Our governance model is embodied in a binding partnership agreement in which the partners have put aside institutional and disciplinary boundaries to create a coherent group of physicists, chemists, bio-scientists and engineers, who share resources, and work together to provide an ideal interdisciplinary training environment for young researchers. The agreement is administered by a Board comprising some of New Zealand’s leading experts in research management, intellectual property and technology transfer, supported by an International Science Advisory Board of some of the world’s most eminent physical scientists. The MacDiarmid Institute is led by its two Co-Directors, Associate Professor Nicola Gaston and Associate Professor Justin Hodgkiss, and two Deputy Directors. Dr Geoff Willmott is responsible for encouraging and fostering commercialisation of MacDiarmid Institute science to ensure the benefits of research are available to those who can put them to productive use, and that our members gain expertise in commercial analysis of their research. Dr Franck Natali is responsible for stakeholder engagement and outreach. The Director is supported in his decision-making by the Science Executive, which represents the MacDiarmid Institute’s scientific cohort, and the expertise of an International Science Advisory Board (ISAB) which comprises some of the world’s leading scientists in the fields of research represented by the Institute. The MacDiarmid Institute Board, under the Chairmanship of Paul Atkins, is responsible for the wider governance of the Institute.





Nicola Gaston is an Associate Professor in Physics at the University of Auckland Email: Catherine.gibbs@vuw.ac.nz 



Justin Hodgkiss is an Associate Professor in Physical Chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington Email: Catherine.gibbs@vuw.ac.nz 

Franck Natali

Deputy Director

Stakeholder Engagement

Dr Franck Natali School of Chemical and Physical Sciences Victoria University of Wellington PO Box 600 Wellington 6140 Phone: +64 4 463 5809 Email: franck.natali@vuw.ac.nz

Deputy Director

Commercialisation and Industry Engagement

Dr Geoff Willmott  Department of Physics University of Auckland Private Bag 92019 Auckland 1142 Phone: +64 9 923 9998 Email: g.willmott@auckland.ac.nz 


Centre Manager

Catherine Gibbs Room 410, Laby Building Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn Campus PO Box 600 Wellington 6140 Phone: +64 4 463 5950 Email: Catherine.gibbs@vuw.ac.nz

Strategic Engagement Manager

Vanessa Young Room 411, Laby Building Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn Campus PO Box 600 Wellington 6140 Phone: +64 4 463 6501 Email: vanessa.young@vuw.ac.nz


Commercialisation Manager

Gavin Clark Works across all partner campuses Phone: +64 22 563 5950 Email: gavin.clark@vuw.ac.nz




The MacDiarmid Institute is governed by a Board whose members are drawn largely from our partner organisations.


The Science Executive, which meets every two months, provides a vital sounding board and source of guidance for the Director and Deputy Directors in their day-by-day leadership roles. This executive comprises comprises the Director, the Deputy Directors,  Science Leaders and a representative of MESA.


The Board is informed by an International Science Advisory Board (ISAB), comprising some of the world’s leading scientists in the fields of research represented by the Institute.  The ISAB meets every two years.


2014 saw the establishment of The Industry Advisory Group (IAG).The IAG works with the Institute to provide advice on structures that will improve our interactions with New Zealand industry. In particular, the IAG advises on: mechanisms for the translation of research to industry; how to construct an interface with industry that allows our basic research directions to be guided by the concerns of industry; how to best interface with the new institutional structures that have been created to foster technology transfer and drive the application of basic research; how we can create more innovative and industry-ready graduates; and how to best interact with industry to participate in sector visioning that determines where the sector could be with the right resources, innovation, collaboration and planning.


MESA provides a valuable role in the management structure of the MacDiarmid Institute, acting as a hub for emerging scientists.