Our Team Simon LovattDirector, Research & EnterpriseAs Director, Research & Enterprise, Simon is responsible for both the University of Waikato’s Research Office (which supports researchers across the University in applying for and managing external research projects) and WaikatoLink. In the latter role, he is a director of several WaikatoLink subsidiaries and associate companies and a member of the KiwiNet Investment Committee. His role gives him a valuable overview of the University’s innovation pipeline from the most fundamental Marsden Fund projects to commercially successful spin-out companies. Simon holds a BE (Chemical & Process) from the University of Canterbury, a PhD in food engineering from Massey University and is a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.Katrina ChurstainFinancial ControllerDr Anna HenningCommercialisation SpecialistAnna began her role as a Commercial Specialist at Waikatolink in October 2018. Previously she spent several years working in the commercialisation and tech transfer space of science. Having completed her PhD in Chemistry and Nanomaterials at Victoria University of Wellington in 2013, Anna began work at Boutiq Science Ltd. (start-up from VUW, MacDiarmid Inst. And VicLink) as the go-to for sales and product development. In 2016, Boutiq and VicLink successfully partnered with University of South Australia and gained investment from PowerHouse Ventures to spin-off new company Ferronova Pty Ltd. From this Anna’s role developed further into business, product and medical regulatory development. Having a keen interest in working with people from various backgrounds, Anna now joins Waikatolink to further support research and commercialisation in NZ.Douglas HillyerCommercialisation SpecialistDouglas' role at WaikatoLink includes aiding the identification, promotion and pursuit of emergent commercial opportunities at the University of Waikato. This involves working closely with both industry partners and university staff to help achieve the full potential of university research for individuals, the university and New Zealand. Douglas comes from a background in commerce, with a BCom(Hons) in Global Management & Innovation, and a Master’s degree focused on soft skills in commercially-oriented interdisciplinary research from the University of Auckland.Dr Safiya NoorzaiCommercialisation SpecialistSafiya has a PhD in Material and Process Engineering. Her PhD project involved utilizing waste materials for the extraction of collagen. Waste-derived collagen was applied in the development of sustainable, biodegradable films as an alternative to synthetic, petroleum-based plastics for packaging purposes. She studied commercialisation with Harvard University and hopes to expand and share her commercialisation knowledge at WaikatoLink. Safiya has over 5 years’ experience in the development of new materials as a product development engineer. Her experience ranges from technician roles, and teaching to management of research and development projects in science and engineering. Her role as a researcher has been to support the delivery of projects from the School of Engineering (University of Waikato) and AgResearch, investigating bio-derived high-value products. At WaikatoLink she is the commercial lead for two projects and contributes to many others.Ferrica D'souzaAdministration AssistantFerrica looks after administration and financial requirements for the WaikatoLink team, as well as works for the WaikatoLink Board and the University's Intellectual Property Investment Advisory Committee.Ferrica has an honor's degree in Commerce and done her Executive Masters in Business Administration she has a background working with the Pharmaceutical and Engineering sectors. Karren VinkIntellectual Property ManagerKarren oversees the Intellectual Property portfolio and liaises with internal and external stakeholders to both prosecute and maintain the portfolio. She also works closely with the Commercialisation Specialists and the University Researchers to help commercialise the innovations that come out of the University. Karren has a law degree from the University of Waikato and experience working in both commercial and government organisations.