Dr Mark Lay

Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BSc, MSc(Hons), PhD Waikato

Research Interests

Bioprocess Engineering
I have a keen interest in developing new separation techniques using chromatography, the workhorse of the biotechnology industry. My Masters and PhD were in continuous radial flow chromatography (CRFC), a radial flow chromatographic system with a rotating annular bed. This system allows continuous cross-current multi-component step elution separation at high flow rates and low pressure drops. I designed and assisted in building two prototypes which were used for the research. I also developed models, solved in Matlab, which can be used to predict and optimise CRFC performance. The general principles behind the models and their solutions can be applied to other chromatographic separations.

Science Education
I am also involved in science education research as part my work placement coordinator role for the Cooperative Education Unit. Science education is a fascinating field as it explores how we think, how theories are formed and knowledge generated.

Recent work involved investigating how trial interviews boost student confidence prior to actual job interviews. A common problem we have found previously when organising work placements is brilliant students lack confidence and personal skills to perform well at job interviews. Now, we offer trial interviews to help these students gain practice and confidence prior to a real interview.

Also, we have investigated intellectual conflict between science and religious perspectives of religious scientists. This study that showed that scientists tended to be idiosyncratic in what beliefs they accepted. They were more likely to dismiss beliefs that conflicted with areas which they specialised in, but we found some were able to come up with creative justifications from their scientific knowledge. These were very interesting findings for science education and science literacy.

Recent Publications

  • Gavin, C., Verbeek, C. J. R., & Lay, M. C. (2019). Formation of secondary structures in protein foams as detected by synchrotron FT-IR. Polymer Testing, 73, 82-86. doi:10.1016/j.polymertesting.2018.10.043

  • Kaliappan, S. K., Siyal, A. A., Man, Z., Lay, M., & Shamsuddin, R. (2018). Effect of pore forming agents on geopolymer porosity and mechanical properties. In AIP Conference Proceedings Vol. 2016. doi:10.1063/1.5055468

  • Gavin, C., Verbeek, C. J. R., & Lay, M. C. (2018). Morphology and compressive behaviour of foams produced from thermoplastic protein. Journal of Materials Science. doi:10.1007/s10853-018-2714-5

  • Walallavita, A. S., Verbeek, C. J. R., & Lay, M. C. (2018). Morphology and mechanical properties of Itaconic anhydride grafted Poly(lactic acid) and thermoplastic protein blends. International Polymer Processing, 33, 153-163. doi:10.3139/217.3343

View All research publications by Mark Lay

Contact Details

Room: D.G.20
Phone: +64 7 838 4556