Dr Michelle Dickinson

Associate Investigator


Postal Address:

Chemical and Materials Engineering
University of Auckland
20 Symonds Street
Auckland 1010

Research Interests:

Dr Michelle Dickinson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland. 

With a Master’s degree from the University of Manchester (UK) and a PhD from Rutgers University (US) in Biomedical Materials Engineering she uses her interdisciplinary experience to study the mechanical properties of both traditional and biological materials.

Michelle runs New Zealand’s only nanomechanical testing laboratory which specialises in measuring and developing new indentation based techniques for measuring the mechanical properties of nano- and micro-scale materials including thin films, micro-particles and biological structures.

Associated Content


MI Investigators successful in MBIE Endeavour Round 2016 & Smart Ideas

12 of our Investigators were successful in MBIE 2016 Endeavour Round.

MacDiarmid Investigators are involved in both ‘Smart Ideas’ and ‘Research Programmes’. 


Dr Michelle Dickinson in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Her alter ego’s name, “Nano Girl”, was coined by schoolchildren but top scientist Dr Michelle Dickinson may be more of a superhero than she gives herself credit for. The Auckland University nanotechnologist’s tireless efforts to get Kiwis hooked on science, kids especially, have earned her a Queen’s Birthday Honour. It comes after she was awarded […]


Seven Sharp: Meet Michelle – The Science Superhero

TVNZ’s Seven Sharp featured MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator Dr Michelle Dickinson who’s trying to bust stereotypes and change what we all think about science! Watch the full clip HERE!


Auckland Arts Festival: ‘An extravaganza of explosions’

Dr Michelle Dickinson loves science and has dedicated her life to it. In fact, the senior engineering lecturer at the University of Auckland is so keen to share with the world her love for the discipline, she’s set her own hand on fire – by lighting a harmless-looking pile of methane-filled bubbles. Not as some […]


MacDiarmid Institute’s Seventh International Conference Huge Success

This past week we have been in Nelson hosting our seventh international conference, attended by over 500 delegates and superbly organised by our Principal Investigator Shane Telfer (Massey University) and his team. In addition to the hundreds of science presentations we have been involved in a range of outreach activities during the week. This tradition […]


A public talk with Dr Michelle Dickinson in Nelson

The MacDiarmid Institute, together with the Nelson Science Society, warmly invites you to a presentation by Dr Michelle Dickinson, aka Nanogirl, winner of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Science Communication Award.  Michelle is a member of the MacDiarmid Institute, which is holding this public talk in association with its biennial international conference, AMN-7 this year in […]


‘Nanogirl’ wins science communication award

This year’s Prime Minister’s Science Prize for Science Communication has been awarded to Dr Michelle Dickinson, capping off a prize-winning year for the University of Auckland engineering lecturer. Dr Dickinson, a senior lecturer in Chemical & Materials Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Associate Investigator of The MacDiarmid Institute, was also named Science Communicator of […]


Outreach – Institute Investigators visit Nelson College for Girls

While in Nelson for AMN-7 the MacDiarmid Institute’s seventh international conference for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, three of the Institute’s Investigators visited Nelson College for Girls to share with the Year 12 and 13 students their passion and enthusiasm for science. Senior science students from Nelson College for Boys also attended the presentations.   Fibonacci [...]

Dr Michelle Dickinson – Nanogirl at the Auckland Arts Festival

MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator Dr Michelle Dickinson performed as her alter ego “Nanogirl” in the Auckland Arts Festival as part of ‘Think Science Day”. We sent along a number of Auckland Primary School teachers who had participated in Kōrero with Scientists programme, and one of them, Kelsy Fletcher contributed the the following review. On Saturday 14th […]


Women of Influence

The MacDiarmid Institute had four investigators placed as finalists in the Science and Innovation category of Westpac’s Women of Influence Awards for 2014.

New Faces: Michelle Dickinson

Michelle Dickinson has always been interested in how things work. Her father, an aircraft engineer, would leave bits of circuitry lying about the house (Michelle remembers this frustrating her mother somewhat) and encouraged Michelle to take things apart and put them back together again.  This natural curiosity and an ability in maths and science was nurtured at school—“at no time was I ever made to […]