University of Auckland welcomes world renowned 3D Printing researcher

11-Jul-2018 7:19 AM

Multi-award-winning product design developer and engineering researcher Professor Olaf Diegel will join the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering in early 2019.

Multi-award-winning product design developer and engineering researcher Professor Olaf Diegel will join the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering in early 2019.
The University is delighted to welcome Professor Diegel, its third appointee under the Government’s Entrepreneurial Universities programme.
He is a New Zealander returning to take up a new role as head of the Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (the Lab) which aims to significantly change the way Additive Manufacturing (AM) is implemented in industry.
AM uses a layer upon layer process rather than the conventional manufacturing processes which subtract material to carve out the finished product. Because of this, AM can produce parts that are infinitely more complex than is possible with conventional manufacturing and, if designed for, can be both cost effective while adding tremendous value to products by make them lighter, more efficient, customized, or adding to their functionality and sustainability. It has had an impact in a number of industries including aerospace, automotive, medical, fashion and has had some application in construction.
Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Jim Metson says the University is delighted to welcome Professor Diegel back to New Zealand to take up his new role.
“Additive Manufacturing is one of the fastest moving areas in a sector that is increasingly important to the country.  Securing his leading edge expertise will enable research and industrial applications that are game changing.”    
Professor Diegel has been leading the product development department and AM lab (the third he has founded) at Lund University in Sweden since leaving New Zealand in 2014. During his career he has developed over 100 new products for companies in New Zealand and worldwide including several home health monitoring products, security and marine products and lighting products.
These include the Spengler SCVL cardiovascular lab, a monitoring technology that gives a comprehensive picture of a user’s cardiovascular health. It measures not only blood pressure but also pulse pressure, mean arterial pressure and cardiac output through a device attached on the upper arm and another attached to the ankle. The technology represents a paradigm shift in the detection of cardiovascular conditions.
He has also helped to develop Selecon’s Pacific range of theatre spotlights which produce a cooler, whiter beam of light as well as a number of sophisticated modular dimming systems for NZ company Theatrelight.
Professor Diegel believes that AM enables creativity and innovation, allowing designers and inventors to immediately test their ideas to see if they work. This passion and creativity has flowed through to his own start-up, ODD Guitars, where Olaf produces 3D printed guitars and basses.
He has received over 20 prestigious product development and research awards and is a principal co-author of the “Wohlers report” (Additive Manufacturing State of the Industry, Annual Worldwide Progress Report).
The University’s new Lab led by Professor Diegel will ensure New Zealand is a leader in creative design and additive manufacturing, revolutionising manufacturing methods and products, and promoting projects with commercial potential through interdisciplinary research, Professor Metson says.
The University of Auckland is committed to growing New Zealand’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, building on its innovative researcher community with support from the Government’s Entrepreneurial Universities initiative. This programme aims to support and encourage the University’s 10,000 graduates each year to become future entrepreneurs and employees working with New Zealand businesses to help them to grow.
Notes for editors
  • The University of Auckland has been identified by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study as one of the world’s leading entrepreneurial universities “under challenging conditions”.
  • The Faculty of Engineering is New Zealand’s leading engineering faculty with world class research programmes.
  • UniServices, the knowledge transfer company of the University of Auckland, is the top commercialisation company in Australasia (1,200 active contracts with 300 firms at any one time).
  • The University of Auckland has been ranked as the most innovative university in New Zealand in the inaugural Reuters Top 75: Asia’s Most Innovative Universities rankings. The University of Auckland was placed 32nd. No other New Zealand university was ranked in the top 75.
  • ODD Guitars blend traditional hand crafting and high technology.
  • Wohlers Associates is an independent consulting firm providing technical, market, and strategic advice on the new developments and trends in rapid product development, additive manufacturing, and 3D printing.
Media Contact:
Anne Beston | Media Relations Adviser
The University of Auckland
Tel: + 64 9 373 7599 ext. 83258 |mobile: + 64 (0) 21 970 089

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