Professor Ralph Paul Cooney

FRSNZ, BSc (Hons)(UQ,1964), PhD (UQ, 1968), DSc (UQ, 1992)

Biography

Experience 1986-present:

University of Auckland

2004+: Director of 4 major Government (MBIE/FRST) funded research programmes (total $40M)

2001-2009: Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of UA Tamaki Innovation Campus

1993-2009: Executive Dean of Science: 13 Departments

1991-1993: Head of Department of Chemistry

1986-1991: Head of Physical Chemistry

  • Academic Leadership:

1993-2001: Established new successful Applied Postgraduate Programmes as Dean:

  • Food Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Polymers
  • Wine Science
  • Speech Science (including Speech Language Therapy)

2001 Established the UA Polymer Electronics Research Centre (with Prof Jadranka Travas-Sejdic)

  • NZ Government Roles:

1991-1998: Director on the Board of ESR Ltd (Crown Research Institute)

1994-2001: Government Representative (Foreign Affairs & Trade) on the Council of the University of the South Pacific

1995-1996: Special Advisor to the Minister of Research, Science and Technology

1994-1997: Appointee to the International S&T Advisory Committee to the Ministers of Science and Foreign Affairs and Trade

  • Regional Roles:

1993-1996: Two reports on “Jobs Growth in Science and Technology” – published by Association of Scientists

2003-2005: Chair of the Auckland Metro Project Panel: growing Auckland via R&D Innovation

2005-2008: UA Convenor of project group to develop National NZ Science & Technology Park with Ministry of Economic Development

Research | Current

Research Expertise (1970-present): involving about 100 research students

  • Raman and Infrared molecular spectroscopy

  • Adsorption of organic adsorbates on porous oxides, zeolites and clays

  • Poly(acetylene) in zeolite channels: Resonance Raman spectra of molecular wires

  • Raman spectra of adsorbates on working electrodes

  • FTIR reflectance spectra of adsorbates on platinum working electrodes and colloids

  • Origin of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) for silver and  gold electrodes

  • Conducting polymers in zeolites channels

  • Polyaniline as an anti-bacterial agent

  • Anchored quaternary ammonium salt biocides on surfaces: AFM and XPS studies

  • Controlled release biocides based on zeolites, clays and expanded Perlite

  • Expanded Perlite transformation into Ultra-high surface area silica

  • Self-cleaning of metal roofing

Track Record of External Research Funding (2004+): Lead Author and Founding Director

  • MBIE The Biocide Toolbox: $15M over 6 years

  • MBIE Hybrid Anti-Microbial Polymers: $8.3M over 6 years

  • MBIE Materials Accelerator: $9.6M over 4 years 

  • FRST Membranes & Micro-pumps: $5.6M over 4 years

Innovation and Entrepreneurship:

  • Survey of International Best Practice in University-Industry partnerships (2010 study leave): 8 countries, 43 agencies, 100 interviews

  • Campus Masterplan for Tamaki Innovation Campus (2000): Technology Foresighting themes, End-user clusters, International Innovation Campus models, National Science & Technology Park

  • Negotiations and engagement with 500 companies across 4 MBIE and FRST contracts and Callaghan Innovation

Distinctions/Honours

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (FRSNZ)
  • Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (FRACI)
  • Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry(FNZIC)
  • Several others

Areas of expertise

  • Applied Research & Innovation – International best practice
  • Multi-materials Interfacial Analysis
  • Conducting Polymers

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

BUILDING 903 - Bldg 903
Level 2, Room 230C
262 KHYBER PASS
NEWMARKET
AUCKLAND 1023
New Zealand

Web links