Below is a list of our members and their areas in STEM education.

Associate Professor Sergiy Klymchuk (mathematics education), Director

Sergiy Klymchuk is an Associate Professor of Mathematics in the School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences and the Foundation Director of the STEM Tertiary Education Centre. He has 33 years' experience in teaching university mathematics in different countries. His PhD (1988) was in differential equations and recent research interests are in mathematics education. He is an author of more than 200 publications including the Counterexamples in Calculus book that received an Outstanding Academic Title Award from the Choice magazine of the American Library Association in 2010, Paradoxes and Sophisms in Calculus book that made the cover of the 2014 Publications Catalogue of the Mathematical Association of America, and internationally acclaimed book on popular mathematics Money Puzzles that has been published in 9 countries. Sergiy is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) based in the UK, a member of the Royal Society of New Zealand and several international organisations on mathematics education. He was a Visiting Associate Professor of the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) at Wismar University, Germany in 2006. He was a recipient of the AUT Vice Chancellor's Award for Academic Excellence in Teaching in 2012. He is originally from Ukraine. He has been living in New Zealand since 1996.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.8431

Professor Allan Blackman (chemistry and chemistry education)

Allan Blackman is a Professor of Chemistry at the Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. He obtained his B.Sc(Hons) and Ph.D degrees from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has taught all levels of undergraduate chemistry, in the areas of inorganic and physical chemistry, for 32 years. Allan's research interests lie mainly in the field of coordination chemistry, where he studies the synthesis, structure and reactivity of coordination complexes. He has spent research periods in the USA (Indiana University, the University of Minnesota), Australia (the University of Queensland) and France (Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble), and has also given numerous undergraduate lectures at the National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, China, where he was appointed a Guest Professor. He is the lead author on the snappily titled first year textbook “Chemistry” (Wiley Australia), which is now in its 5th Edition. This is the best selling first year chemistry textbook in Australasia and is also used in Universities in the UK, South Africa, Denmark and Malaysia. His YouTube channel “Chemistry Matters” provides help for students on the fundamentals of chemistry. Allan regularly appears on radio and TV as a science commentator, and his podcast “Elemental”  discussing all the elements on the Periodic Table, has proven to be very popular. Outside science, his interests include music and sport.

Associate Professor Tony Clear (computer science education)

Tony Clear is Associate Dean Research with the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.  His research interests are in Collaborative Computing, Global Virtual Teams, Global Software Development and Computer Science Education Research.  Tony has been engaged in global virtual research collaborations over the last fifteen years spanning the continents of Europe, Australia, Asia and the United States.  Among these has been a decade long action research project into collaboration with global virtual teams in educational settings.  In 2008 he was a guest researcher at Uppsala University Sweden, and now supervises doctoral research projects through AUT's Software Engineering Research Lab.  Tony holds positions as an Associate Editor and regular columnist for Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Inroads magazine and is an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Computer Science Education. He is program co-chair for ACM's Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference 2014.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.5329
Web page:

Dr Stanley Frielick (Māori & Indigenous Development)

Stanley recently returned to AUT to take up an academic role in Te Ara Poutama (Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Development), after a national leadership position as Director of Ako Aotearoa (New Zealand Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence) from 2016-2018. Prior to this he worked at the Auckland University of Technology as Director of Learning and Teaching (2010-2016) and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences (2007-2009). Previous experience in NZ includes Director of e-Learning at NorthTec and lecturing at the University of Auckland. He is a Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Academy (HEA) and recently trained as on of the first group of NZ/Australia HEA Accreditors. As a member of the HEA Australasia Strategic Advisory Board he is helping to lead the development of professional standards for tertiary teaching in NZ. Stanley is originally from South Africa where he completed a PhD (Education) and MA (African Literature) and taught at the University of the Witwatersrand. His ongoing research looks at how biological understandings of cognition interrelate with social and digital media to create ecological modes of learning, and the implications of these for strategic planning and leadership.

Phone: 09 921 9999 ext 7881
Twitter: @sfrielick

Professor Jane Gilbert (science education)

Jane has been involved in research and teaching in Science Education for nearly thirty years.  She was recently (2013) appointed Professor of Education in the School of Education at AUT. Previously she was Chief Researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) for ten years (2003-13), and before that she was Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Victoria University of Wellington (1995-2003). She has also taught Science Education in the School of Mathematics and Computing Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, and Sociology of Education in the School of Education at the University of Waikato. She was a secondary school teacher (of Science and Biology) for ten years.  Her current work is mainly in the area of educational futures, with a particular focus on science education's future. She has published two books on this topic: Catching the Knowledge Wave? The Knowledge Society and the future of education (2005), and Disciplining and drafting, or 21st century learning? Rethinking the New Zealand senior school curriculum for the future (2008, with Rachel Bolstad).  Recently (2012-2013) at NZCER she was lead researcher on three large Ministry of Education contracts on science education's future (total value $440,000), and the author of a synthesis of the findings from all three.  She is currently working on a Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) funded research project designed to explore the conditions New Zealand school teachers need to become 'future-oriented' (value $200,000).  Jane has written two research theses and supervised several PhD and Masters theses on topics in science education. She has worked on a variety of research projects and published a number of articles in academic journals in the science education field (see below for a list), and was the Advisor/Evaluator on the 2001 literature review Curriculum, Learning and Effective Pedagogy in Science Education commissioned by the Ministry of Education.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 8159

Professor Sergei Gulyaev (science education – physics, astronomy)

Professor Sergei Gulyaev is the Foundation Director of the AUT's Institute of Radio Astronomy and Space Research (IRASR). He graduated from Moscow State University with an MSc and then completed a PhD (1982) and DSc (1991). He went on to work at the Ural State University (Russia) where he was elected Head of Department of Astronomy and Geodesy. In 2000, Sergei moved to New Zealand to take up the position of Deputy Director of the Earth and Oceanic Sciences Research Centre (EOS), which he occupied until 2004. Sergei's main research interests are in the areas of astrophysics and radio astronomy. He has over 100 scientific publications, including the textbook Basics of Natural Science: History of the Earth, 3rd ed, 2000. He is interested in enhancing teaching and learning of university mathematics, physics and astronomy having published a number of journal papers on science education and books on popularisation of science and mathematics.

Phone: +64 9 921 9541

Associate Professor Loulin Huang (engineering education)

Dr Loulin Huang  had more twenty five  years'  experience in teaching, research and development in the areas of  robotics, mechatronics and control in his academic careers in institutions including  Huazhong University of Science  and Technology (China),  Singapore Polytechnic (Singapore),  Massey University and Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand) where he  is currently  an  Associate Professor in the School of Engineering.  He has completed more than 20 industrial or government-funded projects and produced over 70 publications including an engineering textbook.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.6708

Dr Sangeeta Karmokar (engineering education)

Sangeeta has been integral part of education, research and community engagement. Her practice-based research interest lies at the intersection of the entrepreneurship and design discipline with a special interest in engineering, technology, social and women entrepreneurship. Sangeeta's expertise involves design thinking, digital innovation, entrepreneurial strategy, women entrepreneurship and working with community. One of the major research area is innovation and entrepreneurship and bringing together community and commercial partners in education area. The cross-disciplinary teaching and research provided an opportunity and rich experience to work in broader trans-disciplinary environment. She has contributed to the research environment in the form of conference papers, journals, book chapter and putting research into practice to experiment with many research projects.

Phone: +64 921 9999 ext. 8301

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh (computer science education)

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh is a computer engineer with a background in artificial intelligence and natural language processing. She obtained her PhD from Massey University with a thesis in Statistical Machine Translation.

Prior to joining AUT, Mahsa was a Senior Lecturer and Program Leader at Unitec, and also lead an outreach effort within the Department of Computing there. After being awarded Google’s Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship in 2012, Mahsa became involved with Google’s Computer Science for High Schools initiative, and successfully applied for Google funding to run these workshops in Auckland for the last 3 years.

Mahsa is also the founder and director of the women’s technology group She# -, a platform aimed at promoting STEM to the next generation, and creating networking opportunities for tertiary students and industry professionals in the digital sector. Her passion for promoting careers in technology to young women has been recognised by a number of organisations, and resulted in her being awarded at the Westpac Women of Influence Awards.

Phone: Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.7836

Dr. John Perrott (science education)

John is Head of Post-graduate Research, Associate Director, Institute for Applied Ecology NZ, AUT and a Senior Lecturer, Mātauranga scientist in conservation ecology and Kaitiakitanga, with over 20 years' experience.  John has a passion for New Zealand indigenous species, people and history (Whakapapa to Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue). His background in education, Iwi consultation and research is broad and includes the implementation of several community based threatened species management projects and Mātauranga Māori mentoring programmes for Māori students working towards degrees in science. John has additional interests in the use of educational technology systems for achieving greater Maori representation in the biological sciences. At present, John is helping develop entry level whanau-based study programs that integrate self-directed and peer-mentoring methods with blackboard and smart phone educational technology.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext. 8654

Dr Armagan Sabetian (science education)

After graduating from Pukekohe High school Armagan moved to Waikato University for his BSc, then on to Otago University for his MSc, and James Cook University in Australia for his PhD, graduating in 2010 and coming back to New Zealand to become a lecturer and Programme Leader (PL) of Marine Biology at AUT. His background and passion is in coral reef fish and fisheries, conducting research on reproductive energetics, population dynamics, and functional ecology. Armagan’s tenure as the PL for marine biology saw many milestones, including putting AUT on the map as the first university to have a tropical field paper in the Solomon Islands, and receiving approval from CUAP to offer marine science as a postgraduate specialisation from 2021. Armagan is passionate about promoting STEM to younger generations, and creating a strong tropical marine science hub at AUT.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext. 8004  

Professor Nurul Sarkar (computer science education)

Nurul Sarkar holds a PhD from the University of Auckland and is currently Professor and Leader of the Network and Security Research Group in the School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences. He is a member of many professional organizations and societies. Dr Sarkar is a regularly invited keynote speaker, chair, and committee member for various national and international fora. He has published more than 155 refereed articles and served on the editorial review boards of several prestigious journals. Dr Sarkar's research appears in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Communications Magazine, IEEE Transactions on Education, Elsevier Journal of Network and Computer Applications, Int. Journal of Business Data Communications and Networking, Int. Journal of Wireless Networks and Broadband Technologies, Int. Journal of Web-based Learning and Teaching Technologies, Int. Journal of Electrical Engineering Education, and SIGCSE Bulletin. He has had several externally funded research grants, including a Tertiary Education Commission collaborative research grant BuildIT, and University of Auckland grant. "Improving the Performance of Wireless LANs: A Practical Guide" (Taylor & Francis, 2014) is his second book. His first book "Tools for Teaching Computer Networking and Hardware Concepts" was published by IGI Global in 2006. Dr Sarkar is a senior member of IEEE.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.5408

Dr. Kerri Spooner (mathematics education)

Kerri Spooner works in the School of Computer and Mathematical Science.  She has 20 years' experience in teaching secondary school mathematics and currently teaches on the Certificate programme for the School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences. Her Masters (2013) is in genuine mathematical modelling for the classroom. She is a recipient of an AUT Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (2013), two New Zealand Royal Society Teacher Fellowships (2000 and 2011) and a Post Primary Teachers Association study award (2011). She currently serves on the Auckland Mathematics Association Executive.  Her main interests are in innovative and engaging teaching, mathematics education and applied mathematics.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.5613

Professor Jacqueline Whalley (computer science education and educational psychology)

Jacqui is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science. Her primary research interest is related to the teaching and learning of novice programmers. Her main focus is the cognitive development of novice programmers and how programming concepts learnt. This interest extends to the use and development of tools and techniques for teaching novice programmers, and the nature and impact of assessment and various forms of feedback. Jacqui is an active in the international computer science education research community. She is a member of the editorial board of Association of Computing Machinery's (ACM)  Inroads magazine, reviews for conferences and journals in the discipline, and often a panellist for doctoral consortia. In 2017 she was a program committee member and the co-chair of the posters and panels for the Association of Computing Machinery's (ACM) Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference (ITiCSE) and in 2014 she was the co-chair for the Australasian Computing Education Conference and a program committee member for the ItiCSE. She has supervised both Honours and PhD students in the field and examined numerous international and local PhD theses related to computing education. She has given invited presentations at international conferences and workshops, and published over 40 papers on various aspects of computing education. Jacqui has also received an ACM-SIGSCE Special Projects Grant and a Microsoft Research Asia Grant to undertake research related to learning tools and assessment.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.5203

Associate Professor David Wilson (engineering education)

David Wilson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the AUT.  In additiion to being the Director of the Industrial Information and Control Centre, (I2C2), David is also a Director of Inverse Problem Ltd which commercialises some of the research and development activities from the Centre. Prior to joining AUT, he was a senior lecturer in Sweden and Switzerland working with pulp and paper companies, Swiss pharmaceutical companies, and Government sponsored environmental projects. David's research interests lie in model predictive control, large-scale industrial optimisation, real-time quality and associated novel visualisation techniques, and modelling and simulation of a wide variety of applications spanning the finance, agriculture, fishing and manufacturing industries. David received his PhD from the University of Queensland in 1990, and a BE (Chemical & Materials) from the University of Auckland.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.8732

Associate Professor Wei Qi Yan (computer science education)

Dr Yan is an Associate Professor the School of Computer and Mathematical Science, he has supervised over 100 postgraduate and undergraduate students. Dr Yan is the Chair of Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Multimedia New Zealand Chapter, he is also a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of the technical committee of the IEEE, and a member of the ACM. Dr Yan is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics (IJDCF), he is an exchange scientist of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a Guest (Adjunct) Professor with PhD supervision of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr Yan has been involved in computer science and mathematics teaching, he is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext.5107

Associate Professor David White (Biomedical engineering and design education)

David White is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences and Director of the AUT BioDesign Lab. David has been conducting biomedical research in the area of respiratory devices since 2001 when he utilised dynamic modelling techniques to identify important design features that were subsequently applied in a small-bore tube continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) device.

With a strong industry and academic background in mechanical design, David has focussed on applied research that provides advances in breathing therapeutic devices or therapies. Since completing his Masters of Engineering titled Breathing Therapy Air Delivery Unit: Simulation, Design and Development in 2003, David has gone on to design and supervise the building of many biomedical devices and research systems. These include a lung simulator, pressure limiting flow regulator, simulator of premature neonate lung surfactant dynamics, airway tracheal tissue test apparatus and novel patient breathing interface systems.

With an emphasis on the human upper airway, and in particular the nose, David has recently been investigating the role augmented air pressure has airway physiology. His 2013 PhD thesis, tiled Nasal Drying During Pressurised Breathing, explained the cause of poor adherence to CPAP therapy through the use of computational and physiological modelling. New forms of breathing therapy and devices are now being developed as a result of this on-going work. More recent work has focused on the role of the nasal cycle and how breathing influences human physiological/neurological systems. The thrust of this work being the design of new breathing therapy devices which has led to the design of the patented Rest-Activity Cycler (RACer) breathing system. This therapy offers a new treatment paradigm for obstructive sleep apnoea and has opened a new research theme that investigates how nasal breathing can influence the health and well-being of many physiological and neurological systems within the body. David is a strong advocate of interdisciplinary research which is realised through his role as Director of the BioDesign Lab.

Phone: +64 921-9999 ext 8352


Emeritus Professor Mike Thomas, University of Auckland (mathematics education)

Associate Professor Jason Stephens, University of Auckland (human learning, development and motivation)

Dr Julia Novak, University of Auckland (mathematics and science education)

Dr Tanya Evans, University of Auckland (mathematics education)

Dr Andrew Zaliwski, Whitireia New Zealand, (computer science education)

Brody Radford, University of Auckland (engineering education)