2013-2014 Committee

The MESA committee for 2013-2014 has the following members:

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Back Row (going up the stairs) Moritz Banholzer (WGTN), Johnathon Tailby (Lower Hutt), Leah Graham (WGTN), Lakshika Perera (AK), Pauline Calloch (Lower Hutt), Nina Novikova (AK)
Front row (l-r) Nihan Aydemir(AK), Harry Warring (WGTN), Brendan Darby – Chairperson (WGTN), James McNulty (WGTN), Brad Mansel (Palmy)
Absent: Luigi Sasso (CHCH), Jan Dormanns (CHCH), Rosa-Hughes Currie (CHCH), Anne-Helene Pichard (Lower hutt), Angela Yiwen-Pi (AK), Pablo Hernandez (Palmy), Greg Huff (Otago).

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Brendan Darby (Victoria University of Wellington) – Chair.

 A PhD student in the Raman Spectroscopy lab in Wellington, Brendan’s research focuses on investigating the fundamental aspects of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) and how this technique can be used to reveal interesting information about molecules at the nano scale. He hopes to use his commercial experience to bridge the gap for students between academia and industry.

Leah Graham 4 print 5


  Leah Graham (Victoria University of Wellington) – Treasurer
Leah is a PhD student in the Nanoparticle and Quantum Dot Research Group at Victoria University. Her research focuses on using solution phase chemical techniques to synthesise very uniform nanoparticles with superb control over their size and shape; for applications in catalysis. Her background is in Process Engineering and her interests are in energy production and efficiency. Her goal is to increase the general interest and knowledge of scientists between the different scientific disciplines.


m_banholzerMoritz Banholzer (Victoria University of Wellington)
Moritz is a PhD student at Victoria University in Wellington working on the synthesis of iron nanoparticles for cancer therapy. Previously he worked in quantum optics and biophysics in Germany. His interests lie with any biomedical application of nanomaterials, feel free to contact him on any of those matters. Also he is an advocate of open source software and happy to share any thoughts and experiences on that as well. Currently Moritz is organizing one of the next MESA workshops on EM microscopy.


Brad Mansel (Massey University, Palmerston North)
Brad is representing Palmerston North for MESA. Gelled bio-polymer networks and microrheology are his current research interests. Feel free to contact him about soft materials research or to converse if one is ever stuck in sunny Palmy.


Dr. Luigi Sasso (University of Canterbury)luigi
Luigi’s key words are multidisciplinarity and internationality, interested in the role of MESA and the MacDiarmid Institute in the global research world. His scientific interests are biological nanostructures, electrochemistry, and the (bio)sensor field.


Harry Warring (Victoria University of Wellington)Mesa-2014-Committee

Harry is currently currently a physics PhD student studying the properties of rare-earth nitrides. His focus is on spintronic device integration of these materials, which capitalises on their combination of semiconductivity and ferromagnetism.


Chris Larsen (University of Otago)
Chris is studying towards a PhD in Chemistry. His research interests are the synthesis of photoactive materials and the study of their photophysical properties. He is currently involved in trying to get break the “isolation” of the University of Otago MacDiarmid students by bringing seminars and workshops to Dunedin as well as increasing Otago memberships.  


PaulinePauline Calloch (Callaghan Innovation, Lower Hutt)
Pauline is a PhD Candidate at Callaghan Innovation (Lower Hutt). Her research focuses on the fabrication of new electrically conductive refractory ceramics for the aluminium smelting.
Previsously she obtained a Master degree from E.N.S.C.I. (Limoges, France) on industrial ceramics. Her interest is to connect scientists from different disciplines and scientists to the rest of the world.


Jan Jan Dormanns (University of Canterbury)
As a PhD student at the University of Canterbury, Jan is investigating all-cellulose composites, a plant-based material your next TV or smartphone case could be made from instead of oil-derived plastics. Jan works on optimising mechanical properties of composites and uses AFM and nanoindentation to characterise materials on the nanoscale. His goal for MESA is bringing students from all over New Zealand and the world together to share knowledge and experience.


1holdsworthcrop Jonathan Tailby (Callaghan Innovation, Lower Hutt)
Jonathan is a PhD student based at Callaghan Innovation (Lower Hutt).  His research aims to develop a catalytic spillover membrane to decompose stored ammonia to supply hydrogen for fuel cells in transport applications.  Jonathan has a particular interest in science education, having taught in secondary schools.


ProfilePhotoMesa Pablo Hernandez (Massey University)
Pablo is a PhD student at the Biophysics and Biomaterials group with A.Professor Bill Williams, at Massey University, in the sunny Palmerston North. He came from Spain to work with computational and theoretical models involving networks of biopolymers, such as fibrils of proteins, DNA, or polysaccharides. He has also gained some experience with image analysis tools to gather the network architecture from microscopy images. He holds a degree in Physics, and a Masters degree in Biophysics from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. He is also a Linux and open source supporter, including Science publishing!


UntitledLakshika Perera (University of Auckland)
PhD student in synthetic organometallic chemistry in Auckland. My research aims to develop selectively chelating ligands for encapsulating beryllium and hope to contribute to the safe remediation of beryllium contamination from the environment. My goal for MESA is to help expose different disciplines of science to scientists of various backgrounds.


Cherie Tollemache (University of Auckland)mesa photo
Cherie is a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland: School of Chemical Sciences. Her research focuses on the development and optimization of electrochemical bio-sensors using nano-structured gold electrodes and layer-by-layer thin film fabrication. Her goals for MESA include helping to organise Auckland based workshops and symposiums which will allow for scientists from different disciplines to meet and extend their knowledge

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