Richard Blaikie

Professor Richard Blaikie

Emeritus Investigator

Phone: 03 479 7784

Postal Address:

Department of Physics
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054

Professor Richard Blaikie, former Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, currently holds the role of University of Otago’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise).

After graduating with a first class honours degree in Physics from the University of Otago in 1988, Professor Blaikie was a Rutherford Memorial Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he received his PhD in Physics in 1992. He also spent a year as a visiting scientist at the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory. He returned to New Zealand to take up a position at the University of Canterbury in 1993.

Richard was the Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute from 2002, succeeding Sir Paul Callaghan as Director in 2008.

Internationally, he is perhaps best known for his scientific work on the negative refraction of light and its use in fabricating tiny electrical circuits.

As well as formerly sitting on the Marsden Fund Council, Professor Blaikie was a foundation member of the Science Board established by the New Zealand Government. He was awarded the T K Sidey Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2001 and the Hector Medal in 2013, and was also a Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001.  Professor Blaikie’s role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor also comes with a Chair in Physics to ensure that he is able to continue to make strong contributions to MacDiarmid Institute research programmes.


Associated Content


The Christmas Wrap

We’ve had another big year. We welcomed two new Deputy Directors Profs David Williams (UoA) and Alison Downard (UoC) (Shaun Hendy stepping down at the end of last year and Simon Brown at mid year). We also welcomed six new Principal Investigators (Natalie Plank (VUW), Cather Simpson (UoA), John Kennedy (GNS), Duncan McGillivray (UoA), Bernd […]


Richard Blaikie Honoured

Outstanding New Zealand researchers have been awarded prestigious medals at the Royal Society of New Zealand 2013 Research Honours event, held in Dunedin. President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Sir David Skegg FRSNZ, says it is important to recognise the achievements of New Zealand’s top scientists and scholars. “These medallists have all made […]


Marsden Success

The Royal Society of New Zealand today announced the successfull Marsden Fund grants.  Amongst the 86 research projects were two significant projects belonging to MacDiarmid Institute Principal Investigators Professor Richard Blaikie (University of Otago), and Dr Geoff Willmott (Industrial Research Limited), and another led by Associate Investigator Dr Aaron Marshall (University of Canterbury). Engineering optical […]


Nature of Science – Scientist Profiles

Chemist – Alan MacDiarmid The best mistake ever: Alan MacDiarmid is a big part of the reason your cell phone screen works. He is also the second New Zealander to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry – the first, of course, was Ernest Rutherford who is on the $100 note. “The real creative scientist is […]


Last thoughts for 2011

We have had a large number of successes this year, starting with Professor Sir Paul Callaghan (VUW) being named New Zealander of the Year which led straight into our biennial International conference.  This year the conference was held in Wellington and it was the largest of the five that we have held, bringing several hundred […]

Organising protein fibrils (nanotubes) into higher order assemblies (Gerrard, Downard, Williams(D), Travas-Sejdic, Blaikie)

With collaborators in other Theme areas (particularly Themes 1 and 5), we will develop methods for organizing the fibrils into higher order structures and will explore the properties of the new materials.  

Next generation semiconductor materials and devices (Allen, Alkaisi, Markwitz, Zulicke, Blaikie)

These are rapidly gaining an international profile as highly functional materials with the potential to deliver “next generation” semiconductor devices in UV optoelectronics, transparent electronics for solar cells and displays, high frequency/high temperature power electronics, and in nanoarchitecture due to their dramatic range of spontaneous polarisation induced nanostructures. Our semiconductor fabrication expertise gives us the […]


Elected Fellows

This week two of our Principal Investigators Professor Richard Blaikie and Professor Pablo Etchegoin were elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand is an honour conferred for distinction in research or the advancement of science or technology, or the humanities. This recognition is richly […]

One person tells one person and so on and so on…

What starts a trend? What creates a habit? What defines a culture? What delivers more than at one time would have even been imagined? Our culture of excellence is driven by individuals who deliver outcomes beyond expectations. This, in turn, drives the desire to do even more, expect even more and ask others to do […]

When smaller is better

SINCE THE BIRTH of the Silicon Age in the late 1950s, chips have gone from having two transistors to tens of billions in an area smaller than a fingernail. The conducting lines have become narrower, dropping from the micrometer range of the first microprocessor CPUs of the ‘70s down 1,000-times smaller to the nanometre level. […]


Focused on the human equation

As a PhD Student, David Melville worked at The MacDiarmid Institute with Professor Richard Blaikie investigating photolithography. He has recently shifted into the field of what IBM call Cognitive Computing.   AS A PhD STUDENT, David Melville worked at The MacDiarmid Institute with Professor Richard Blaikie investigating photolithography—the process by which computer chips are made. […]

Collaborating On A (Very) Small Scale

    Casual conversations over conference tea-cups, chance meetings in stairwells, idle flicking through a journal – these may not sound like the stuff of which scientific endeavours are made, but they can provide a surprisingly significant role in the development of research projects and collaborations that span an organisation, a city, sometimes even the […]

From Competition to Collaboration

  In the mind of former MacDiarmid Institute Director, Richard Blaikie, the beginnings of the MacDiarmid Institute will always be framed in time by a world-changing event that took place on the other side of the globe. When the call came ten years ago for expressions of interest to set up Centres of Research Excellence […]

The MacDiarmid Impact

Figure 1: The figure compares the citation impact of the MacDiarmid Institute with that of other prominent international institutions that work in advanced materials and nanotechnology.  The MacDiarmid Institute’s impact has grown considerably and is now closing in on that of MIT.  Sometime this year, the MacDiarmid Institute’s 1000th paper will be indexed by the […]

Chemistry Variety Show

  Fourteen-hundred senior science students from high schools all over the Wellington region attended the Chemistry Variety Show at the Michael Fowler Centre. The special event was part of celebrations for the International Year of Chemistry in 2011. The event featured a fashion parade and speakers; Professor Richard Blaikie (shown in the picture), Director of theMacDiarmid […]

Research Amidst the Rumbles

  What do you do when your laboratory starts to shake around you? Assume it´s just another aftershock and try to ignore it? Dive under your desk and ride it out? Make a dash for the precious samples vital for your PhD research? On February 22nd, those sorts of choices confronted staff and students alike […]