Industry Collaboration

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Why work with us?

The purpose of the University of Canterbury Engineering Management Programme is to develop graduates with the skills, knowledge, behaviours and personal attributes needed by industry and communities in New Zealand and around the world. 

As an industry project sponsor, our Master of Engineering in Management programme gives you access to graduate engineers who have completed the coursework for the MEM degree, and are now ready to put that skill and knowledge to work for you.

Our students are required to find and scope an industry based project to be undertaken as individuals between September and February (20 weeks), supported by oversight from an academic supervisor from the University and professional and technical guidance from a staff member from the industry sponsor. Students also negotiate remuneration (in the form of a student sponsorship) which is administered on your behalf by the MEM office. For further information, contact the MEM office.

Depending on the project, in some cases sponsoring organisations may also be able to apply for Callaghan Innovation funding.

This is an opportunity to have a Master's level student undertake a new project or one that has been sitting on your books for some time but has not yet started due to resource constraints in your organisation.

Projects are consultancy based, and can be based on or off campus for all or part of the project duration.

An MEM Project Sponsorship package includes:

  • A postgraduate student completing their Master of Engineering Management studies.
  • The sponsor sets the goal and direction of the project to suit their business needs.
  • Up to 400 hours of student work.
  • Academic staff supervision as required.
  • Projects typically cover an area of investigation which is technically based, but will focus on an area of process or business management.
  • Typical projects include:
    • Concept, development, planning and implementation of new manufacturing processes, systems and plant.
    • Utilisation, efficiency, performance and optimisation reviews and action plans.
    • Development and application of management systems (quality, materials, work patterns, control).
    • New product/service analysis including domestic/international market assessment.
  • Confidentiality is designed into the programme and students and staff sign a nondisclosure agreement. Project outcomes will only be shared publically if and when the sponsor agrees.

Typical projects can involve (but are not limited to):

  • Concept, development, planning and implementation of new manufacturing processes, systems and plant
  • Utilisation, efficiency, performance and optimisation reviews and action plans
  • Development and application of management systems (quality, materials, work patterns, control)
  • New product/service analysis including domestic/international market assessment

If in doubt about the suitability of a project, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Engineering Management Programmes.

Recent projects

  • ‘Business Case Analysis for Upgrading the Refrigerated Container Infrastructure at Lyttelton Port – Lyttelton Port Company
  • ‘Feasibility of Carbon Capture & Storage at the Kapuai Production Station’ – Todd Energy Ltd
  • ‘Analysis of Kaikoura Earthquake Infrastructure Recovery’ – Aurecon
  • ‘Investigating Improvement Options for Production Planning and Display Systems’ – Christchurch Engine Centre
  • ‘Feasibility Study for a Wash Plant’ – Custom-Pak
  • ‘Implementation of a Quality Assurance Management System’ – Downey Construction Ltd
  • ‘Evaluation of Meridian’s Asset Management System’ – Meridian Energy
  • ‘Project Management Systems: improving internal communication systems’ – Christchurch Engine Centre
  • ‘A Review of Direct Labour Management at Calder Stewart’ – Calder Stewart
  • ‘Special Masking Film- Business Development in China’ – Shanghai Holding-Hearten Hardware Machinery Manufacturing Co.
  • ‘Development of a Quality, Health and Safety Management System’ – Integrated Hydraulics Limited
  • ‘Process Improvement for the Reduction of SF6 Emissions’ – Transpower
  • ‘Investment Case Analyses’ – Isaac Construction Limited
  • ‘West Coast Wood Energy Investigation’ – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
  • ‘Process Improvements for Custom Design & Construction Projects’ – Spanbild NZ Ltd
  • ‘STPA analysis of Contact Energy Water Passage Systems’ – Contact Energy Ltd
  • ‘Best Practice Asset Management and Plant Stability’ – Synlait Milk Limited
  • ‘Water, Chemical and Energy Investigation and Optimisation for Fonterra CIP Sets’ – Fonterra Whareroa Whey Products
  • ‘Cogeneration: A Technology and Feasibility Study for Powerco’ - Powerco
  • ‘Identification of Projects to Meet 2020 Environmental Sustainability Metric/Glide Path Goals’ – Christchurch Engine Centre
  • ‘Distributed Energy Resources Management’ – WEL Networks Limited
  • ‘Syft Technologies: Marketing Analysis Project’ – Syft Technologies
  • ‘Developing an Internal Timber Veneer Lining System for XLam Cross- Laminated Timber’ – Xlam Limited 


The student engaged with the development and leadership team and has put forward a strong operational and financial case for the replacement option. The best measure of this is that the leadership team now understand the justification for proceeding as proposed and this option is considered the best way forward.

Lyttleton Port Company

The output produced was invaluable to improve the understanding of the hardware team of the expectation of the users. The student worked above and beyond the expectations of the project, helping the team with a range of work items including liaising with a Chinese hardware manufacturer to ensure an on-time on-spec delivery of prototype hardware.

Tait Communications

The brief was to provide an option for a future capital project to reduce water, energy and chemical use. The student also provided short term operational and low capital recommendations which we intend to implement.