Advanced materials

Victoria University of Wellington's advanced materials researchers are among the best in the world and are leading many collaborations to improve our lives.

From healthcare to the environment to high-value manufacturing, our scientists are breaking new ground and working with the University’s commercialisation office, Wellington UniVentures, to turn their discoveries into products or services that transform society.

They work in the creative and supportive atmosphere of our School of Engineering and Computer Science and School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, including on multidisciplinary projects and in partnership with researchers at other universities, research institutes and organisations.

Leading the field

Paihau—Robinson Research Institute, world-renowned for its high-temperature superconducting (HTS) research, is part of the University, and our Kelburn campus houses the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a national Centre of Research Excellence comprising a network of New Zealand’s leading scientists. The MacDiarmid’s Director is the University’s Professor Thomas Nann.

As well as HTS and nanotechnologies, our scientists are conducting research in such areas as aptamers, semiconductors, spintronics, ferroelectrics, ionic liquid gating, magnetic materials and quartz resonators.

Applications for their research include contributing to the development of the world’s first hybrid-electric jet plane in partnership with NASA and developing biosensors for medical, environmental and other testing.

Globally recognised

Many of our scientists are recipients of prestigious research grants from the Marsden Fund, administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi on behalf of the government, and the Endeavour Fund of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The late Professor Sir Paul Callaghan, one of New Zealand’s most distinguished scientists and a world leader in nanotechnology and nuclear magnetic resonance, was a Victoria University of Wellington researcher and his legacy lives on at the University.

Cutting-edge innovation to make lives and New Zealand’s economy better underpins the University's advanced materials research.

Advanced materials stories

Tiny solution for big problem

A tiny device to instantly detect pathogens could save the seafood industry millions of dollars a year and help reduce overfishing.

Reducing energy use on Beijing subway

Research from the University will underpin ground-breaking technology that could see the heavy energy use of Beijing’s subway system cut by 40 percent.