Dr. Mark Staiger came to New Zealand with a background in materials engineering. Having graduated from Monash University, Mark obtained both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the Department of Materials Engineering. Initially, Mark had a strong interest in the metallurgical sciences and engineering during his PhD but went on to also develop a strong interest in non-metallic materials after starting his tenure at UC. His initial research directions were spurred on by his undergraduate teaching in the areas of polymers and composites engineering. In the 12 years that followed, Mark has developed different research groups in the areas of biocomposites, nanofibres and biodegradable metals, bringing 3 new areas of research to UC.
The biocomposites research is firmly aimed at the development of all-cellulose composites (a form of single-polymer composite) in which both the mechanical reinforcement and matrix materials are composed of cellulose. The ACC group is strongly focussed on the processing-structure-property paradigm of all-cellulose composites due to their combination of outstanding mechanical properties and ecofriendliness.
The nanofibre research group (UCSpin) is focussed on production of various polymeric nanofibres via electrospinning. The research is aimed at controlling the electrospinning process to allow control over the spatial deposition of the fibres, and upscaling of the electrospinning process.