2012-2013 Committee

The MESA committee for 2012-2013 has the following members:


Alex Barker (Victoria University of Wellington) – Chair

Emerging scientists in NZ are spatially scattered across the country. Alex wants to cultivate and nurture connections between these people so that we can share skills, equipment, ideas, funny stories, and bad jokes.

Alex’s research uses ultrafast laser spectroscopy to understand new materials for use in plastic solar cells and other low cost applications.


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.


luigiDr. Luigi Sasso (University of Canterbury)

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.


Andrea Kolb (Victoria University of Wellington)

Please talk to Andrea if you want to become a FutureinTech ambassador, want to communicate a scientific topic to non-scientists, need a hand when organising a workshop at VUW and/or need technical equipment at VUW.


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.


Rosa Hughes-Currie (University of Canterbury)

Rosa is doing her PhD in physics at UC and looking at photo luminescence spectroscopy of rare-earth doped semiconductor crystals. Her goal is to increase the general scientific knowledge and well-being of emerging scientists by helping MESA organize events that build relationships between different fields.

Brendan Darby (Victoria University of Wellington).

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.


Akshita Wason (University of Canterbury)

Akshita’s goal as a MESA committee member is to help foster a general spirit of entrepreneurship and help people from diverse fields interact. Alongside helping out organising workshops and encouraging students to participate in MESA activities.


Leah Graham 4 print 5Leah Graham (Victoria University of Wellington)

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.



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.