Emeritus Professor Janis Swan

Janis Swan

Qualifications: M.Tech. (Biotech) Massey Ph.D. (Chem. Eng.) Waterloo. Member of IChemE-SCENZ, Fellow of IPENZ, Fellow of New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Papers Taught

Research Interests

  • Bioprocess engineering
  • Large-scale separations
  • Engineering education

Adding value to New Zealand's biological materials is vitally important to our economy. Too many of our products are being exported as commodities. We need to identify the requirements of the end-user and tailor our products to meet these needs. Rather than being commodity items, our food exports should be regarded as food ingredients. To do this, we need to understand the factors that affect the functionality of the biological materials we produce.

My areas of research are in understanding the factors that affect the functionality of meat, and how to use meat in added-value products. I am also interested in adding value to the co-products of the meat industry. The latter have traditionally been regarded as waste streams that need to be processed to reduce treatment costs. Other interests include identifying and improving the unit operations of a given process, and in energy efficiency.

Teaching Areas/Programmes

  • Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
  • Engineering design, research and management

Academic and Professional Leadership Roles

  • Acting Dean of Engineering, 2015 - 2016
  • Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science & Engineering, 2012 – 2015
  • FIET Industry Advisory Group, 2016 – ongoing
  • MBIE Science Board member, 2014 – ongoing
  • Panel member: Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (2016 – ongoing), James Cook Fellowship (2015 – ongoing), Prime Minister's MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist (2012-2014)
  • Associate Dean of Engineering, University of Waikato, 2005 - 2015
  • Council Member, MBIE Science Board, 2014 – ongoing
  • Chair, New Zealand Council of Engineering Deans, 2009 - 2011
  • Council member, Marsden Fund, 2010 - 2013
  • Chairperson, Department of Engineering, 2006-2008
  • Chairperson, Department of Materials and Process Engineering , 1997-2003
  • Academic Board, University of Waikato, 2005 - 2011
  • Leader of Engineering Accreditation Team, 2006, 2008
  • Organising Committee, NZIFST annual conference, 2004, 2008
  • National Committee, Society of Chemical Engineers New Zealand, 2006-2009
  • Institutes of Technology & Polytechnics Quality Accreditation Panel, 2008-2011
  • Member of Review Team, Massey University's Engineering qualifications, 2008
  • Member of IPENZ Accreditation panel, Massey's Bachelor of Engineering programmes, 2007
  • NZBio Board member, 2003-2004
  • Vice-President, New Zealand Federation of University Women, 1994-1997
  • Member of Ministerial Task force for Crown Research Institutes, 1991-1992.


  • Skellerup Award for Chemical, Bioprocess and Food (IPENZ), 2014
  • JC Andrews Award (NZIFST), 2010
  • Member of New Zealand Order of Merit, MNZM, for services to engineering, 2009
  • Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, 2006
  • Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand, 2005.

Recent Publications

  • Thavanayagam, G., & Swan, J. E. (2019). Optimizing hydride-dehydride Ti-6Al-4V feedstock composition for titanium powder injection moulding. Powder Technology, 355, 688-699. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2019.07.091

  • Noorzai, S., Verbeek, C. J. R., Lay, M. C., & Swan, J. (2019). Collagen Extraction from Various Waste Bovine Hide Sources. Waste and Biomass Valorization. doi:10.1007/s12649-019-00843-2

  • Swan, J., & Cowie, B. (2018). Is engineering for me? Do girls have enough information to decide?. In 29th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference 2018 (AAEE2018). Waikato University / WINTEC, Hamilton, New Zealand.

  • Thavanayagam, G., & Swan, J. (2017). Aqueous debinding of polyvinyl butyral based binder system for titanium metal injection moulding. Powder Technology. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2017.11.069

Find more research publications by Janis Swan

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: F.1.01
Phone: +64 7 838 4049