Committees

About us

We are a group of practitioners from various sectors including academia, industry, and schools who have come together to initiate this event as a practical approach to encourage those who have innovative ideas and project works that can contribute to building a smarter Aotearoa while prioritising the Sustainability Development Goals.

The following professionals from different sectors of industry have contributed to the organisation of the event.

General Co-Chairs


Prof. Leoni Schmidt, Otago Polytechnic


The first competition event of Smart Aotearoa -- Sustainable Development in 2022 is commended for its active and network-wide collaboration around the most significant challenge we all face today in the world.


It is heartening to see the involvement of colleagues from many tertiary institutions in New Zealand.


Together, we can make change and contribute to a better world.


He waka eke noa.


Jay McLaren Harris, Swivel Careers and Education


As the world and society continues to evolve, we must continue to think bold around sustainability. Having traveled the world, I believe that Aotearoa, New Zealand can become a leader in sustainability.


I look forward to working with the team on what is an exciting and important conversation.

Organising Committee Members

  • Aniket Mahanti, The University of Auckland

  • Dani Mao, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Ehsan Yaeghoobi, Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology

  • Farhad Mehdipour, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus, Future Skills Academy

  • John Christopher Faitala, Pacific Business Trust

  • Lee Timutimu, Arataki Systems

  • Maja Zidov, Unitec Institute of Technology

  • Mark Caves, Eastern Institute of Technology

  • Martin Fryer, thinkstep-anz

  • Masoud Shakiba, Unitec Institute of Technology and TechTALK

Technical Committee Members

  • Bing Dai, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Bruno Balducci, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Christian Bredenkamp, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Don Samarasinghe, Massey University

  • Edwin Rajah, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Emre Erturk, Eastern Institute of Technology

  • Firas Al-Ali, Manukau Institute of Technology

  • Guozhen (George) Huang, Victorian Institute of Technology (VIT), Australia

  • Iman Ardekani, Unitec Institute of Technology

  • Imelda Piri, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Indrapriya Kularatne, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Kathiravelu Ganeshan, Future Skills Academy

  • Krish, Naidu, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Lehan Stemmet, Auckland Institute of Studies

  • Pii-Tuulia Nikula, Eastern Institute of Technology

  • Rajeev Chawla, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Russell Harray, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Sayed M. Shahid, Eastern Institute of Technology

  • Soheil Pour, Unitec Institute of Technology

  • Srividya Krishnamoorthy, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus

  • Teong Boon Tan, Ableton Ltd.

  • Yury Zhukov, Otago Polytechnic - Auckland International Campus