Our People


Dr David White

Director BIODESIGN LAB, Senior Lecturer

David White has been conducting biomedical research in the area of respiratory devices since 2001 when he utilised dynamic modelling techniques to identify important design features that were subsequently applied in a small-bore tube continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) device.

With a strong industry and academic background in mechanical design, David has focussed on applied research that provides advances in breathing therapeutic devices or therapies.  Since completing his Masters of Engineering titled Breathing Therapy Air Delivery Unit: Simulation, Design and Development in 2003, David has gone on to design and supervise the building of many biomedical devices and research systems.  These include a lung simulator, pressure limiting flow regulator, simulator of premature neonate lung surfactant dynamics, airway tracheal tissue test apparatus and novel patient breathing interface systems.

Profile page: http://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/david-white3
Email address: David.white@aut.ac.nz

Lab Staff

Dr Michael Gschwendtner

Senior Lecturer

Michael Gschwendtner studied Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on theory and research at Technical University in Munich. His subsequent PhD research that he carried out at the University of the Federal Armed Forces of Germany in Munich was in the area of thermo-fluid-dynamics. Michael investigated and was the first to experimentally confirm the so-called Eckert number phenomenon that predicts a reversal in heat transfer at fast moving surfaces. He used several optical measuring techniques such as a 2-D Laser Doppler Velocimeter, a Michelson interferometer, and a self-developed light deflection technique to measure gas velocities and temperature gradients in a contact-free way in the vicinity of a fast rotating cylinder in a cross-flow.

Profile page: http://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/michael-gschwendtner
Email address: michael.gschwendtner@aut.ac.nz

Dr Roy Nates

Principal Lecturer

Roy is a mechanical engineer who has a strong inter-disciplinary research portfolio, representative of his broad range of interests. Topics of interest include sport science, biomedical engineering, renewable energy, thermofluid systems and engineering education.

Profile page: http://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/roy-nates
Email address: roy.nates@aut.ac.nz

Mr Chris Whittington

Senior Lecturer

A versatile Engineer, Educator and Researcher. Chris has had many years’ experience in senior engineering and product management prior to joining AUT. Chris has a strong background in computational modelling, 3-D scanning and printing, and a strong interest in engineering education. Currently Chris is investigating how the nasal cycle influences sinus nitric oxide entrainment during tidal breathing and how pathological states alter this relationship.

Profile page: http://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/chris-whittington
Email address: cwhittin@aut.ac.nz

Associate Researchers

Dr Steve Reay

Co-Director Design for Health and Wellbeing Lab

Steve Reay had a background in biology and ecology before returning to study design.   His main research interest explores the potential benefits of collaboration between design and other disciplines.  His most-well known project is the Design Health and Wellbeing lab at Auckland Hospital which launched in 2015. It is the world’s first collaboration between a university design school and a hospital, with a design studio - and won the top prize at the Best Awards-New Zealand’s foremost design awards. The DHW Lab is a space to creatively challenge how we design and view health and wellbeing. This unique collaboration with the Auckland DHB aims to contribute creative and responsive design-led solutions to health environments, while providing real world opportunities to advance both applied and theoretical research into how design can be integrated within healthcare environments.

Profile page: http://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/stephen-reay
Email address: stephen.reay@aut.ac.nz

Dr Daniel Shepherd

Senior Lecturer, Psychophysiology Lab, NISAN

Dr Shepherd received a PhD in psychoacoustics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 2005.  Since this time he has attained the position of Senior Lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology, where he lectures in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Studies.  He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Auckland, where he has researched and taught in the Departments of Psychology, Chemistry, and Audiology.  Dr Shepherd has represented and consulted with a number of community groups faced with intrusive noise, and argues that noise in the community must be managed with care if it is not to become a health risk.

Profile page: http://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/daniel-shepherd
Email address: [daniel.shepherd@aut.ac.nz ]

Dr Jim Bartley

ENT Surgeon, Counties Manukau District Health Board

Jim is a practicing ENT Surgeon, Counties Manukau District Health Board and Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Auckland.  Mr Bartley was involved in the recent redesign of the orofacial pain curriculum for the Faculty of Pain Medicine, ANZCA and has recently been made an examiner for the Faculty of Pain Medicine, ANZCA.

Dr Haribalan Kumar

Research Fellow, Auckland Bioengineering Institute.

Hari obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the Regional Engineering College (now the National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli), Trichy, India. He then attained his Masters at Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) in Flint, Michigan.

Dr Ali Seyfoddin

Lecturer, School of Science, AUT

Dr Ali Seyfoddin has over 9 years of international experience in pharmacy, biomedical science and drug delivery. After finishing his B.Pharm,  Ali obtained a Master degree in Drug Delivery from Aston University, UK in 2008 and a PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Auckland in 2014. In 2015, Ali was appointed as a lecturer in drug delivery, biomedical science and pharmacology in Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Dr Seyfoddin has a wide interest in various drug delivery systems including micro- and nano-encapsulated systems, 3D printed scaffolds and implantable devices. Biomedical 3D printing is a centrepiece of his drug delivery research at AUT.

Profile page: https://www.aut.ac.nz/profiles/ali-seyfoddin
Email address:[ali.seyfoddin@aut.ac.nz]

Advisory Board

Dr David White

View details above

Dr Roy Nates

View details above

Dr Jim Bartley

View details above

Ms Mitali Purohit

Commercialisation Manager

Mitali’s role at AUT Enterprises Limited is to capture, evaluate and progress the commercial development of AUT University’s intellectual property. Mitali’s experience includes commercialisation of early stage technologies through venture formation and corporate partnerships, business development and securing investment. Mitali brings an extensive network of investors and industry contacts. Through her previous role as an Associate at Pacific Channel Ltd., she served as a Chief Operating Officer for Breathe Easy Ltd, a company developing a treatment for Cystic Fibrosis. Mitali has provided venture development and investment assistance to over twelve New Zealand based life sciences and clean technology companies. Mitali is the founder of NZBIO Young Professionals Group, within NZBIO. She is a steering committee member of the Sector Engagement Group of the Lighthouse Platform and a member of the Business Advisory Board of Enactus (University of Auckland). Mitali is also on the advisory team of AUT eHealth Centre and AUT Food Network.

Profile page: https://biodesign.aut.ac.nz/our-people/mitali-purohit
Email address: mitali.purohit@aut.ac.nz

Dr John Hyndman

Specialist anaesthetist, HYVAN

Whilst working as a volunteer anaesthetist in developing countries, John recognized that the anaesthetic equipment was unsatisfactory. The high technology equipment used in the developed world was not appropriate for developing countries. What was needed was an affordable, high quality, ultra-reliable anaesthetic machine that could be serviced in hospital workshops. It had to be simple to use and robust.  In 2003 John Hyndman and Ivan Batistich decided to design and build such a machine.  Twelve years and four prototypes later they are finally satisfied that they have achieved their objective (The HYVAN).  In 2016 the HYVAN was awarded the WFSA inaugural innovation prize.

Profile page: https://biodesign.aut.ac.nz/our-people/dr-john-hyndman

Mr Ivan Batistich

Engineer, HYVAN

Ivan has spent a life time developing and marketing anaesthetic products.  In 1990 he designed and manufactured a ventilator (the IVENT). This ventilator is still in widespread use throughout the world and is renowned for its simplicity, reliability and longevity. Ivan and John decided to build an anaesthetic machine of a similar quality and reliability. The HYVAN is the result and it combines the proven (upgraded) Ivent ventilator with a soda lime absorber and selectatec mounted vaporizer.

Profile page: https://biodesign.aut.ac.nz/our-people/ivan-batistich

Research Officer

Ms Parivash Alikhani
Research Officer

Postgraduate Students

Ms Hana Salati

PhD candidate

Hana is investigating the delivery of current nasal saline delivery technologies with the view to developing a delivery model that enables the design of a new and more effective delivery device.

Profile page: https://biodesign.aut.ac.nz/our-people/hana-salati