Dr Michel Karin Nieuwoudt

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Profile Image
Senior Research Fellow


I am a research scientist in the Photon Factory in the School of Chemical sciences at the University of Auckland. I earned my PhD in Raman spectroscopy of passive film on iron film with electrochemical control from The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I also earned a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and Applied chemistry. I also graduated with MSc in Physical Chemistry from the University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.

I specialise in the use of vibrational spectroscopy (Raman and infrared spectroscopies (Mid, Near- and Far-IR) and chemometrics to analyze a wide variety of materials. I have published over 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals and proceedings, and regularly reviews articles for three different journals and beamline proposals for the Australian Synchrotron

Research | Current

My current research focuses transforming large, complex datasets into knowledge and insight. In particular, she combines multi-modal spectroscopy (Raman, IR, SERS, fluorescence, absorption, etc.) and multivariate data exploration, classification and quantification approaches to determine the detailed composition of complex fluids like milk (detailed nutritional and animal health information; adulteration detection) and solid samples such as skin lesions (identifying and typing for malignancy). The advantages of this combined approach of multivariate data analysis and spectroscopy allows interrogation of materials in situ, without changing the sample matrix. This powerful combination thus enables not only quantitative and qualitative analysis of minor components in complex matrices, but the interactions between the components in their environment as well.

I am also a collaborator in a number of other research projects in the School of Biological Sciences, School of Chemical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and School of Engineering, in the use of vibrational spectroscopy (Raman and infrared spectroscopies, Mid, Near- and Far-IR) and chemometrics to investigate the composition and behaviour of a wide variety of materials. 

Teaching | Current

2017: Lecturer for the Chemometrics and Advanced data analysis module for CHE742

Postgraduate supervision

  • Co-supervisor for a PhD project (School of Biological Sciences)
  • Co-supervisor for MSc project (School of Chemical Sciences)


  • Co-PI for Smart ideas MBIE grant "Point-of-care device for skin cancer diagnosis"
  • Chemometric analysis for Fonterra ON-Farm R&D
  • Assisting with the application of Raman, FTIR, NIR, EPR spectroscopies and chemometrics to various projects in the Photon Factory, in collaboration with Prof. Cather Simpson and with other departments/schools within the university

Areas of expertise

Raman spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy (Near-, Mid- and Far-IR), Chemometrics, Size Exclusion Chromatography with Multi angle light scattering detection, Electrochemical studies on Corrosion

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • AI in the MacDiarmid Institute for advanced materials and nanotechnology
  • Moderator for the Asia/Pacific region of the ICS-L (International Chemometric Society mailing list)
  • RSNZ (Royal Society of New Zealand)
  • NZIC (New Zealand Insititute of Chemistry)
  • NZAS (NZ Association of Scientists)
  • WIMS (Women in Mathematical and Physical Sciences)
  • Part of the organizing commitee for ACOVS (Australasian Conference of Vibrational Spectroscopy) 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Fahey, L. M., Nieuwoudt, M. K., & Harris, P. J. (2018). Using near infrared spectroscopy to predict the lignin content and monosaccharide compositions of Pinus radiata wood cell walls. International journal of biological macromolecules, 113, 507-514. 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.02.105
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Philip Harris
  • Sullivan, M. P., Nieuwoudt, M. K., Bowmaker, G. A., Lam, N. Y. S., Truong, D., Goldstone, D. C., & Hartinger, C. G. (2018). Unexpected arene ligand exchange results in the oxidation of an organoruthenium anticancer agent: the first X-ray structure of a protein-Ru(carbene) adduct. Chemical communications (Cambridge, England), 54 (48), 6120-6123. 10.1039/c8cc02433b
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christian Hartinger, David Goldstone, Matthew Sullivan, Graham Bowmaker, Cather Simpson
  • Nieuwoudt, M. K., Holroyd, S. E., McGoverin, C. M., Simpson, M. C., & Williams, D. E. (2016). Rapid, sensitive, and reproducible screening of liquid milk for adulterants using a portable Raman spectrometer and a simple, optimized sample well. Journal of Dairy Science, 99 (10), 7821-7831. 10.3168/jds.2016-11100
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Williams, Cather Simpson, Cushla McGoverin
  • Nieuwoudt, M. K., Holroyd, S. E., McGoverin, C. M., Simpson, M. C., & Williams, D. E. (2016). Raman spectroscopy as an effective screening method for detecting adulteration of milk with small nitrogen-rich molecules and sucrose. Journal of Dairy Science, 99 (4), 2520-2536. 10.3168/jds.2015-10342
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Cather Simpson, David Williams, Cushla McGoverin
  • Malmström J, Nieuwoudt, M. K., Strover, L. T., Hackett, A., Laita, O., Brimble, M. A., ... Travas-Sejdic, J. (2013). Grafting from poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): A simple route to versatile electrically addressable surfaces. Macromolecules, 46 (12), 4955-4965. 10.1021/ma400803j
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, David Williams, Margaret Brimble, Jenny Malmstrom, Alissa Hackett
  • Neo, Y. P., Ray, S., Jin, J., Gizdavic-Nikolaidis, M., Nieuwoudt, M. K., Liu, D., & Quek, S. Y. (2013). Encapsulation of food grade antioxidant in natural biopolymer by electrospinning technique: A physicochemical study based on zein-gallic acid system. Food Chemistry, 136 (2), 1013-1021. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.09.010
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Siew-Young Quek, Sudip Ray, Marija Gizdavic Nikolaidis, Jianyong Jin
  • Horrocks, M., Baisden, W. T., Nieuwoudt, M. K., Flenley, J., Feek, D., Nualart, L. G., ... Gorman, T. E. (2012). Microfossils of Polynesian cultigens in lake sediment cores from Rano Kau, Easter Island. Journal of Paleolimnology, 47 (2), 185-204. 10.1007/s10933-011-9570-5
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mark Horrocks
  • Nieuwoudt, M. K., Comins, J. D., & Cukrowski, I. (2011). The growth of the passive film on iron in 0.05 M NaOH studied in situ by Raman micro-spectroscopy and electrochemical polarisation. Part I: near-resonance enhancement of the Raman spectra of iron oxide and oxyhydroxide compounds. JOURNAL OF RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY, 42 (6), 1335-1339. 10.1002/jrs.2837


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 7, Room 741
New Zealand

Web links