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 eight companies as NIP co-locators and members at 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”.


Balaji Muthuvel

I’m an international student from India, pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering, working on the wet compression moulding process. I love interacting with people and am passionate about teaching students.

Hamed Abdoli

I’m an international student from Iran, pursuing my PhD at the Centre of Advanced Composite Materials (CACM), working on a 3D printing hybrid structure using the direct continuous Carbon fibre printing technique. I’m inspired to interact with innovative industries and make a strong connection between NIP and industrial sections.

David Tomzik

Originally from Germany, I am finishing my PhD in Mechanical Engineering. My topic is smart cloud-based machine control and my goal is to create a light-weight and upgradeable system with low entry barriers. I started my research because I am passionate about technology and realising new ideas. I look forward to working with companies that are innovative and interesting

Hossein Hadi Najafabadi

I am an international student from Iran, a PhD student in Engineering Science working on the numerical modelling of laparoscopic surgery. I’m passionate about developing innovative products in the field of human healthcare. To relax I enjoy going for a hike in nature, playing tennis, and reading books.

Frank Li

I am an international student from China, currently a Part IV undergrad student in Civil Engineering with an interest in structural engineering. I also support my fellow students as a technical assistant at the Multi-disciplinary Learning Spaces in Engineering and I am familiar with 3D printing and laser cutting. In my spare time, I enjoy watching sports events with my friends.

Gerald Kwazu

I hail from sunny Nigeria. I’m currently a PhD student in Civil Engineering working to develop a framework for livelihood preparedness. I’m passionate about business and new enterprise.