Mechanical engineering

Geoff Chase lab facilities mechanical engineering

Mechanical Engineering is an innovative and diverse department within New Zealand's premier engineering college. A wide range of research is being conducted in fields including Acoustics and Vibrations, Applied Mechanics, Robotics, Control and Instrumentation, and Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer.

Our Centre for Bioengineering aims to be an internationally recognised interdisciplinary research centre of excellence, dedicated to servicing the biotech/bioengineering industry in New Zealand and throughout the world. The main goal is to facilitate a link between academic research in fundamental science/engineering and the medical industry.

The Design Group has a diverse range of research and development interests which include: alternative engines and energy conversion systems, human-powered vehicles and human ergometry, engineering art and kinetic sculptures. Areas of current research in Applied Mechanics include vibration analysis in DFT locomotives and wave envelope elements for elastic waves.

Research strengths

Areas of current research in acoustics and vibrations include:

  • Building acoustics
  • Aero acoustics 
  • Duct acoustics
  • Automotive acoustics
  • Sound absorption
  • Machinery noise

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

John Pearse

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Director of Studies
Civil Mechanical E505
Internal Phone: 92423

Stefanie Gutschmidt

Senior Lecturer
Civil Mechanical E507
Internal Phone: 92206

Areas of current research in applied mechanics include:

  • Vibration analysis in DFT locomotives
  • Wave envelope elements for elastic waves
  • Computational modelling of the bifurcation flow and stress fields in the human lung
  • Development and application of computational methods for material failure
  • Development and application of computational methods for fluid-structure interaction phenomena 

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

Geoff Chase

Distinguished Professor
Advisor to Students with Disabilities
Civil Mechanical E502
Internal Phone: 92182

Stefanie Gutschmidt

Senior Lecturer
Civil Mechanical E507
Internal Phone: 92206

Areas of current research in design include:

  • Acoustic design of microphone systems
  • Adaptive self tuning controller for Froude F18 dynamometer testbed
  • Advanced absorber design
  • Amphibious vehicle design
  • An optimised burner-recuperator system for a 4 cycle double acting Stirling engine
  • Automatic guided vehicle control dynamics
  • Avalanche prediction instrumentation
  • Computer aided process planning and fixture design
  • Design and development of human-powered and electrically-assisted human-powered vehicles
  • Design and development of Stirling engines
  • Development of a methodology for system integrity in design
  • Development of force sensing systems for bio-medical research
  • Dextrous finger optimisation
  • Direct computer aided design using expert systems techniques
  • Endo-prosthetic knee joint development
  • Engineering analysis and design scale-up of Len Lye kinetic sculptures
  • Grinding sludge oil recovery system - feasibility study
  • Human ergometry in rowing
  • Improving hovercraft noise and efficiency
  • Lifting paddlewheel prototype
  • Micro hydro development
  • Road simulation software and vehicle energy consumption measurement
  • Rule-based systems as tools for adaptive design tasks and their integration into CAD
  • Simulation of vehicle-pedestrian impacts
  • Stirling cycle refrigeration
  • Theoretical modelling and dynamic simulation of variable fill hydraulic dynamometers
  • Trampoline safety by design
  • Vehicle crash analysis and reconstruction
  • Vibration isolating ambulance stretcher suspension
  • Workflow process management for collaborative design
  • Special machine design for sculpting foam material in 3D

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

Geoff Chase

Distinguished Professor
Advisor to Students with Disabilities
Civil Mechanical E502
Internal Phone: 92182

Stefanie Gutschmidt

Senior Lecturer
Civil Mechanical E507
Internal Phone: 92206

Keith Alexander

Professor
Civil Mechanical E523
Internal Phone: 92213

Don Clucas

Associate Professor
Civil Mechanical E521
Internal Phone: 92212

Shayne Gooch

College of Engineering Dean (Academic)
John Britten 113
Internal Phone: 92392

John Pearse

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Director of Studies
Civil Mechanical E505
Internal Phone: 92423

Areas of current research in electrospinning include:

  • Processing polymeric materials such as PVOH, PVP, PVDF, PLLA, HDPE and cellulose

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

Mark Staiger

Associate Professor
Director of Studies 3rd Professional Year
Civil Mechanical E512
Internal Phone: 92181

Mathieu Sellier

Professor
Head of Department
Civil Mechanical E508
Internal Phone: 92383

Alan Wood

Associate Professor
Deputy Head of Department
Link Rm 507
Internal Phone: 94433

Vladimir Golovko

Associate Professor
Director of Research
Beatrice Tinsley 427
Internal Phone: 95942

Owen Curnow

Associate Professor
Beatrice Tinsley 420
Internal Phone: 94239

Areas of current research in fluid mechanics include:

  • Wind turbines for developing countries
  • Bicycle wheel aerodynamics
  • Aerodynamics at jet engine test cells
  • Stability of sink vortices 
  • Car roof rack noise
  • Analysis and development of water jet intake 
  • Field studies of waterjet-hull interactions
  • Computational fluid dynamics at arbitrary speed
  • Fundamental flying characteristics of kites
  • Quantification of airflows generated by rotating rollers in wool carding
  • Prediction of cavitation in turbo machinery
  • Windsurfer aerodynamics

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

Keith Alexander

Professor
Civil Mechanical E523
Internal Phone: 92213

John Pearse

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Director of Studies
Civil Mechanical E505
Internal Phone: 92423

Mark Jermy

Professor
Deputy Head of Department/ Director of Final Year Research & Development Projects
Civil Mechanical E525
Internal Phone: 92276

Areas of current research in manufacturing include:

  • Computer-Aided Process Planning and Design of Fixtures and Dies
  • Computer-Aided Tolerance Analysis
  • Requirements for Integrating the Design and Production Functions
  • Strategic Manufacturing Management
  • Evaluation and Implementation of Innovation and New Technology
  • Equipment Diagnosis and Maintenance Management
  • Manufacturing System Dynamics
  • Manufacturing Systems Design and Improvement
  • Computer Control of Robotic Mechanisms
  • Expert Systems In Management, Design and Teaching
  • Flexible Automation
  • Automated Manufacturing
  • Laser based Inspection
  • Virtual One-of-a-kind Production Planning and Control
  • Intelligent Manufacturing Systems
  • Minimisation of Trimloss
  • Virtual Enterprise for Injection Mould/toolmaking
  • Factory Floor Optimisation
  • Rapid Response Tool Design and Manufacture
  • Rapid Product Development for World Class Manufacturing
  • Tolerance Based Reverse Engineering for Rapid, Quality Product Development
  • Intelligent Manufacturing Systems

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

Dirk Pons

Associate Professor
Civil Mechanical E544
Internal Phone: 95826

Areas of current research in materials science and engineering include:

  • Three-dimensional analysis of creep voids in hydrogen reformer tubes 
  • Porous biomaterials research for tissue engineering
  • Wear testing of biomaterials 
  • Wear testing of seal components in a novel IC engine design 
  • Magnesium alloy development for fatigue resistance
  • Recrystallisation of Mg alloys 
  • Influence of alloying on cold rolling and extrusion of Mg alloys 
  • EBSD of intermetallic phases in structural materials 
  • Squeeze casting of Al-Si alloys 
  • Pb-free solder materials
  • Cellulose-reinforced composites 
  • Extraction of cellulose from NZ flax and hemp 
  • Elastic properties of wood

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

Milo Kral

Professor
International Director of Studies
Mechanical Engineering E501
Internal Phone: 92102

Mark Staiger

Associate Professor
Director of Studies 3rd Professional Year
Civil Mechanical E512
Internal Phone: 92181

Catherine Bishop

Associate Professor
Civil Mechanical E514
Internal Phone: 92137

Susan Krumdieck

Professor
Civil Mechanical E509
Internal Phone: 92210

Stefanie Gutschmidt

Senior Lecturer
Civil Mechanical E507
Internal Phone: 92206

XiaoQi Chen

Director of Studies - Mechatronics 3rd Pro Year
Civil Mechanical E503
Internal Phone: 92190

Chris Pretty

Senior Lecturer
Co-Director of Mechatronics/ Director of Studies - Mechatronics 1st Pro Year
Civil Mechanical E513
Internal Phone: 92393

Areas of current research in thermodynamics and heat transfer include:

  • Crossflow heat exchanger analysis
  • Finite time thermodynamics and thermodynamic design optimisation
  • Building infiltration heat exchange
  • Thermal process simulation
  • Multi-stage flash desalination: analysis and modelling
  • Electrohydrodynamic enhancement of heat transfer
  • Heat and mass transfer in historic Antarctic buildings
  • Cooling of hydro-electric generators
  • Temperature management of electronic devices
  • Optimisation of HPHE in HVAC systems for tropical buildings

Research centres and groups

Researchers and supervisors

Staff actively working in these areas are:

Susan Krumdieck

Professor
Civil Mechanical E509
Internal Phone: 92210

Sid Becker

Associate Professor
Director of Postgraduate Studies (PhD/ME)
Civil Mechanical E506
Internal Phone: 92155