Dr Simon Granville

Principal Investigator

Simon is an experimental materials physicist and NZ expert in thin film magnetic materials.  His field is spin-electronics, or spintronics, where he investigates the advanced magnetic materials needed to bring about a future generation of energy-efficient, ultra-high-speed and high-performance computer memory and logic that uses the magnetism, or “spin”, of electrons. Simon was one of the first MacDiarmid PhD students in 2003, and after a post-doc at EPFL in Switzerland, he returned to NZ and rejoined the MacDiarmid Institute in 2011 as an Investigator. Simon collaborates enthusiastically across the institute and internationally, particularly where magnetic materials are involved.

Simon is a Senior Scientist at the Robinson Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, where he co-manages the most advanced magnetic materials lab in New Zealand, hosting several pieces of MacDiarmid Institute equipment. He is also an avid field hockey player, fan of Doctor Who and pro wrestling, and turn-based strategy gamer.


Associated Content


Stuart Wimbush: From materials to systems

Story by Ruth Beran Commercialising high temperature superconductors is what the 25 scientists and engineers at the Robinson Research Institute (RRI) do best. Formerly part of IRL, and called the Superconductivity and Energy Team, the RRI is now part of Victoria University of Wellington. The Robinson Research Institute was named after the late Dr Bill […]


Videos – Meet our scientists

During AMN-7 the Science Media Centre “SAVVY Express” team offered our Investigators and students targeted 15 minute sessions to practice speaking about their research on-camera, with feedback and training from a professional interviewer. The result is a series of seventeen interesting 90 second videos all of which are now available to watch via SMC’s Youtube channel, or you can […]

The Inspiration of The Doctor

We can thank the Third Doctor for Simon Granville’s career choices. Simon always thought that he’d like to be a diplomat or a scientist —but watching Jon Pertwee play about with interesting gadgets and technology on Doctor Who swung his decision in science’s favour.  The exhaustive Wikipedia entry for the Third Doctor describes him as […]

Controlling their own destiny

The scientific legacy of Dr Bill Robinson is a new Institute at Victoria University Wellington bearing his name. The Robinson Research Institute is a newly-formed institute at Victoria which comprises the 25 scientists and engineers who previously formed the Superconductivity & Energy team at Callaghan Innovation (formerly IRL). This team has moved in its entirety from their previous employer to Victoria University […]

An Alumnus Returns

Attending this year’s symposium was MacDiarmid graduate Simon Granville, who has been living in Lausanne, Switzerland for the past four years. He’s been there researching fundamental magnetism and spintronics for his post-doc at the École Polytechnique Fédérale deLausanne (EPFL). During his time there, his research has centred mainly on spin valves – magnetic nanostructures that have been developed […]

And now for something completely different – ?

  The MacDiarmid Institute has completely changed my retirement — a carefully planned withdrawal from research. Among other things it introduced me to a professor from Lausanne who attended AMN-2 in Queenstown. That chance meeting, and a discussion we had about some Raman data I had on a complex ferroelectric, Cd pyroniobate, resulted in an […]

Post-graduate Students Take the Spotlight

From developing new tools for medical imaging, to investigating innovative materials for use in solar cells, to studying the growth of the delicate spines of sea urchins, the postgraduate students at the MacDiarmid Institute are a fascinating and diverse bunch – and that is just their work. In their spare time, the group has hobbies as diverse as Bollywood dancing, […]