Professor Shaun Cameron Hendy


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I am Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence focussed on the study of complex systems and networks.

I grew up in Palmerston North in New Zealand and received my Bachelors degrees from Massey University. I studied for my PhD at the University of Alberta in Canada from 1994-98.

After my PhD I was awarded a New Zealand Science and Technology Post-doctoral Fellowship, which I took up at Industrial Research Ltd in Wellington. I stayed at Industrial Research until 2013, although I took on a joint appointment at Victoria University of Wellington as senior lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences from 2003, and as a professor from 2010.

I served as Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology from 2008-2012 and as President of the New Zealand Association of Scientists from 2011-2013.

I have won a number of awards, including the Prime Minister's Science Media Communication Prize and ANZIAM's E. O. Tuck Medal. In 2012 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. I am currently a professor of physics here at the University of Auckland.

Research | Current

Research areas

  • Condensed matter physics
  • Computational materials science
  • Nanotechnology
  • The physics of complex systems
  • Innovation and economics

Research summary

My group is interested in the theoretical description and modelling of nanostructures at the atomic scale.

Since nanostructures are highly complex and contain from 100 to 100 billion atoms, we need to use either mathematical models or computer simulation methods, and frequently both, to understand and model them.

In general, nanostructures behave quite differently to their macroscale counterparts due to surface, quantum and finite-size effects. We study the interplay between these effects in nanoparticles, nanowires, ultrathin films, nanostructured glasses and nanofluidic flows, with a particular focus on applications of these systems to nanotechnology.

My other interests include the physics of complex systems, innovation and economics.



2014 Finalist for 2014 Best Columnist BUSINESS & TRADE, Magazine Publishers Association Awards

2013  E. O. Tuck Medal for Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM)

2012  Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize

2012  Callaghan Medal (Royal Society of New Zealand)

2012  Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

2010  Research Medal (New Zealand Association of Scientists)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Ridings, K. M., Aldershof, T. S., & Hendy, S. C. (2019). Surface melting and breakup of metal nanowires: Theory and molecular dynamics simulation. The Journal of chemical physics, 150 (9)10.1063/1.5086435
  • Smith, A. F. W., Mahelona, K., & Hendy, S. C. (2018). Rolling and slipping of droplets on superhydrophobic surfaces. PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 98 (3)10.1103/PhysRevE.98.033113
  • Sakhaee, N., Wilson, M. C., Hendy, S. C., & Zakeri, G. (2017). Network analysis of New Zealand legislation. New Zealand Law Journal (9).
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Golbon Zakeri, Neda Sakhaee, Mark Wilson
  • Hendy, S. (2016). Silencing science. Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books. Pages: 128. 10.7810/9780947492847
  • (2015). The ANZIAM Journal [Special Issue].
  • Lee, T., Hendy, S. C., & Neto, C. (2015). Control of nanoparticle formation using the constrained dewetting of polymer brushes. Nanoscale, 7 (7), 2894-2899. 10.1039/c4nr07412b
  • Rajabi, L., & Hendy, S. C. (2015). Effective rate constant for nanostructured heterogeneous catalysts. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17 (45), 30518-30524. 10.1039/C5CP04448K
  • Schebarchov, D., Schulze, T. P., & Hendy, S. C. (2014). Degenerate Ising model for atomistic simulation of crystal-melt interfaces. Journal of Chemical Physics, 140 (7).10.1063/1.4864462

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 303 - Bldg 303
Level 6, Room 629
New Zealand

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