MaD2018: Key Presenters


Opening Address (Monday 21 May 2018 | ca. 8.45-9.30am):

Vic Crone – CEO, Callaghan Innovation


Vic Crone - low res

Vic came on board as Chief Executive with Callaghan Innovation in March 2017. She has significant executive and governance experience in technology and innovation. She brings a strong customer focus, and a track record of leading and implementing strategy, and building organisational culture. Vic was previously the Managing Director of Xero, NZ and New Markets, following executive roles at Chorus and Telecom New Zealand. She has been an Independent Director on the Boards of a number of companies and organisations in the technology sector, including RedShield, Figure.NZ, Creative HQ and the Hi-Tech Trust.


Opening Comments on Māori Economy (Monday 21 May 2018 | ca. 8.45-9.30am):

Steve Saunders – Founder, Owner and MD, Plus Group (incl. Robotics Plus Ltd)


Steven (Ngāti Ranginui) has 34 years’ experience in the Horticultural and food sector and is the founder, owner and Managing Director of the Plus Group of companies, specialising in horticulture management consultancy, orchard ownership, global pollen production, Robotic development (Robotics Plus ltd), international ventures, applied technology, environmental research, innovation and science.  He is the co-founder of Newnham Park Innovation Centre in Tauranga (NZ), which hosts eight local export award winning independent companies predominately in the food sector, a major stakeholder in the Kiwifruit Industry, an active Angel investor, a Director of many privately-owned companies and tech startups, an elected member of the executive board for Priority One (driving economic growth in the Bay of Plenty, NZ), independent director Lincoln Hub, Agrigate, Māori Economic Development Advisory Board and founding shareholder and Director of Rockit Global Limited.

Steven is an active member of the Te Hono Stanford Business School Alumni, Nuku Ki Te Puku (Māori food and beverage cluster) and Te Tiro Toi Whakangao (Māori tech cluster). He is also a founder, shareholder and Director of “WNT Ventures” tech incubator and a founding member of PlantTech, Tauranga (NZ) recently  awarded Regional Research Institute, a Private sector – Government initiative.

Steven was awarded the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, Westpac “Business Leadership Award in 2014” and the Tauranga Boys College 2016 old boy award.

During the MaD2018 Opening Ceremony, Steve will discuss aspects of the Māori Economy which are relevant to innovation in the manufacturing and design sector.


Key Address at Gala Dinner (Monday 21 May 2018 | ca. 7pm):

Hon Dr Megan Woods – Minister of Research, Science and Innovation


Hon Megan Woods is a Christchurch local, and has been the Member of Parliament for Wigram since 2011. Following the 2017 election, Megan was sworn in as a Minister of the Crown with portfolio responsibilities including the Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Energy and Resources, Research, Science and Innovation, and responsibility for the Earthquake Commission.

In her role as a local MP, Megan has worked alongside Cantabrians on important issues, in particular as many move on from the devastating earthquakes that struck the city in 2010 and 2011. With her ministerial focus on Christchurch, she wants closure for all Cantabrians.

In Opposition, Megan held various portfolios – including Climate Change and Canterbury Issues – helping her to gain an understanding of a wide range of issues and build important relationships, especially in Christchurch. Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Megan worked as a Business Manager at Plant & Food Research. She holds a PhD in New Zealand History from the University of Canterbury.

In between a busy schedule, Megan enjoys watching cricket, rugby and spending her free time with friends and family.


MaD2018 Keynote Speakers:

Professor Alexander Slocum (Monday 21 May 2018 | 9.30-10am)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Presentation Slides


AlexSlocum_FINALAlexander Slocum is the Walter M. May and A. Hazel May Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, a MacVicar Faculty Teaching Fellow, a Fellow of the ASME, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.  He has 100+ patents and has helped develop twelve products that have received R&D 100 awards for “one of the 100 best new technical products of the year”.  He pioneered the deterministic design of kinematic couplings ( including the standard for all semiconductor wafer transport carriers (SEMI E57-1296).  He has helped start several successful precision manufacturing equipment companies and has a passion for working with industry to solve real problems and identify fundamental research topics.

Alex was the Massachusetts Professor of the Year in 2000 and is the recipient of the Society of Manufacturing Engineer’s Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal, and the ASME Leonardo daVinci, Machine Design, and Thar Energy Awards.  His current interests focus on the development of precision machines, from medical devices and instruments to energy harvesting and storage machines.  Recently he served on the DoE Science Team working on the Gulf Oil Spill, and has served in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President as the Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing.  Since high school days, Alex has had a passion for furniture making and carpentry. Alex also loves sports, from SCUBA to snowboarding to marathons and iron-man, distance triathlons.


Peter Beck (Monday 21 May 2018 | 1.30-2pm)

Rocket Lab Ltd (CEO, Chief Engineer and Founder)



Peter Beck founded Rocket Lab in 2006 following a decade and a half of propulsion research and market development in the international space community. Peter has since established Rocket Lab as a premier institute for innovative space systems. As comfortable on a CNC mill as he is in a board room, Peter is both the head visionary and technical adviser for the Electron program.

After founding Rocket Lab, Peter led a team to launch Atea 1, becoming the first private company in the Southern Hemisphere to reach space. Peter completed development programs for a number of large institutional space companies including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne, and since the establishment of the Electron program in 2013 has successfully grown the Rocket Lab team from 10 to around 200 world class engineers. Peter Beck has grown Rocket Lab to become a recognized industry leader in space, and is responsible for the birth of the space industry in New Zealand. With a successful test launch in May 2017, Rocket Lab is preparing for its second test flight within the next couple of months, beginning commercial flights in early 2018.


Doctor Troy Coyle (Tuesday 22 May 2018 | 9.00-9.30am)

Heavy Engineering Research Association (CEO)

Presentation Slides



Currently the CEO, Troy has been involved with the NZ Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA) for the past four and a half years (ish), as an Executive member and most recently as Deputy Chair. Previously, she was the Head of Innovation and Product Development for NZ Steel. Before moving to New Zealand, she was the Manager of Coated Product Development and Open Innovation Manager for BlueScope Steel.  Troy has also worked extensively in University commercialisation, as Director of Commercial Research at the University of Wollongong and Director of Commercial Development for the ARC Centre of Excellence in electromaterials. She has also held Innovation Policy and Program Delivery roles with the Commonwealth Government in Australia. Troy has a strong passion for bringing innovative ideas to market and transforming industry through innovation and product development.


Professor Olaf Diegel (Tuesday 22 May 2018 | 9.30-10am)

Lund University, Sweden

Presentation Slides



Olaf Diegel is both an educator and a practitioner of product development with an excellent track record of developing innovative solutions to engineering problems.

In his role as professor of product development, in the Department of Design Sciences of the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, Sweden, he is heavily involved in all aspects of product development and is widely published in the areas of additive manufacturing and rapid product development. In his consulting practice he develops a wide range of products for companies around the world. Over the past three decades he has developed over 100 commercialized new products including innovative new theatre lighting products, security and marine products and several home health monitoring products and, for this work, has received numerous product development awards.

Over the last 20 years, Olaf has become a passionate follower of 3D printing (additive manufacturing). He believes it is one of the technologies that has been a real godsend to innovation as it allows designers and inventors to instantly test out ideas to see if they work. It also removes the traditional manufacturing constraints that have become a barrier to creativity, and allows us to get real products to market without the normally high costs that can become a barrier to innovation. In 2012, Olaf started manufacturing a range of 3D printed guitars and basses that has developed into a successful little side-business (and gives Olaf the therapy he needs in allowing him to make things that are a blend of high-technology and traditional hand-crafting).


Brendan Lindsay (Tuesday 22 May 2018 | 1.30-2pm)

Lindsay Investments (previously Managing Director and Founder, Sistema Plastics)


Brendan_Lindsay_1Brendan Lindsay grew up in Pukerua Bay, near Wellington, in a family of five. In the 1980s he played for Leamington Rugby Club in Cambridge. As a fitter, he started in business by making plastic coat hangers in a garage in Cambridge, founding Sistema Plastics more than 30 years ago, and leading the successful organisation until recently. He took the simple premise that customers would want a well-made, beautifully designed, food safe storage container that would be stackable.

In December 2016 Sistema was sold to Fortune 500 Company Newell Brands for $660m, with manufacturing to remain in New Zealand for two decades in the company’s new 52,000 sqm manufacturing facility near Auckland Airport. At the time of the sale to Newell Brands, Sistema was selling its range of plastic storage containers in more than 90 countries. It had offices in Australia, the UK, France, Scandinavia and the US, and has an extensive distribution network.

Brendan has since set up an office for “Lindsay Investments” in the Viaduct Basin. He has not completely left the company and continues to receive Sistema sales reports, reflecting increases, and ‘Newell Brands is looking at putting in new machinery’ he says.

Since leaving Sistema, Brendan has made a number of investments, the most public of which has been a 13.4 per cent stake in tap and showerware maker, Methven. He has also invested in a sheep milking venture, a foundry, and has big plans for his own brand of manuka honey. In addition, Brendan has made smaller investments in listed public companies such as Tourism Holdings, Genesis, Mercury Energy, PGG Wrightson and Skellerup. He and his wife, Jo, have been active philanthropists and, with interests in the horse racing industry, have spent $3m on Riding for the Disabled, an organisation that introduces people with disabilities to horse riding as a form of therapy. They have recently purchased Waikato’s Cambridge Stud from Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan.

Brendan has recently engaged in talks with the University of Auckland with the view of setting up a design school.


ON 25 - 26 JANUARY 2022

In response to the New Zealand government’s recent announcement that all of New Zealand will move to traffic light Red at 11.59pm 23 January 2022, the MaDE Conference Executive have met and confirmed that the MaDE2022 Conference will not go ahead as scheduled on Tuesday 25 - Wednesday 26 January 2022.

More information will be forthcoming, we thank you for your patience as we work through our options.



MaDE2022 has been cancelled.


Abstract Portal Now Closed
Abstract Review Complete: 1 Aug 2021
Authors Notified: 10 Aug 2021
All Abstract Revisions Due: 20 Aug 2021
Student Innovation Showcase EOIs due: 10 Sep 2021
ALL PRESENTERS RECONFIRM for MaDE2022 by: 12 Nov 2021


Registration Open
Early Bird Reg. Close: 24 Dec 2021
Standard Reg. Close: 14 Jan 2022