Materials Tech Workshop Speakers


Milton Bloomfield

Managing Director, Dynamic Composites

Milton has a passion for innovation, sport and composite materials. 

For more than 20 years he has been involved with high performance sport as an athlete, engineer, designer and innovator. More than 20 Olympic and World Championships have been won using equipment he has been involved in creating. 

He is the founder of Dynamic Composites, building a successful team and business with significant expertise in the design and creation of composite products not only in the sport sector. 

Milton has been involved in published post-graduate research in sport aerodynamics, predominantly cycling. This research has been used to improve products that Dynamic Composites have produced for individual athletes and also commercially.

Lighter, Stiffer, Faster


Chris Hickey

Head of Materials and Process Engineering at Southern Spars

Chris Hickey is the Head of Materials and Process Engineering at Southern Spars, the world's leading yacht mast manufacturer – founded and headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Chris has worked on a range of grand prix race and superyacht projects, including the world's largest Bermudan rigged yacht mast, the world's highest load carbon fibre rigging product and the design of the Southern Spars track cycling wheel supplied to the NZ cycling team. 

Chris is Southern Spars' technical lead for innovative projects in new industries.

Chris holds a PhD in Composite Materials and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Auckland. 

Presentation Abstract


Raechel Laing, MS(Tenn) PhD(Otago) CText FTI

University of Otago

Raechel Laing holds a personal professorial position at the University of Otago, specialising in textiles and apparel systems. She is a Chartered Textile Technologist and Fellow of The Textile Institute.

Her research interests are:
1. Material sciences and technologies - the way structure, function, and behaviour of textiles/ products can be engineered by selecting and manipulating fibres, yarns, fabrics, finishes, and assemblies, and 
2. Textiles, human health, safety, performance and well-being - the intimate contact humans have with textiles and fibres. What are the physical and physiological effects, and how can these be used to enhance human performance, health, and well-being?

With colleagues and research students she has published widely on human performance and safety and the role of textiles and clothing. Much of this research has been end-user focussed, so she has worked with sports groups, manufacturers, and distributors nationally and internationally. One of the continuing challenges is distinguishing marketing claims from evidence-based investigations. With examples, this issue will be discussed.

Materials and wearables


Carl Menary


Carl for over 15 years has helped bring some of the most innovative products to market by turning problems into opportunities. 

He studied Industrial Design at Wellington School of Design Massey, and has worked in the UK, Ireland and Canada in product design consultancies before returning to New Zealand.

He is a senior product designer at 4ormfunction, working on all areas from end-user empathy, through to design for manufacture.

He is passionate about using design to improve lives and strives to help New Zealand companies achieve global success. He works from Waihi Beach and is highly involved in the local Bay of Plenty creative community, starting a local creative meetup and teaching design to local primary school children in his spare time. He aims to make a difference through design.


Stafford Murray - Facilitator

Innovation Manager, HPSNZ

Since January 2017 Stafford has been Innovation Manager at HPSNZ. Prior to that he was the Head of Performance Analysis, Biomechanics and Skill Acquisition at the English Institute of Sport from 2002. Stafford took the disciplines from 0 to 40+ staff members over that time; overseeing the provision and development of interventions to all key Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Sports. As a practitioner Stafford delivered Performance Analysis services to numerous elite sports over a 20-year period (Including South African Cricket, Welsh Rugby and Football, England Squash, McLaren F1 racing and numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Sports) at some 23 World Championships, 5 Commonwealth Games and 4 Olympic Games. He has also consulted to Qatar Aspire, ECB, Shell Oil and Cisco Communications.

During that tenure Stafford was also seconded as Team Leader for the England Squash Team in Delhi CWG's 2010, Head of the Team GB analysis service at London 2012 Games, one of the leaders of the Lion's Den for Team England at the Glasgow 2014 Games, Head of Team GB Analysis at Rio 2016 and Performance Lead to 5 Olympic and Paralympic Sports (quality assuring and managing all sports science service provision to these sports). 

Stafford has published extensively in the area of Coaching and Analysis of sport (40+ peer reviewed papers, 7 book chapters, 1 authored book and multiple sports science / coaching magazine features), mainly in the areas of perturbations, profiling in elite sport and applied sports science provision.





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