Data Science: Working with industry

How can industry collaborate with us?

We recognise the need to develop resilient graduates and providing students with a variety of opportunities to connect with industry enables them to develop the skills required to be successful in the workplace. Growing our connections with industry and providing students with access to our industry partners has five outcomes:

  1. We transfer state-of-the-art academic knowledge into industry domains, and inform future research about real-world requirements.
  2. We provide students and employers with the opportunity to attract government funding for joint projects, such as Callaghan funding.
  3. We offer students a pathway into a career in data science.
  4. We provide employers with high quality, industry-ready graduates who possess both academic knowledge and industry-relevant skills and capabilities.
  5. We grow NZ’s data science sector by investing in people who will drive future innovation.

We have extensive connections with industry – our industry partners benefit from having access to talented graduates for recruitment and students for postgraduate projects.

Masters research project/dissertation

All of our Master of Professional Studies (Data Science) and Master of Data Science students are required to undertake a research project/dissertation worth either 30 or 45 points. These projects are conducted either part-time, across the university year, or full-time during one semester.

To meet the requirements of their research project/dissertation, students will either complete an academic research project with academic supervisors, or an industry project guided by a team of academic supervisors and industry mentors, giving students experience solving real-world problems. Projects may be undertaken individually or in groups (where appropriate).

Project ideas come from industry partners – they could be looking for a creative solution to a problem, or perhaps have a nice-to-do project that they simply haven’t had the resources to get underway. In return, industry partners can benefit from innovative and cutting-edge solutions, and perhaps use the opportunity to identify students for future job opportunities.

Provide resources

Industry can provide us with resources, such as datasets or projects that students can engage in alongside our taught courses.

This allows students to see the relevance of course content in an industry domain, providing real-world context for their academic studies and giving them insight into how data science is applied in different domains.

Engaging with students during their studies and providing live projects and datasets is an opportunity for industry to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and industry application and to contribute to the development of industry-ready graduates.

Host an event/guest lecture

We want innovators and industry leaders to share their knowledge and experience with our students.

This is an opportunity to expose students to different areas of the NZ tech environment, to contextualise data science, and to talk about your company and what you are looking for in a graduate.

These events help our students to develop soft skills, and give them an understanding of the data science industry in NZ.

The University of Auckland also hosts clubs such as the Data Science Club. Clubs engage with industry members throughout the year and run student events.

Industry Advisory Group

The University of Auckland Data Science team works with an Industry Advisory Group (IAG), which provides insight and advice into trends, issues and opportunities within the data science sector, and informs the development of the data science programmes within the Faculty of Science to ensure that these programmes meet the needs of industry and of students.

The IAG provides a formal channel for industry leaders to advise the data science management team and gives organisations an opportunity to work with and support the next generation of data scientists.

“I recommend IAG frequently to data science students and industry leaders as a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between academic and industry data science practices and communities. Being able to meet some of the smartest emerging data scientists as they study and share with them hard-won insight from the innovative work we are doing at PredictHQ is deeply rewarding.”

Dr Xuxu Wang, Chief Data Officer, PredictHQ


Dougal Watt, Watt Consulting (Chair)

Gareth Robins, EROAD (Deputy Chair)

Phil Shepherd, Harmonic Analytics

Habib Baluwala, Spark

Esther Meenken, AgResearch

Vanessa Cave, VSNi UK

Aadil Dowlut, Spark

Sam Daish, Qrious

Richard Dean, ESR

Paul de Quaasteniet, Watercare

Alistair Evans, KPMG

Miles Fordyce, REINZ

Vince Galvin, Stats NZ: Tatauranga Aotearoa

Paulo Gottgtroy, Mercury

David Grant, BNZ

Steve Heinen, Vector

Kari Jones, Woolworths NZ

Manish Kukreja, Spark

Vikash Kumar, NZ Transport Agency: Waka Kotahi

Claude Michel, SapienX

Sarah Mitchell, The Warehouse Group

Kristy Su, Vodafone

Tighe Wall, Contact Energy

Xuxu Wang, PredictHQ

Nick Lupis, FIRN

Gurbani Singh, Tower Insurance

Thomas Hyde, Beca

Duncan Tait, Loyalty

Purnesh Tripathy, AWS

Mike Willett, EY

Dion Sheppard, ESR

Janet Stacey, ESR

Connect with us

Need more information?

To register your interest, or if you would like further information about industry projects or hosting an event, contact our Industry Liaison Coordinator at

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