Conan Fee

Acting Executive Dean - College of EngineeringConan Fee

West 309
Internal Phone: 94078

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

Research interests include:
-3D printing of porous media
- Fragrance Design
-Adsorptive membranes
-Purification of PEGylated proteins
-Protein Purification
-Virus Purification

Recent Publications

  • Fee CJ. (2013) Label-Free, Real-Time Interaction and Adsorption Analysis 1: Surface Plasmon Resonance. In Gerrard JA (Ed.), Protein Nanotechnology: Protocols, Instrumentation and Applications. Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 996 (2nd ed.): 287-312. New York: Humana Press.
  • Fee CJ. (2013) Label-free, real-time interaction and adsorption analysis 2: Quartz crystal microbalance. : 313-322.
  • Fee CJ. and Damodaran VB. (2012) Production of PEGylated Proteins. In Subramanian G (Ed.), Handbook of Biopharmaceutical Production Technology: 199-222. Chichester: Wiley-VCH.
  • Fee CJ. and Van Alstine JM. (2011) Purification of PEGylated Proteins. In Janson JC (Ed.), Protein Purification: Principles, High Resolution Methods, and Applications (3rd ed.): 339-362. New York: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Fee CJ., Billakanti JM. and Saufi SM. (2010) Methods for purification of dairy nutraceuticals. In Rizvi SSH (Ed.), Separation, Extraction and Concentration Processes in the Food, Beverage and Nutraceutical Industries: 450-482. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing.

Head of School of Product Design | Te Kura Hanga Otinga, Professor Conan Fee has always been drawn to the challenge of starting something new.

Conan completed his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Canterbury Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (UC) in 1989. He was investigating blood flow patterns in fluid, specifically in relation to atherosclerosis – the narrowing of arteries due to fat build-up on the artery walls.

From there he saw the opportunities in industrial design, looking at proteins purification and assay using membranes. He was fortunate to be able to spend time with his family overseas during the course of his academic career, including in Canada, Sweden and the US, before returning to his home ground of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Conan joined UC as a Professor of Chemical Engineering, making the most of an opportunity to focus on pure chemical engineering and enabling him to continue his area of specialist research. He was then shoulder-tapped to take on the Dean of Engineering and Forestry role and eventually became Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Engineering.

A key part of Conan’s ongoing research is the 3D printing of porous media, including chromatography media, and investigating the process to print to exact places spatially. So, instead of just printing columns of spheres, Conan has been able to 3D print stars and other shapes and position them precisely. When he first started with 3D printing, no-one was doing research in this area, so the process has been an exciting learning curve.

As well as his pioneering research, there are two new initiatives of which Conan is particularly proud. The first is the Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering, which he created and championed through the rigorous quality assurance process to become one of the new programmes of study offered to first year students in 2016.

“We wanted to appeal to students who are interested in social good and humanities, to create a course of study that students could undertake parallel to the Engineering degree. We have engineers out there who are helping people recover from natural disasters; while they may have the technical solutions, they may not have the cultural understanding and human aspects they need in the field. This diploma helps to address the humanitarian side of that work.”

The second initiative was creating the Bachelor of Product Design. “What industry really needs are people who are creating innovative products we can sell overseas and increase our export economies.

“At high school, there are a lot of inventive, creative, clever people doing design, visual communication and technology – but without a tertiary education path that matches their skills and interests. On the other hand we have employers wanting innovative thinking across the board. It just came together really easily – matching up creativity, business knowledge and real world application, with science and engineering to ensure feasibility.”

With the success of this new degree, it was no surprise that Conan was again shoulder-tapped to lead the School of Product Design – the first of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Being a school of product design as a focus is unique to UC. We are part of the College of Engineering, but we are something new and innovative, with a new way of doing things. We’ve seen a tremendous energy from what the students are bringing to their design, creating something from within and working together. It’s an amazing energy to be part of right from the start.”