Emeritus Professor Janis Swan

Janis Swan

Emeritus Professor

Qualifications: MTech(Biotech) Massey PhD (ChemEng) Waterloo, New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand, Fellow of New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology, Associate Member of IChemE, Member of the Australasian Association of Engineering Education

About Janis

Research interests in bioprocessing,  engineering  education  research,  meat industry products and byproducts

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 so we need to identify the requirements of the end-user and tailor products and processes to meet those 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.

Janis's areas of research include understanding the factors that affect functionality of meat, how to use meat in added-value products and in adding value to the co-products of the meat industry. 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

  • Standard & Accreditation Board, Engineering New Zealand
  • MBIE College of Assessors, 2017 - on going
  • Co-chair, Australasian Association of Engineering Education 2018 conference
  • Acting Dean of Science, 2017 - 2019
  • Acting Dean of Engineering, 2015 - 2016
  • Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science & Engineering, 2012 – 2015
  • FIET Industry Advisory Group, 2016 – 2018
  • MBIE Science Board member, 2014 – 2016
  • Panel member: Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (2016 –2019), James Cook Fellowship (2015 – 2018), Prime Minister's MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist (2012-2014)
  • Associate Dean of Engineering, University of Waikato, 2005 - 2015
  • Council Member, MBIE Science Board, 2014 – 2017
  • Committee member, Australasian Association of Engineering Education, 2012 - 2016
  • 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.


  • Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand 2018
  • 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.


Biotechnology; Engineering; Environmental Science and Technology; Food Engineering

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: G.B. 14
Phone: +64 7 838 4049
Cellphone: 0211138237