Science Leader

Professor Ian Brown

Professor Ian Brown’s research spans over thirty years in materials science encompassing glass and ceramics, minerals, nanomaterials, hydrogen materials research and titanium metallurgy. After completing his PhD in glass science at Victoria University in 1974, Ian worked for 5 years in the Pilkington Bros UK (Glassmakers) laboratories in Lancashire, learning many practical skills in glass science and technology, as well as the practicalities and politics of technology transfer.
In his role as Manager of the Advanced Materials Group at Callaghan Innovation, he is constantly seeking new materials solutions for New Zealand industry. Ian and his team have innovated new nanoscaled ceramic membranes for hydrogen gas purification, while continuing to develop high-value materials processes and products in partnership with the advanced ceramics, cement and titanium manufacturing industries. Ian currently leads two major MBIE funded programmes: ‘ High-Performance Cements for Extreme Environments’ and the ‘New Zealand Titanium Technologies Platform’.



AProf Leandro Bolzoni

AProf Leandro Bolzoni is a metallurgist with more than 10 years of experimental research experience including physical metallurgy of light metals manufactured via near net shape methods, metallic biomaterials, functional materials and design of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. A Mechanical Engineering with specialisation in Materials Science and Engineering by training, Leandro aims to gain fundamental scientific understanding of the processing and properties of advanced light metals for a more sustainable technology-driven world. After completing his Doctorate in titanium powder metallurgy at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain) in 2011, Leandro led the development of novel Nb-based master alloys for the grain refinement of Al-Si cast alloys at Brunel University London (UK). As an academic at the University of Waikato, Leandro teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students and leads the WaiCAM (Waikato Centre for Advanced Materials) Titanium Research Group contributing to the TiTeNZ platform.


Dr. Fei Yang

Dr. Fei Yang is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato. He received his PhD degree in materials processing engineering from the Harbin Institute of Technology, PR China, in 2010, working on hot processing of hard-deformed materials (e.g. titanium alloy and titanium aluminide intermetallics) and determining the hot deformation behaviour and mechanisms of the hard-deformed materials. Prior to joining the University of Waikato in 2011, Fei worked in the Guangzhou Research Institute of Non-ferrous Metals as a materials scientist from 2010 to 2011, where he worked on developing powder metallurgy processes and products. Currently, Fei is a key researcher and member of the Science Leadership Team of the TiTeNZ project, working with other research and industry partners on the commercialisation of powder titanium products in New Zealand. As a co-leader of the titanium research group at the University of Waikato, Fei is seeking to develop new materials and cost-effective processing routes for use in New Zealand manufacturing industry, and he has successfully initiated a new research area ─ cost-effective synthesis of advanced heat sink materials (e.g. copper/diamond composites) ─ in New Zealand, securing a prestigious grant from the US Air Force. Fei received the University of Waikato Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2017, and has been nominated for several other awards. Fei is currently supervising eight PhD students and is also an appointed external PhD supervisor of the Harbin Institute of Technology; a committee member of the Society of Materials New Zealand Inc; and a member of TMS (the Minerals, Materials and Metals Society, US).


Dr. Mike Fry

Dr. Mike Fry has been  CEO of TiDA in Tauranga since 2016. TiDA specialises in Titanium, Powder Metallurgy and Additive Manufacturing (AM) and operates an EOS 270M - the first metal 3D printing machine brought to NZ. He is a Chartered Engineer with 26 years of experience conducting and leading engineering research and development. After a mechanical engineering PhD at University College London (sponsored by Jaguar), Mike worked at Lotus Cars. Later joining Cosworth to lead road-engine research and then Chief R+D Engineer for Cosworth Technology under Audi ownership. He became an independent engineering consultant in 2001.
Mike has been active in Automotive/Race(Lemans)/Aero/low carbon and marine technology R+D for various international projects.  In NZ he has worked on material processing in Additive Manufacturing/metals/ceramics/plasma-spray/Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) and other related technologies.He moved to New Zealand in 2007 with his wife Claire and 2 Children, planning a 1-year sabbatical stay for Claire as a GP.  They still live at Waihi Beach 11 years later, having been permanently seduced by the Kiwi coastal and outdoor lifestyle.

Dr. John Kennedy

Dr. John Kennedy is an ion beam physicist who works on new materials development and ion beam analysis for advanced materials, biology, geology and environmental applications. His main area of research interest is condensed matter physics with a particular focus on coatings and surface modification. He is currently investigating metal and metal oxide nanoparticle growth and their structural, electrical, optical and magnetic properties. John leads the GNS Science core science programmer of ion beam applications which focuses on research and development of ion beam technology for industry and environment sectors.