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A cascade heat pump for water heating
Heat pumps offer considerable energy cost and energy-related environmental benefits. However the high temperature required for domestic hot water limits energy efficiency, especially if heat-source temperatures are low.
A team including Professor Don Cleland worked to design a heat pump to overcome these limitations. This system uses ambient air as the heat source, a heat pump configuration involving two refrigerants in a cascade arrangement, and is coupled to a stratified hot water cylinder.
Laboratory performance testing, combined with analysis using climate data and field tests, suggests the system would achieve seasonal heating efficiencies of more than 300% (more than 3 units of heat for each unit of energy input) at most New Zealand locations.
Polyphosphate (poly-P) is found in all organisms and is involved in functions such as energy and phosphorus (P) storage and stress response in bacteria.
In eukaryotic algae, poly-P synthesis has been reported in both P-rich (e.g. wastewater ponds) and P-depleted (e.g. natural ecosystems) environments, but we do not fully understand how (the molecular basis) and why (evolutionally and ecologically) algae expend cellular energy to synthesize poly-P.
Professor Benoit Guieysse is working to identify the genes responsible for poly-P synthesis in algae, to better understand how phosphorus supply affects algal growth, which may in turn provide new engineering fundamentals in environmental engineering and algal biotechnology.
Analysing Harmful Electromagnetic Exposure due to Future Millimeter Wave Transmissions
This study is investigating potential adverse effects of electromagnetic radiation on human health caused by the next generation of telecommunication networks – or 5G.
The study, led by Dr Faraz Hasan, will potentially either build consumer confidence in the future telecommunication services or result in the recommendation of industry modifications to the technology to ensure human wellbeing.
Biohydrogen from agroindustrial waste
This research project worked to convert agroindustrial waste into a fuel that both solves a biomass waste disposal problem and provides a useful product.
Agroindustrial waste from the palm oil industry was used. For each metric ton of crude palm oil produced, roughly four metric tons of dry oil palm waste is generated. Massey University’s Professor Yusuf Chisti worked with Walailak University in Thailand to identify how to recover and break down the cellulose and hemicellulose components of this biomass waste to produce simple sugars and other organic molecules. The simple organics obtained by breaking down the oil palm waste were then used to produce hydrogen via a type of photosynthesis, using an anaerobic purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides.
Capturing and analysing limb injuries in race horses
Equestrian industries make up about 2 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP and about a third of horses that start training and racing are retired and lost due to injury. About three-quarters of these are musculoskeletal injuries. Dr Bob Colborne and PhD student Alienor Bardin, a mechanical engineer, are investigating solutions to these injuries in race horses using 3D capture and computer modelling. The project involves having the horses trot and canter along a runway in a sand arena over a force platform embedded in the surface in front of six infrared cameras that record the 3D movement of the horse’s limb segments on a consistent surface.
Community farming solutions for disabled
The majority of Cambodians live in rural areas, which makes small scale farming a huge part of their daily lives. However, there are a large number of people with disabilities who find this environment challenging because of missing limbs, blindness or other impairments.
Dr Andrew Drain, as part of his PhD research is working with rural communities to create farming technologies for these people. The project is helping them learn proven design processes so they can come up with designs that can easily be recreated throughout rural Cambodia.
Developing a new way of measuring animal pain
A new device designed by engineers and veterinarians at Massey University seeks to change the way we understand and manage animal pain, starting with sheep. The research team worked with Massey’s engineering expertise to develop a device which is better for animal and researcher. It transmits data via wifi and is lighter and more comfortable for the animal.
Electro spun Bioprinting Technology in the Production of Complex Collagen Tissues
Associate Professor Johan Potgieter is leading a team on this research, which is working to develop a 3D printing machine designed for use in the medical transplant industry.
When the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) wanted to know how to produce, process and deliver food with lower greenhouse gas emissions, they approached Massey’s energy expert Professor Ralph Sims.
He led an international team and produced a report (Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate) that addresses the challenge. The FAO plans to action the report's recommendation and will encourage local and national governments to consider developing and implementing policies and measures.
Phosphorous removal from wastewater
New processes are being developed for phosphorus removal and pathogen treatment from wastewater. Two substantial Marsden Fund grants ($648,000 and $920,000) have been awarded to projects worked on or led by Professor Andrew Shilton.
Pyrolysis is the thermal breakdown of carbonaceous material in the absence of oxygen, to make solid char, liquid bio-oils and non-condensable gases.
We are focussed on making biochar in one application and smoke in another: the first being good for the environment and the second to add value to New Zealand food exports. Biochar is made from sustainable feedstocks like forest or crop residues and, when added to soil, it sequesters carbon which helps mitigate climate change. In the other application, we are investigating native New Zealand woods to identify their distinctive smoke aromas and how to design and operate smoke generators to take advantage of these characteristics.
Recognition of birdsong
A key challenge with monitoring birds is their elusiveness in the wild. This makes it difficult to accurately estimate populations. Recordings of bird vocalisation is an effective method, but requires a huge amount of time in analysis.
The AVIANZ project is developing automated birdsong recognition system software. This decreases the time commitment to analysis, while increasing accuracy. The work received an $880,000 grant in the 2017 Marsden Funding round. This project is a collaborative piece of work between Massey’s behavioural ecology and engineering groups. Find out more about the project and hear native bird calls.
Redefining the dense world of 5G telecommunications
This project explores innovative methods to make future 5G communication technology a reality without incurring heavy financial investment. This work, led by Dr Faraz Hasan, changes the very nature of 5G networks from being fixed, capacity-limited and hardware-driven to being dynamic, always-available and software-driven.
Virtual farm assistant being developed
Massey engineers are developing a screen-based prototype to help on the farm that could be used from anywhere. Still in its early stages of development, the system involves users speaking to a computer-generated avatar, who answers farm-related questions and puts forward data-driven solutions based on the information it has.
The system is designed to tap into sensors on the farm that give real-time information to farm managers about what is happening. It can compare that to what has happened in the past, and recommend options for what to do next, based on the data available.
Dr Hannah Wells looked at the arrangements and features of collagen within a range of tissues and natural materials for her PhD. Arrangement of collagen fibrils can vary depending on the tissue, so different arrangements result in varying strength and properties. Hannah worked to isolate processes in order to define which features correspond with certain material properties.Hannah Wells
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr Maxence Plouviez worked to determine the first microalgal N2O pathway and calculated preliminary emission factors to predict N2O emissions during microalgal cultivation as his PhD project. His work has proposed mitigation strategies, careful monitoring of nitrous oxide emissions during microalgal production, and better accounting for this process in any impact assessments.Max Plouvier
Doctor of Philosophy
Awards and recognition
From 2012-2014 Massey engineering students won the 'Engineers Without Borders' international competition. Teams from Massey regularly win the national competition.Engineering students at Massey
Engineering Without Borders international win
A Massey University engineering team won its category at a global competition in New York City for an air-quality project.PhD students Baden Parr and Tyrel Glass, Bachelor of Engineering Honours graduates Madhav Kruthiventy and Darryn Wells.
Engineers win $80k in US tech competition
Professor Benoit Guieysse was awarded $920,000 from the Royal Society's Marsden Fund for the project 'The greedy algae that are great for our environment: why do they pay an energy penalty to gorge phosphate?'Professor Benoit Guieysse
Marsden funding for environmental engineering research
The Scott Medal was awarded to Don Cleland for his outstanding research into optimising the design and operation of refrigeration technologies.
Professor Cleland's research has provided a suite of performance prediction methodologies that are used by industrial refrigeration practitioners to optimise the design and operation of cold-chain and heating technologies.Professor Don Cleland
Meet our graduates
I knew people who had studied supply chain management at Massey and I heard good things about the overall leadership and courses available.Mike Blanchard
General Manager Strategic Procurement, Sydney Trains
Master of Supply Chain Management
Centre for Additive Manufacturing
The Centre is New Zealand’s only dedicated research facility in this field. We have close ties to industry, offering expert assistance in all aspects of design for additive manufacturing and the production of commercial prototype components. Our equipment spans the range of industrial additive manufacturing techniques, including selective laser sintering of polymer powder, direct metal printing of metal powders, fused deposition modelling of polymer filaments and multi-material multijet printing of polymers.
Centre for Energy Research
Members of the Centre work to enhance knowledge in the field of sustainable energy supply, utilisation, efficient management and policy advice. They do this through research and development of particular relevance to New Zealand and facilitate technology transfer by establishing an interface with industry. The Centre has excellent international links.
Centre for Postharvest and Refrigeration Research
The Centre for Postharvest and Refrigeration Research does research and consultancy to provide cost-effective solutions to industry problems. We work on a wide range of fruit, vegetable, cut flower, seafood and aquaculture products.
New Zealand Biochar Research Centre
The Centre is internationally-recognised, working to advance the understanding of biochar for mitigating global climate change. We also work to enable its use in New Zealand, particularly by the agricultural and forestry sectors.
Telecommunication and Network Engineering Research Group
Telecommunication and Network Engineering research group works on issues that are pertinent to the next generation communication networks. Our focus areas include 5G Cellular Networks, software defined networking, energy harvesting and green communication.