directions.


Tech Tuesday Forum for Innovative Manufacturers

Shaping Splashes: The future of water control

TT2May2017GWillmott2 (2)
Dr Geoff Willmott explains how he "shapes splashes" as part of his research

2 May 2017


Dr Geoff Willmott engaged a broad industry audience which filled the Newmarket Seminar Room. During his fascinating discussion he shared his expertise in liquid interaction with various materials – from water repellent technology, to new manufacturing possibilities for products susceptible to wet weather conditions. He discussed how surface microstructures can be tailored to produce different benefits.

Water-repellent technology has proven to be essential to today’s consumer products, from electronics, to clothing, to biological applications, among others. Further understanding can open up possibilities for a broader range of industries, particularly the manufacturing of products susceptible to wet weather conditions, such as outdoor infrastructure and medical devices. 


Therefore Dr Willmott also covered:

  • An overview of drop impact research on a variety of materials, including videos to illustrate how fluids interact with hydrophobic and super-hydrophobic molecular structures. 
  • Potential new applications informed by detailed research on factors that influence water repellence, and the possibilities of collaboration in designing surfaces optimised for various purposes. 
  • Speculation regarding the role of new technologies for efficient, sustainable future of water management, in light of the tangible effects and benefits that this has on our socio-political and biological ecosystem. 
Dr Geoff Willmott is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland’s Departments of Physics and Chemistry. He completed his PhD in shock physics at the University of Cambridge (UK), and is a Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a national Centre of Research Excellence

Creating affordable, sustainable and recyclable technologies

Dr Alisyn Nedoma engages members of her audience after her presentation

28 February 2017

Dr Alisyn Nedoma engaged us in a fascinating discussion which was of interest to experts in: AGRICULTURE, ELECTRONICS, PACKAGING, PLASTICS MANUFACTURING, TEXTILES

She discussed how supercritical fluids – occasionally referred to as “green solvents for the future” – can be essential to emerging industrial processes, with her session exploring:

  • An introduction to supercritical fluids and current industrial applications, such as power generation, industrial food processing, and pharmaceutical production
  • How New Zealand industries can benefit from these processes – Dr Nedoma proposed the possibilities of supercritical fluids in creating a greener, more versatile, plastic electronics industry. She also utilised her expertise in polymers to explore other high value applications in an open brainstorming session.

During Ali's session she explained how the use of supercritical fluids and processes can extend, and even create, new manufacturing industries in New Zealand, ultimately contributing to significant investments into our social and economic capital.


Lighthouse Platform Event

Ideas & Execution: The Yin and Yang of Innovation

1 December 2016

The Dodd-Walls Centre, a New Zealand Centre Of Research Excellence (CoRE) for Photonic and Quantum Technologies hosted this event in conjunction with the IMM Programme.

Wine, beer and canapés, were enjoyed by about 85 invited guests representing academiaand industry at Generator, Britomart, Auckland, followed by an evening with two renowned guest speakers:

  • Dr Simon Poole (New Business Ventures, Finisar Ltd, Australia)
  • Dr Andy Brown (Global Business Development, SPIE, USA)

With the innovative spirit being ingrained in New Zealand culture, often, in the process of of refining and selecting ideas, execution can end up as an afterthought, leading many potential successes to lag behind.

With his decades of experience, Dr Simon Poole offered solutions to this issue, focusing his presentation on:

  • Translating ideas into real-world success within the global market, an environment dominated by a trend of cheap manufacturing
  • Case studies from the previous two decades that reflect the often-neglected ‘dark’ side of innovation, and how we can compete in this critical phase

Dr Andy Brown addressed the group on the global photonics market and related new business opportunities.


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Better Tools for Performance Measurement and Benchmarking

18 October 2016

Professor Paul Rouse, a Professor of Management Accounting at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Business and Economics, engaged a small group of induistry professionals when he tackled the issue of correlation and causation, with his research revealing insights into resource optimisation, as well as knowledge and software opportunities available in New Zealand. As today’s businesses move at an increasingly quicker pace to meet higher service demands, they may struggle to gain useful measures of productivity – many different factors contribute to disparities between a firm’s inputs and outputs.

He centred his interesting and informative discussion around:

  • Defining and applying partial productivity measures and composite measures to create stronger, more detailed information on interpreting resources and revenue data for service industries
  • Measuring performance – as defined by various factors – via a frontier-based method and data envelopment analysis, illustrated with New Zealand case studies such as the Rugby World Cup, banking, local council amalgamation, among others

National Strategy Workshops - 15 June 2016 and 31 August 2016

IMM_31Aug2016Workshop_FalePasifika MaD (Manufacturing and Design) participants engage at the National Strategy Workshop in the Fale Pasifika on 31 August 2016

IMM Programme – Progression to CoRE                   

The SRIF funding awarded to the IMM Programme late in 2015 is providing us with the opportunity to develop the CoRE vision, scope and structure prior to a CoRE application in 2019. It includes strategic development, seed funding for research, administrative resources, and international contributions.

An internal University of Auckland function was held on 19 May to launch the IMM Programme’s development towards a CoRE in manufacturing and design (MaD).

Please read on to learn more about the progress which has been made…

Our first professionally facilitated Strategy Workshop, held on 15 June, saw active engagement of key players from tertiary institutions across New Zealand that are involved in MaD research.

Our second National Strategy Workshop on 31 August, also professionally facilitated, saw us successfully define the direction of the National MaD Initiative. Our valued participants comprised a group of about 45 individuals from across New Zealand, representing their tertiary institutions, MaD industry, CRIs, government agencies and potential funders.

The event on 31 August was successful, based on formal and informal feedback we received. We hosted a diverse group, providing wide representation, with all participants being mentally engaged throughout the day. A key outcome has been the large number of participants who have indicated a willingness to invest their time into the MaD Initiative. It is also clear that we have further work to do in order to clearly define the MaD vision and the scope of work that this collaborative network will address.

We are currently drawing in the active members and initiating a variety of activities with an eye on the inaugural MaD National Conference in May 2017. The intention is to integrate our conference into TechWeek2017.

We will establish our governance structure, and within a small MaD Driver Team (principal working group), define the vision and scope of work. The MaD Driver Team will also establish criteria for seeded projects, and define the structure and communication channels for the wider network. A separate MaD Conference Committee will soon be formed to drive the conference, also tasked with developing conference themes and formats.

To find out more, please get in touch with Simon Bickerton (Engineering), Mark Battley (Engineering), Peter Boxall (Business) or Neil Broderick (Science)


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Mathematical Modelling in an Industrial Context: What can it achieve for you?

Professor Bernd Krauskopf discusses Mathematical Modelling in an industry context

30 August 2016

Professor Bernd Krauskopf, HOD of Mathematics delivered a highly engaging talk on mathematical models and how they have become crucial ingredients for developing effective solutions for our modern environments. 

He highlighted the industrial potential of a novel approach to model evaluation using a case study with Airbus in a talk that showcased an overview of the relevance and potential of mathematical models, regardless of industry. He described a model evaluation philosophy as a general approach to obtaining crucial information from an industrial model at a relatively low cost, especially when compared to classical simulations. Bernd also related mathematics to the real world by way of a case study with Airbus showing typical ground manoeuvres of aircraft at airports, and so demonstrating the potential of the dynamical systems approach to model evaluation.

A small audience, comprising industry representatives and local secondary school mathematics teachers, engaged in a discussion with Bernd.


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Automation Services based on the Internet of Things and Ubiquitous Computing

Kevin Wang presents to a group of industry professionals

21 June 2016

A Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast was held on 21 June.  Dr Kevin Wang spoke about “Automation Services based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Ubiquitous Computing” highlighting its unobtrusive integration into our day-to-day activities. He spoke of its diverse nature and gave examples of potential applications including its relevance to a wide variety of industries including agriculture, healthcare and logistics. A by-product of IoT is vast amounts of data which is stored for the sake of potential benefits, including increased productivity. A small industry audience engaged in the interesting discussion which followed.



Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Are you market driven or market driving?

Market innovation
What is market innovation?

19 April 2016

Associate Professor Suvi Nenonen and Professor Kaj Storbacka from the Graduate School of Management presented an engaging discussion on the benefits of being market driving.  The discussed the nature of markets being complex, adaptive systems that are socially constructed and malleable.  They propose that since the market is a system, and you are part of it, you can influence it.  Suvi and Kaj discussed market innovation and market strategy, the market elements that can be shaped by companies, and the managerial control and market influence over those elements.  Enthusiastic discussion was held on the case studies presented and other examples of market innovation raised by attendees.

Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Optical sensing and imaging for industry applications


23 February 2016

Frederique Vanholsbeeck from the Department of Physics gave an overview of optical coherence tomography and its applications in industry, including analysis of surface features of opaque samples and assessment of fibre alignment of physiological samples.

She also presented her recent work on fluorescence based techniques for rapid microbial quantification.  New techniques being developed provide a rapid (15 min) alternative to bacterial plate counts, and can quantitatively measure both living and dead cells.


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Biosensing and polymer electronics

microhair image for web
Direct printed nanowire microhairs and their response to air flow

15 September 2015

Jadranka Travas-Sejdic and KC Aw presented to an industry audience about the fast-changing field of conducting polymers.  Jadranka commenced the discussion with some background about conducting polymers, the structures that can be formed, and their applications as actuators, in biosensing, and in responsive functional surfaces.  She also highlighted the Polymer Electronics Research Centre capabilities in analysis of conducting polymers.

KC continued with a focus on hardware and manufacture of electronic devices using conducting polymers.  He has manufactured microhairs for use in applications such as air flow sensors at very low flow, as well as carbon nanotubes in silicone rubber to make stretch sensors.  A further application in is force compliance actuators which enable measurement of distribution of force.  He also showed his 3D printing of photopolymers using extrusion deposition, which has potential for printing multimaterials and smart materials.


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Out of the box thinking: How lasers can improve your business


30 June 2015

Associate Professor Neil Broderick from the Department of Physics gave an engaging presentation about the precision that lasers can bring to manufacturing and the different applications of laser technologies. The seminar was about what lasers are, and how they might be used in communications, sensors and for ‘blowing stuff up’.  Lasers are currently being used for such varied applications as detecting the rotation of the earth, detecting fruit ripeness or cracks in wine bottles, real-time bacterial counting, detecting trace gases, object detection, welding, cutting and joining.


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Supply Chain Coordination and Cooperation: Why what’s best for you and me may not be best for us


21 April 2015

Professor Tava Olsen, Director of the Centre for Supply Chain Management, gave an engaging presentation about supply chain coordination and cooperation and the need to maximise benefits to all parties.  She covered the importance of alignment of incentives between different parts of the supply chain, whether they are within different divisions of the same company, or in different companies.  Sharing data across the supply chain, such as forecasts and plans, is an important feature of this alignment to find the benefits and incentives for each party in the supply chain.  Tava also discussed the opportunities for development for mid-career supply chain professionals to become the next generation of leaders. 



Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Process control

Dairy Viscosity Testing Rig

24 February 2015

In this seminar, Professor Brent Young of the Industrial Information and Control Centre (I²C²) provided attendees with a process simulation roadmap, demonstrating how the I²C² can help to use process data for incisive and powerful results.

Professor Young spoke about ways organisations can effectively use process data to:

  • Enhance productivity
  • Optimise energy use
  • Improve process quality
  • Boost energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Increase financial returns


Public Lecture

Global Manufacturing: the New Zealand Connection

9 December 2014

Professor Göran Roos, Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Council in Adelaide and a world expert in innovation management and strategy, presented on New Zealand's competitiveness in global manufacturing.  He addressed opportunities for New Zealand to enhance its global position and the importance of making value rather than 'making things'.


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Scratching the surface

26 August 2014

At our August Tech Tuesday, Dr Michelle Dickinson presented on nanomechanical testing of coatings and thin films.  Michelle operates the only nanomechanical testing laboratory in NZ which undertakes sample analysis in the nanometer range.  She discussed how the techniques she applies can be used in industry for assessing hardness, stiffness, brittleness, ductility, surface features, failure behaviour, and delamination. 

Nanomechanical testing enables testing of coatings and thin films with control of depth and position, and has the ability to locate specific sites on a sample.

Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Get off the Grass: Kickstarting New Zealand's Innovation Economy

TT Shaun Hendy2

24 June 2014

Professor Shaun Hendy from the Department of Physics gave an entertaining presentation about New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem.  He highlighted our innovation history and compared our innovation ecosystem to that of other similar countries.  He demonstrated the importance of collaboration and proposed that New Zealand should be a city of four million people. He summed up by stating that we need to see ourselves as people of knowledge.

Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Overcoming the tyranny of distance


5 November 2013

Drs Ben Fath and Antje Fiedler discussed strategies for success in international markets. Ben revealed that the importance of customer intimacy has been identified a key reason for the success of New Zealand exporting companies. The tendency of NZ companies to cover a large part of the value chain activities enables them to make minor differences to products that can make a difference for the customer. Customer focus built on deep technological knowledge is a common theme amongst successful New Zealand exporters. Antje spoke about how the use of distributors in Asian markets can compromise this customer intimacy. The project team has developed a benchmarking tool for companies that can be used to assess the business performance for different areas. The tool is not self-administered, but interested CEOs/owners could obtain a benchmarking report from the project team at the New Zealand Asia Institute.

See online visualisations of the data

Industry Workshop

3d printing

c-Sample image

17 October 2013

A 3D printing workshop for industry representatives was held at Tāmaki Campus. The workshop was hosted by the University’s Innovative Manufacturing and Materials (IMM) Programme and Product Accelerator – an MBIE funded research programme focusing on product and industrial design, development of new functional and structural multi-materials, and additive manufacturing (3D printing) technologies.

An introduction by Xun Xu (Director, IMM Programme) and Mark Taylor (Director, Product Accelerator) was followed by sessions covering off the basics for the new user of 3D printing, as well as providing more detailed insights into topics such as design for 3D printing, manufacturing and materials options, product and technology strategies and making and shaping markets.

Presenters included Thomas Neitzert (AUT), Tim Miller (Victoria), Mehdi Shahbazpour (Mechanical Engineering), Charlotta Windahl (Marketing) and Olaf Diegel (Massey) . The interdisciplinary sessions, and equipment and sample demonstrations were well received and initial indications are that several of the companies involved are interested in ongoing work with the Product Accelerator.

Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Engineered composites for the future

Dr Mark Battley provides the audience with a definition for a composite at the beginning of his presentation.

24 September 2013

Dr Mark Battley from the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials presented about the benefits and challenges of working with composite materials and global trends in their development including markets and sectors, materials and technologies.  He also discussed case studies of R&D projects undertaken at the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials such as:

  • Rotationally moulded products for export markets (with Galloway International).
  • Combining waste stream materials into high value bio-composite products (with wood processing, packaging, polymer manufacturing and infrastructure sectors).
  • Manufacturing process optimisation for low volume (yachting sector) and high volume production (with BMW).
  • Simulation and experimental characterisation of dynamic performance.

Public Lecture

The industrialisation of 3D printing


25 July 2013

A public lecture was given by Hood Fellow Professor Gideon Levy.  The presentation encompassed additive manufacturing processes, analysis and synthesis for additive manufacturing, applications driving additive manufacturing, business models, technology advances and future trends. 

Watch the lecture recording


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Materials analysis

Images of scanning electron microscopy of razor blades. Top: rough blade. Bottom: smooth blade.

7 May 2013

Issues with composition or microstructure can manifest themselves in a number of ways, anything from failing adhesion to suspect particles.  Using surface analysis techniques we can improve product performance and quality, and undertake failure analysis.

Recent examples include:

  • A boat owner accused his neighbour of paint overspray onto his boat. Using a combination of EDS and XPS to compare paint samples the allegations were proved to be untrue.
  • A wire manufacturer wanted to know the most effective cleaning method. By using XPS we were able to identify the residues left by different cleaning solutions. This enabled an informed choice as to what was the most suitable.
  • A food processing company found suspect particles in a product stream, our analysis conclusively showed the particles were charred flour indicating overheating of process equipment.

Find our experts in materials analysis


Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Developing a technology strategy



26 February 2013

A technology strategy is the systematic and collaborative development of a plan for adapting/developing technology that better facilitates the delivery of customer value through the firm’s business model. Benefits include strategic alignment, simplifying communication and engaging key stakeholders.

Find our experts in technology strategies


Public Lecture

Engineering the future: Perspectives on innovative manufacturing and materials

18 October 2012

Speakers for the evening were:

Garth Galloway, CEO of Galloway International who spoke very engagingly about his company's experience and the challenges faced making boats for Disneyland.  This ranged from being able to handle large shipments of raw materials to ensuring compliance with Disneyland's production standards.

Kim Campbell, CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association addressed the challenges to the industry and highlighted some of the success stories for NZ exporters.

Prof. Xun Xu, Director of the Innovation in Manufacturing and Materials Programme, the University of Auckland gave a brief overview of the Innovative Manufacturing and Materials Programme.

Alongside the discussion there was an exhibition of current research and technologies, including:

  • 3D printing.
  • Laser micromachining.
  • Composite materials.
  • Surface and materials analysis.
  • Growing NZ business.
  • Light metals research.

Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Microfabrication – is this the new #8 fencing wire?


28 August 2012

High intensity laser pulses allows machining of an unprecedented range of materials, from transparent to opaque, from soft to brittle. We can manipulate and monitor chemical and physical reactions at the nano level to create unique commercial solutions.

Our femtosecond facility has been used by industry to improve processing conditions for biomedical and industrial polymers, for the design of flow cells for dairy waste sensors, and to rapidly develop concepts and prototypes.

Find our experts in microfabrication

Read more about our microfabrication research

Tech Tuesday Business Breakfast

Cloud manufacturing


26 June 2012

How the principles of cloud computing can be adapted for use in manufacturing, by enabling flexible, efficient and on-demand networked access to a shared pool of configurable resources, e.g. software tools, manufacturing equipment and manufacturing capabilities. These resources can be rapidly co-ordinated, packaged, provisioned and released to end-users.

Find our experts in cloud manufacturing

Read about our cloud manufacturing research


IMM Programme launch

18 August 2011

Storehouse of expertise to benefit manufacturers

The University of Auckland is making it easier for the manufacturing and materials sector to tap into its expertise with the creation of a one-stop shop.

Manufacturing Chair Professor Xun Xu says the programme, which has three strands - idea generation and discovery, technology development and innovation implementation – will bring together expert researchers from science, technology, engineering, management and other parts of the University.

“Our specialists and cross-disciplinary teams can help manufacturers in a number of ways, from innovation in new materials, to new product development, renewal of manufacturing systems, enhancement of supply-chain processes, through to business growth strategies and the redesign of work systems.”

Professor Xu says the University wants to make it easier for manufacturers to access its research and development capabilities and specialist management advice as well as ensuring it is meeting the needs of the manufacturing businesses.

“We want industry to come to us and tell us what they need. In the past we have been more inclined to push our ideas onto industry rather than invite them to come to us.”

The manufacturing sector is important for New Zealand’s economic well-being as one in every nine workers is employed by the sector and it is responsible for 14 percent of the country’s GDP and 65 percent of all exported goods.

High-tech niche-based manufacturing was an area the University was most likely to have the greatest impact, he says.

The programme’s launch was held on 18 August 2011. Speaking at the event were Business New Zealand Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly, Employers and Manufacturers Association Acting Chief Executive Bruce Goldsworthy, and Professor Xun Xu from the Faculty of Engineering.