Doctoral study in Chemical and Materials Engineering
Why study with us?
- The highest-ranked engineering faculty in New Zealand and 88th in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2019)
- Opportunities to be supervised by experts in the field, including those affiliated with the Research Centre for Surface and Materials Science, Light Metals Research Centre, and more.
- Access to Postgraduate Research Student Support (PReSS) funding for research expenses
Pursuing a PhD at our University gives you access to a high-calibre research community – you may have the opportunity to publish papers, attend international conferences and develop your network in academia and industry. The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering is home to recognisable researchers in a variety of applicable fields – from food to biomaterials – so you’ll be able to take advantage of the best knowledge we have to offer.
Our areas of research expertise include:
- Energy and the environment, including water, thermal management, energy storage, chemical processes in environmental clean-up, new technologies for conversion into biofuels and valuable chemicals, and the management and reutilisation of waste materials
- Food and nutrition, with focus on new technologies in processing and treatment, as well as investigations into microstructure and properties
- New and novel materials, with research into all classes – light metals and alloys, polymers, composites, biomaterials, nanomaterials, and more – to understand their properties, performance, and applications from healthcare to industrial use
- Innovative processes and process control, including membrane separations to recover and recycle valuable materials, microfiltration, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration, improvement of waste treatment with advanced oxidation technologies, and efficient energy management tools
Dr Jenny Malmström
Dr Jenny Malmström’s interdisciplinary research examines the interfaces between biology, chemistry and materials science. Her expertise includes the characterisation of material-biomolecule interactions and the influence of surface properties of cell adhesion onto substrates, with applications ranging from the creation of smart materials to the control of cellular behaviour. She has been named a Rutherford Discovery Fellow in 2016 and awarded a Marsden Fast-Start grant for her research into better ways to grow stem cells. She is also a Principal Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.
More researchers in Chemical and Materials Engineering:
- Associate Professor Ashton Partridge
- Associate Professor Ashvin Thambyah
- Professor Brent Young
- Professor Bryony James
- Dr Filicia Wicaksana
- Professor John Chen
- Dr Kelly Burrowes
- Associate Professor Mark Jones
- Professor Mark Taylor
- Professor Mohammed Farid
- Associate Professor Peng Cao
- Dr Saeid Baroutian
- Dr Steve Matthews
- Dr Wei Yu
- Professor Wei Gao
Past research topics
- Phosphorus management and recovery via struvite crystallization in New Zealand | Supervised by Dr Wei Yu and Professor Brent Young
- Modelling, control and optimisation of geothermal organic Rankine Cycle power plants | Supervised by Dr Robert Kirkpatrick, Dr Wei Yu and Professor Brent Young
- Application of phase change materials for peak load shifting through price-based control method | Supervised by Professor Mohammed Farid, Professor John Chen and Professor Brent Young
- Evolution of alumina microstructure and relationships with particle strength | Supervised by Professor Margaret Hyland and Professor Jim Metson
- Response of cryolite-based electrolytes and side-ledges to flexible potline power sifts at smelters | Supervised by Professor Mark Taylor and Dr Mark Dorreen
- TiO2 nanostructures for photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants | Supervised by Professor Wei Gao and Dr Filicia Wicaksana
- Minimisation of ice adhesion to surfaces using nanoscale surface modifications | Supervised by Professor Wei Gao
- The regional susceptibility of the intervertebral disc to mechanically induced disruption and herniation | Supervised by Professor Neil Broom and Associate Professor Ashvin Thambyah
- Effect of sintering conditions and composition on the fabrication and properties of electrically conductive b-Sialon-ZrN composites | Supervised by Associate Professor Mark Jones and Professor Wei Gao
Scholarships and awards
There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your PhD in Chemical and Materials Engineering, including the University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships.
Help and advice
For general student enquiries, please contact the Engineering Student Centre.
If you would like to find out more about studying Chemical and Materials Engineering, you can contact a Postgraduate Adviser.