The NIP is a multidisciplinary, industry-facing R&D community based at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering. We aim to connect companies facing technical challenges with world-class experts who are committed to having real world impact. We believe that while good things happen when people collaborate to innovate, great things happen when they do so shoulder-to-shoulder.



Claire Bennett

Claire is a relationship manager for the Faculty of Engineering. She leads a programme of industry-focussed engagement activities, designed to make connections and grow mutually rewarding partnerships between industry professionals and University staff and students.  A significant part of this initiative has been to nurture the growth of the Newmarket Innovation Precinct, which now welcomes a diverse group of companies as NIP co-locators and collaborators at the University of Auckland’s Newmarket Campus.

“My passion is people, building supportive communities and creating opportunities for people to connect on new ideas.  I want to enable people to thrive in their chosen fields, achieve lofty goals and share their journeys of learning and success with others”.


David Cotton

David is Senior Laboratory Technician for the Newmarket Innovation Precinct and is responsible for all laboratory activities. His background is in Industrial Automation which has led to a range of related experience in electrical, electronics, computers, mechanical & workshop practice, chemical safety and usage, CAD & 3D printing etc.

When a client first contacts the Newmarket Innovation Precinct, discussions are held to establish the laboratory infrastructure and facilities required. David assists with all aspects of establishing the laboratory space: initial setup, procurement, Health & Safety and assistance with specialised equipment if required, through to day-to-day laboratory management.


Sally Lee

Sally is the Community Coordinator for the Newmarket Innovation Precinct. With a background in marketing, entrepreneurship, and community building, she is passionate about startups, social impact, and emerging technologies. Sally’s dedication is centred around the creation of inclusive and supportive spaces, allowing individuals to pursue their visions and experience growth.

As a problem solver and ideator, Sally enjoys supporting community members in their entrepreneurial journeys and creating opportunities for innovation and success. Her goal is to ensure a seamless and positive experience for everyone within the Newmarket Innovation Precinct. Sally looks forward to contributing to the growth of the NIP community and collaborating with others to establish an exciting and thriving ecosystem.



Kyle Engel

Kyle is a third-year Chemistry PhD student interested in polymer chemistry and additive manufacture. His current work focuses on developing artificial muscles using 3D printing technologies. He hopes to develop new ways to prepare assistive devices by focusing on these technologies. Kyle also works with the Newmarket Innovation Precinct as an assistant lab manager.

“I have been interested in 3D printing since a teenager, and it is inspiring for me to work with the technology to find new ways to help others. I enjoy solving problems, and I often find that a little creativity goes a long way.”

Chris Bainbridge

Chris is a PhD student studying polymer chemistry. His current work is focused on using living polymerisation to produce a versatile 4D polymer platform, as current 4D polymers can only undergo a single function. This could then be used in various smart polymer applications such as multi-responsive sensors, mechanically modulated materials, and soft robotics. Through this, Chris has gained wide experience through working with chemists, physicists at the Photon Factory, and engineers at the Newmarket campus.

Chris supports the Newmarket Innovation Precinct as an assistant lab manager and enjoys playing hockey and reading in his spare time.


Atefeh Rahimi

“I am a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland. My research revolves around the modelling field of heart and lung interaction in pulmonary hypertension disease. With a strong mathematical background from my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I bring a quantitative approach to my studies. I have had the opportunity to apply my skills as a data analyst and researcher, gaining valuable experience in analysing and interpreting complex datasets. Collaborating with the Dargaville Medical Centre has further enriched my research journey. Recently, I have embarked on an exciting project with the Newmarket Innovation Precinct, where I contribute as a data analyst.”