Department of Mechanical Engineering

Centre for Advanced Composites Materials

Our vision is to "pioneer innovative technologies in advanced composite products and manufacturing processes" and "to enhance the wealth of members and provide new business opportunities to benefit the New Zealand economy".

The Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM), which was established in 2002, is a joint venture between the University of Auckland, SCION (Forest Research) and other industrial participants utilising government research funding. The goal of this centre is to bring together the complementary research capabilities of The University of Auckland, Forest Research and other partners in order to conduct pre-competitive research into advanced composite materials and manufacturing processes.

The centre has a number of New Zealand and international collaborators and a team of multidisciplinary research staff. The vision of the centre is  to “pioneer innovative technologies in advanced composite products and manufacturing processes” and “to enhance the wealth of members and provide new business opportunities to benefit the New Zealand economy”.

The Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM) involves researchers from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Chemical & Materials Engineering, Chemistry and Engineering Science. Although composites research started in late ’80s, CACM was formally established in 2002 and moved to its current building at Tāmaki Campus in 2004. The Centre undertakes both pre-competitive research and contract research in the areas of design, manufacture and evaluation of advanced polymers and composites. It has a synergistic relationship with the newly established Plastics Excellence Centre with many researchers having overlapping research interests.

The Centre occupies a modern, purpose built facility at the University of Auckland’s Tāmaki Campus. The total facility including the synergistic research area in the plastics centre, which covers approximately 3,500m², includes a large, open plan laboratory area with a range of specialised equipment, a mechanical testing laboratory, seminar and student study rooms. The Centre has access to a wide range of analytical and production tools including:

  • 100, 50 and 22-ton injection moulding machines
  • Brabender twin-screw extruder / plasticorder
  • Brabender sigma blade mixer
  • Twin-screw extruder
  • Lab scale film tower
  • Instron testing machines and test frames (static and dynamic)
  • Variable temperature environment chamber
  • Microwave ashing system
  • Rotational moulding set-up
  • Plasma chamber
  • Micro-/nanofibril production facility (designed and built at UoA)
  • Knitting facility


The strategy of the centre is to place emphasis on three key areas of research:

  • Theoretical modeling - kinematic and finite element
  • Practical application - aircraft componentry, biomedical aids, recyclable materials
  • Informative publication - journal articles, conference presentations and books.

The composites research area has seen the following developments:

  • KZ7 and the America's Cup in 1986
  • First composite boat built to Lloyds standards
  • Increased student interest in composites - PhDs, Masters and undergraduate projects
  • Publications in international journals and presentations in conferences
  • Collaboration with industrial partners nationally and internationally
  • Formation of the Centre for Composites Research at The University of Auckland.

Bachelor of Engineering courses

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) courses available at The University of Auckland relevant to the field of Mechanics of Materials and Composites are:

Part I

ENGGEN 121 - Engineering Mechanics (Dynamics)

Part II

MECHENG 242 - Mechanics of Materials

Part III

MECHENG 341 - Composite Materials


MECHENG 441 - Composite Materials
MECHENG 443 - Manufacturing Technology
MECHENG 461 - BE Project in Mechanical Engineering


MECHENG 741 - Advanced Mechanics of Materials
MECHENG 742 - Advanced Materials Manufacturing


Collaborators and Industrial partners

  • Horton Industries
  • Plastics New Zealand Inc.
  • Marley Ltd.
  • Fisher & Paykel Ltd.
  • Fletcher Wood Panels
  • Kohler Industries Ltd.
  • Galloway SPI
  • Production Engineering
  • JR Coutenay Ltd.
  • Dupont (USA)
  • ICI (UK)
  • Duralcan (USA)
  • Borealis (Norway/Finland)
  • Mitsui-Toatsu (Japan)
  • Air New Zealand
  • High Modulus
  • Pultron Industries
  • Industrial Research Ltd
  • SCION (Forest Research)


Academic staff

  • Professor  Debes Bhattacharyya - Professor/Director
  • Dr Raj Das - Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Neil Edmonds - Senior Lecturer 
  • Dr Krishnan Jayaraman - Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Richard Lin – Senior Lecturer
  • Dr Mark Battley - Senior Research Associate
  • Dr Miro Duhovic - Reserach Fellow
  • Dr Quentin Govignon - Research Fellow
  • Dr Jim Lee - Research Fellow
  • Dr Dongyan Liu -  Assistant Research Fellow
  • Dr Anjaneya Prasad Penneru - Research Fellow
  • Dr Sanjeev Rao - Research Fellow
  • Dr Arcot Somashekar - Research Fellow

Technical Staff

  • Mr Jos Geurts - Technical Manager
  • Mr Barry Fullerton
  • Mr Callum Turnbull
  • Mr Jimmy Thomas
  • Mr Shane Crump
  • Mr Stephen Cawley

Commercial services

The services we offer include:

  • Large scale Finite Element Analysis, including significant computational capacity
  • Design and performance evaluation of composite structures
  • Analysis of composite manufacturing processes.


Mrs. Sheeja.C.S.
Financial & Administration Officer
Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM)
Building 740-181, Tamaki Campus
261 Morrin Road, Glen Innes
Phone +64 9 9239093
Phone +64 9 373 7599 ext 89093
Fax +64 9 373 7005