Associate Professor Bryony James

BEng(Hons) Bath, PhD, MRSNZ


I received my undergraduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Bath, England in 1993 and my PhD in Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland in 1998.

I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering with a research and teaching focus on Materials Science.   I am also Director of the Research Centre for Surface and Materials Science (RCSMS).  This role has allowed me to develop significant expertise in materials characterisation and surface science, particularly in the techniques of Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. 

Research | Current

My research is based on characterising material structure and composition, at a variety of length scales, and since 2005 I have developed a research programme in the structure of food based materials, in particular the influence of microstructure on food properties.  I am particularly interested in developing the appropriate tools and techniques that allow us to investigate the macro-, micro- and nano-structures present in manufactured and natural food products.

My current research projects include examining the impact of food structure on oral breakdown, work that began as part of the “Food Structure Platform” in conjunction with Plant and Food Research and Massey University. In addition to this part of my research group is looking at the impact of food structure and textural complexity on satiation and satiety.  I have a PhD student conducting a project examining chocolate structure and rheology, and smaller projects on meat structure and tenderness are ongoing.  In conjunction with Pernod Ricard NZ, and with collaboration from the University of Bath, one of my PhD students is looking at novel ways of removing proteins from wine. 

Research groups


Teaching | Current

  • CHEMMAT 121 - Materials Science
  • CHEMMAT 724 - Advanced Materials Characterisation


Postgraduate supervision

Current Doctoral students:

  • Sophia Rodrigues, Particle size in food bolus during oral breakdown and the role of saliva
  • Heng (Harvard) Shi, Protein stabilisation of white wine
  • Claire Jingyuan Tang, Influencing satiation by manipulating food texture
  • Philip Herrington, Diffusion and reaction of oxygen in bitumen films.
  • Huanhuan Zhao, Chocolate structure/property relationships


Recipient of Ako Aotearoa National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, 2013


Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Engineering

Areas of expertise

  • Relating food structure to food functional properties (texture and nutrition)
  • Materials Characterisation
  • Surface Science and Engineering

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Ma, X., Balaban, M. O., Zhang, L., Emanuelsson-Patterson, E. A. C., & James, B. (2014). Quantification of pizza baking properties of different cheeses, and their correlation with cheese functionality. Journal of Food Science, 79 (8), E1528-E1534. 10.1111/1750-3841.12540
  • Rodrigues, S. A., Young, A. K., James, B. J., & Morgenstern, M. P. (2014). Structural changes within a biscuit bolus during mastication. Journal of Texture Studies, 45 (2), 89-96.
  • Ma, X., James, B., Balaban, M. O., Zhang, L., & Emanuelsson-Patterson, E. A. C. (2013). Quantifying blistering and browning properties of Mozzarella cheese. Part I: Cheese made with different starter cultures. Food Research International, 54 (1), 912-916. 10.1016/j.foodres.2013.06.007
  • Ma, X., James, B., Balaban, M. O., Emanuelsson-Patterson, E. A. C., & Zhang, L. (2013). Quantifying blistering and browning properties of Mozzarella cheese. Part II: Cheese with different salt and moisture contents. Food Research International, 54 (1), 917-921. 10.1016/j.foodres.2013.05.029
  • Ma, X., James, B., Emanuelsson-Patterson, E. A. C., & Zhang, L. (2013). Correlating mozzarella cheese properties to its production processes and microstructure quantification. Journal of Food Engineering, 115 (2), 154-163. 10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2012.10.002
  • Young, A. K., Cheong, J. N., Hedderley, D. I., Morgenstern, M. P., & James, B. J. (2013). Understanding the link between bolus properties and perceived texture. Journal of Texture Studies, 44 (5), 376-386.
  • Tran, A. T. T., & James, B. J. (2012). A study the interaction forces between the bovine serum albumin protein and montmorillonite surface. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 414, 104-114. 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2012.08.066
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anh Tran
  • Ma, X., James, B., Zhang, L., & Emanuelsson-Patterson, E. A. C. (2012). The stretchability of Mozzarella cheese evaluated by a temperature-controlled 3-prong hook test. Journal of Dairy Science, 95 (10), 5561-5568. 10.3168/jds.2012-5486


Contact details

  • Media Contact

Primary location

Level 8 , Room 804
New Zealand

Web links