Engineering research boosted by new funding

02 November 2017

Engineering research at the University of Auckland receives more than $1.5 million in new funding from the Marsden Fund for 2017.

Projects within the Faculty of Engineering at the University to receive funding this round include $945,000 for research led by Professor Bryony James to explore why more complex food texture makes us feel fuller, faster.

Professor James, from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, explores the link between food and texture and satiation. Her work investigates whether it is the brain’s response to the sensations we feel while chewing that leads to satiation.

Mechanical Engineering lecturer Lihua Tang leads a project investigating vibration energy harvesting technologies and developing an eco-friendly alternative to traditional battery power. This project receives $300,000 in Marsden funding.

Electrical and Computer Engineering lecturer Xuyun Zhang also receives $300,000 in funding to develop a new framework for data analytics in relation to the Internet of Things.

The work could lead to the adoption of new approaches developed within the project for applications such as remote healthcare and smart manufacturing.

Two lecturers are additionally involved as Associate Investigators in projects shared with external organisations. Dr Colin Whittaker from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is collaborating with organisations that include NIWA and GNS Science to understand how volcanic eruptions generate tsunamis. The Department of Engineering Science's Associate Professor Charlie Unsworth is working with Victoria University of Wellington project to develop electrical biosensors to detect and quantify steroidal hormones in complex biological samples to potentially transform fertility treatments.

Dean of Engineering Professor Nic Smith says the new funding is welcome support for innovative research.

“I warmly congratulate our successful researchers who receive funding through the Marsden Fund and which allows us to pursue new and ground-breaking knowledge within the Faculty through innovative and high quality research,” he says.

The annual Marsden grants are administered by the Royal Society Te Apārangi and allocated over three years.


For more information contact:
Anne Beston 
Media Relations Adviser, Communications, University of Auckland
Tel: +64 9 923 3258
Mobile: + 64 (0) 21 970 089