Department of Engineering Science

Nicolas Smith

Bachelor of Engineering (BE) (1993), and PhD (2000) in Engineering Science

Photograph of Nicolas Smith

Dean of Engineering (2013)
University of Auckland


Nic holds a Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours and a PhD, both in Engineering Science, from the University of Auckland (interspersed by three years as a design engineer at Fisher and Paykel).

Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford, Nic returned to the University as an academic in Engineering Science. He returned to Oxford in 2006 and was awarded the Chair in Computational Physiology there in 2008.

In 2010 he was recruited to lead the formation of a new Biomedical Engineering department at King's College London. Nic has an international reputation in computational modelling of human body systems, particularly the cardiovascular system. “Engineering is an evolving discipline that requires creativity as we redefine and exploit opportunities that these changes bring. It is critical we look beyond the service technologies and develop new skills and ways of contributing,” he says.

“My vision for the faculty is enabling our community through teaching and learning to tackle the problems of not just the 21st century, but beyond that too. It is also our ability to distil the important issues and tackle the kind of issues that technology is already producing to improve the quality of life for New Zealanders, and for the world as a whole,” says Nic. “We’re going to do that by being at the interface between core science and the communities where those technologies get applied to make a difference. My vision for engineering is very much the process of deploying scientific rigour with an acknowledgement of the human context benefit potential”, he says.